Spotting Fake ID

Be it desperate teenagers looking for ways to satiate their newfound thirst for alcohol or evade police, fake IDs have become a common sight. What seems like a harmless way of scoring a beer can (or two) is, in fact, a seething issue across the world. 

The problem suddenly becomes more apparent when these phony identity cards showcase their potential to alter election results and whatnot. However, detection methods have also matured, thanks to technology and shared knowledge. 

Whether you run a restaurant or bar, this guide will help you stay updated with some effective fake ID detection methods.

Tilt and observe the card in light

Some identity cards are designed to have certain features like an image overlay that you can only see from specific angles. For this, simply tilt your card while holding it toward the light. 

However, you have to be mindful of what you’re looking for. 

Apart from an image overlay, some IDs (the genuine ones) have the name of the state visible only from certain angles and lighting conditions like ultraviolet light. 

Match the barcode information

Unlike printed text, encoding information in a barcode is significantly difficult. So, this gives you the upper hand if you find the information mismatching or not present at all. 

Use a 10x magnifying glass to examine the microprints

Depending on which state’s ID you’re examining, closely observing the microprints can help you make an informed decision. Most states have these microprints at different positions to facilitate more check points for the tester. 

Ask for the signature

A fake ID holder might obtain a convincingly resembling card after reading review online, chances are they aren’t careful of the exact signature. 

More so, one might sign their actual name when asked out of the blue. There! You’ve got a cheater. 

Look for engravings

When it comes to verifying an ID, your sense of touch can help a great deal. You can compare the “feel” of the card with that of the one you know is genuine. 


All in all, identifying a fake ID boils down to your innate knowledge of the touch points, coupled with how well you’re able to catch up on the suspect’s non verbal cues. 

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