How to Spot a Fake ID by State

Fake IDs are growing both in number and sophistication as identity thieves get more and more accurate with the details. Whether you are a bouncer at a club, a bartender serving alcohol, or a tobacco or cannabis shop, you must learn to verify an ID properly and detect a fake one from a mile away. 

Always remember the devil is in the details, but there are a few simple steps that can help you spot a fake ID by state:

Standard Security Features

When it comes to identifying and authenticating IDs, there are a few telltale signs that an ID might be fake. We’ve broken them down for you to help you get started:

Check for State-Specific Holograms

Holograms show up like watermarks that become visible when held up to the light. This means they appear as small, hidden background images that are state-specific and difficult to replicate. These holograms vary depending on your state and can help you easily spot a fake ID by the naked eye. 

For many states, such as Arizona and New Hampshire, this will appear as an outline of the state.

Look for Laser Perforation

Laser perforations are small, needle-tip thin holes that form a picture. These holes are usually so small that they aren’t visible to the naked eye unless held up to the light. This presents differently based on the state. 

For example, Texas’s laser perforation appears in the shape of the state while California’s appears as an outline of the California brown bear.

Find UV Imagery

Each state has certain security features that are not visible to the naked eye. Some states’ IDs have a second lighter image that will appear under UV light only.

For Washington, among many other states, this UV image would appear in multiple places as the state seal.

Feel for Laser Embossing

Laser embossing uses a laser to raise the plastic on the front of the ID without affecting the back side. This is difficult to replicate and requires additional tools but, when done correctly, can be very convincing. 

Several states, including Arizona and California, have embossed printing on the date of birth or the signature.

Try The Bend Test

All state IDs use some sort of professional laminate. This is used to seal the UV imagery and protect the card from being damaged. For the bend test, simply take the card and gently bend it into a “U” shape. If the ID is fake, the laminate will bubble due to cheap laminate. 

Use Intellicheck to Improve Accuracy

These tactics can help to spot fake IDs based on state-specific identifiers and can ensure you do your best to stop fraudsters. However, they aren’t always accurate in terms of authentication. Advancements in technology have made it possible for fraudsters to replicate IDs down to the smaller details. In fact, many of these fake ID suppliers use their ability to bypass these security features as a selling point. For example, IDChief, one of the biggest suppliers of fake IDs in the country, boasts “All of our Fake IDs have the correct holograms and material.” 

The only way to accurately catch fakes in real-time is by using identity authentication software like Intellicheck.

Intellicheck is a one-stop solution provider when it comes to validating identification for all business sectors dealing with IDs. Retailers can implement this feature into their point of sale routine to authenticate IDs and easily identify fakes without needing to purchase any additional hardware. Intellicheck’s Age ID can even be downloaded as an app directly to your mobile device making it easily accessible to bartenders and bouncers to validate IDs on the fly. 

Businesses that use Age ID are able to truly optimize their efforts towards preventing the use of fakes. In fact, one liquor store in a college town managed to catch hundreds of fakes within the first month of integration. As students learned that they might lose their fakes, many underage customers stopped trying to purchase liquor from that store altogether, reducing liability. And, seeing as how some insurance premiums will go down if companies crackdown on their authentication efforts, companies can save money to offset the cost of integrating Age ID. See how you can protect your business and cut costs with Intellicheck.