Fake IDs: How to Spot Them

Teenagers in high school and college often obtain fake IDs to get into 21 and older bars and purchase alcohol. Typically, large-armed dudes at the door and liquor store clerks are pretty good at spotting these. However, sometimes they are not. Last week we talked about the signs parents should look for to determine if their teens are using fake IDs. This week we’ll talk about how to spot a fake ID.

Parents should be the first to know if an ID they find on their teen is fake or not. After all, if your family resides in Missouri or Kansas, it’s unlikely that an ID from Texas showing your teen’s photo is legit. However if you’re still wanting to know some tell-tale signs that your teen’s ID is fake (or if you have a job interview as a bouncer coming up), read on…

How to Know if the ID is Fake

Here are a few tests to run to determine if the form of identification provided is FAKE.

1. The Water Test.

Driver’s licenses from any state are pretty much water-proof. Each legal identification card is printed on a high-quality material that is thick and resilient. If you drop your driver’s license in water and pull it back out, it should be unharmed. Fake IDs, on the other hand, aren’t as resilient. There’s often a laminate on the Fake ID that will allow water to seep in. Also, the cards themselves are flimsy.

2. The Signature Test.

Often times the signatures on fake IDs won’t match the owner’s. That can be because 1) The ID actually belongs to another individual who looks like your teen (could be an older brother or sister or an older friend’s ID) — OR — 2) The ID was actually made for your teen by someone who didn’t care and went ahead and signed the card. Most of the time, the signature on a fake ID won’t match up with the owner’s. So, if you’re trying to quickly tell if the ID is real or not, request for a signature to compare.

3. The Scanning Test.

Because technology is getting sophisticated, so are fake IDs. Many these days even have the holograms and other symbols printed on them to try and prove authenticity. However, what they can’t always fake is the bar code scan on the back. Want an easy way to see if the bar code will work? Go up to a grocery story and see if the ID will actually scan through the system. Teens are paying up to $200 or more for fake IDs, so some might scan through the system. However, many will not, and are just used to get into the bars and 21+ parties. Scan the ID to see if it’s real or not.

These are just a few ways to tell if an ID is real or fake. Teens will convince themselves of why having a fake ID isn’t all that big of a deal, but as a parent you must be firm and debunk those ideas. Not only is having a fake ID an illegal activity, but the issues of drug and alcohol abuse that can come from having one are even worse.

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