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Fake IDs & The New College Year

August 4, 2020
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For many college students, getting a fake ID is viewed as a right of passage. In one study, 66% of college students reported having used a fake ID at least once.

According to a study published by the National Institutes of Health, fake ID ownership is highly correlated with heavy drinking. It probably comes as news to no one that young people using fake IDs aren’t using them for a casual social drink. The purpose of getting a fake ID is to get drunk. Plus, teens are less likely to exercise good judgment about drinking and driving. Even if they intend to exercise good judgment, they are inexperienced enough to think they’re fine to drive when they’re not.

If you’re BASSET certified with BASSET On The Fly, you know you have the obligation and right to refuse to sell or serve alcohol to anyone who cannot produce sufficient proof they are of legal drinking age. A fake ID is not sufficient proof.

As technology continues to evolve, fake IDs can be harder and harder to distinguish from the real thing. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office governs the security of Illinois state-issued IDs and has worked to combat counterfeits though a fake ID task force. In 2016, they rolled out a redesigned driver’s license and implemented a centralized issuance process. Today’s Illinois driver license has numerous security features in the form of patterns, lines, and images, a number of which are not detectable by simply looking. Understandably, the Secretary of State’s office is hesitant to provide too much public detail in explaining these features, but for specific characteristics of different state IDs, any establishment can get an ID checking guide.


There Are Some Basic Tips to Help You Identify a Fake ID

  1. Don’t just look, but feel. Get into the habit of running your finger across the front and back of every ID you check. Pay careful attention to the thickness and weight of each ID. Doing so will make it easier for you to spot discrepancies when you are presented with a fake one.
  2. Look at the ID from all angles by tilting it under the light. Using a similar process on every single ID you check will allow you pick out which IDs are missing security features that only show up under ultraviolet lighting.
  3. Ask the customer questions. This is one tactic you can use primarily for customers you are suspicious about. Ask the customer his or her date of birth and address and make sure it matches what is on the ID.
  4. Pay attention to customer reactions. Do they feel a need to defend their ID to you in any way? They shouldn’t. Do they seem nervous or in a rush for no reason? No one with a legit ID has any reason to be nervous about you checking it closely.

Don’t think one careless server or checker is no big deal. News about who isn’t checking IDs travels extraordinarily fast among young people, and it won’t be long before an isolated problem puts your entire establishment at risk. The fine for a first violation is a minimum of $500. After that, fines can go up to $25,000 and liquor license suspension becomes far more likely.

For more details on properly checking IDs as a seller-server of alcohol in Illinois, enroll today in BASSET On The Fly’s online On-Premise or Off-Premise BASSET certification course!

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