Fake IDs: The Basics For University Students

Fake IDs: The Basics For University Students

Fake IDs are more common than people think. Many people—usually college students—use a fake ID to get into clubs and bars and purchase alcohol at the local liquor store. More often than not, these people get away with using fake IDs because people who card them don’t know what to look for. Fake IDs are not always easy to spot, but there are a lot of little things that can give them away. As long as you know what to look for, and if you take the time to give the ID a proper inspection, you’ll have a decent chance of knowing when an ID is fake. Here are a few tips for detecting a fake ID.

Orientation and Format

Different states have different rules for their ID cards. In some states, an ID is oriented horizontally until you turn 21, when you get issued a vertical ID; in other states it is the opposite. Some states have an “under 21 until” date on them, while other states require you to get a new ID as soon as you turn 21. When people make fake IDs, they are often unaware of these specifics for each state. If you know how each state issues IDs, you’ll be able to spot fakes more easily.

Fake IDs: The Basics For University Students


Unless a fake ID is very well made, the feel of the card will not be the same as a government-issued ID card. Fake IDs often have rough edges or sharp corners. Sometimes there are stickers on the front, and you will fell bumps or imperfections on the surface. A government-issued ID is smooth and polished and will have no imperfections.

State Seal

This seems simple enough, but many people misplace the state seal when they are creating a fake ID.  Even though they could easily put it in the right place, they get lazy or don’t pay enough attention to detail. Be aware of where the state seal should be on the ID, and you’ll be able to spot fakes.

Fake IDs: The Basics For University Students

Smartphone App

Smartphone apps for checking IDs have become popular recently. These apps allow you to scan ID bar codes and will tell you what the government-issued information should be for that ID. Unless it is a truly impeccable fake ID, this will catch any illegitimate ID cards. Though they’re not perfect, these apps are the most surefire way to confirm an ID is fake.

Ask for Their Sign

When people acquire fake IDs, they usually get information that is different from their own: different name, date of birth, address, etc. Then they memorize this information in case they are asked to repeat it to verify the ID. So, if you ask them their date of birth, they’ll probably repeat a memorized date. But if you ask them their zodiac sign, they’ll hesitate, and often fail if the ID is fake. Everyone knows their own sign, but most people don’t know the sign for a random date. Ask a question they don’t have a prepared answer for, and you’ll often be able to tell phony from legitimate.

With these tips you should be able to spot most fake IDs, even very well made ones.


Marv Patterson is a freelance writer based in San Diego, CA. For those who have genuine IDs and would like to protect them, Marv recommends the ID theft services by Protect Your Bubble.

Image credit goes to FaithBishop.