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How to Spot a Fake ID

Updated on November 22, 2013

Whether you are a security at an event or a bar, your job is to check every person’s identification because you are required by law to verify the age of the person. For example, if you are a security at a bar, it is important for you know the security measures and how to spot a fake ID to prevent underage drinking. The advancement of technology has made it difficult for one to spot a fake ID but here are some tips to help you spot one.

8 Tips to Help You Spot a Fake ID

When it’s difficult to determine whether the identification is fake or real, you should use some of your common sense and techniques discussed below to spot a fake identification card. Here are eight simple steps you can take to help spot fake ID card details.


1. Feel the edges.

Most legit IDs are printed on a 30 mil PVC card and will have smooth and uniformed edges. Generally, fake IDs are printed on layers of laminated paper but they are rougher when touched by hand. You should bend the edge of the ID slightly. If it’s a real, you won’t see the layers and if it’s fake, you will see the layers of the ID card to start come unglued.

2. Look at the holograms.

All IDs have hologram, foils or background outlines that should flash in and out of vision when you turn the ID slightly. They should not look bright. Most of these holograms will feature images of state crest, state shape or state name. Look out for images that doesn’t appear to look like it should be.


3. Compare the ID to the person.

There are red flags when you notice the person resembles the picture too closely. If the person is wearing the exact same clothes and hairstyles as the photo ID, it might have been made hours before. Also look for slight differences in facial features. Most people uses IDs from close family members like their brothers or sisters.

4. Ask for a details from the ID.

If someone is using a stolen ID then they might not know the details on the ID. However, if the person brought a fake ID, they might remember the details too well. For example, they might give you a 9-digit zip code instead of the standard 5-digit one. Good details to ask the card holder are the zip code, height, weight and ID number. Most people will not memorize their identification number so it can be a red flag when they are able to recall.


5. Ask for additional photo ID.

You have the rights to ask a customer for another form of ID when you think the one you’ve been presented is fake. If they the two identification cards don’t match or they can’t present you another one, there are chances that they are using a fake ID.

6. Look for signs of nervousness.

Be suspicious if the card holder is avoiding eye contact or look uneasy, then most likely they are using a fake identification card. Use your common sense to see the person’s body language to see if they are acting unnatural.


7. Scan the ID.

If possible, scan the identification card because most fake IDs will come with a real magnetic strip but they are expensive to encode. Most fake manufactured identification cards will not scan.

8. Bluff.

Lastly, if you’re still not sure if the ID is real or fake, tell the card holder that you will need your manager to take a look at the ID. If it’s fake, they will start acting nervous and probably wants it back. If it’s real, they will not care if another person looks at the ID.


A Video on Spotting and Detecting Fake IDs

Poll Time!

Have You Ever Used a Fake ID?

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    • KickStart1 profile image

      Andrew Armstrong 4 years ago from San Francisco, California

      @Chris Neal - Thanks for visiting our page and I'm glad you like it!

    • Chris Neal profile image

      Chris Neal 4 years ago from Fishers, IN

      Great hub! Thanks!