The Fake Driver’s License: How To Spot It Every Time

Trying to spot a Fake Driver’s License is a burden every doorperson and bartender faces

(Image Credit: Ville Säävuori / Flickr)

For a wide variety of professions, checking and verifying ID cards is a tedious but crucial element of business. Waitresses, bartenders, doormen, bank tellers and notaries must use their best judgment to determine if the driver’s license or ID card they are being presented with is legitimate, or they face serious consequences with regards to their career.

Advancements in technology have lead to a serious uptick in the quality of fake ID’s, but the authorities are developing new techniques to help identify all fake ID’s and actively combat this trend. Below you will find several tips to determine authenticity and quickly spot a fake driver’s license.

Look for Discrepancies

Even if it seems like a bit of a no-brainer, one of the easiest ways to spot a fake is to look at the height, weight, eye/hair color, and other physical descriptors to look for any obvious deviations. For example, if an ID card states the presenter should be 6” tall and 250 pounds, but the ID states shows 5”5’ and 150 pounds as the height and weight, you know you are dealing with a fake. It can be easy to gloss over this, but it’s a great way to weed out a lot of fakes right out of the gate.

Examine the Signature

Regardless of the state that the driver’s license or ID card is issued, the signature of the cardholder has to be present. And if there is anything we can agree on, it’s that no ones signature looks good on the card. Having to digitally produce your signature at the DMV often results in sloppy and “squiggled” lines.

Therefore, if an ID card has a signature that looks too good to be true, it most likely is. A lot of fake ID manufacturers will use a word processer font that resembles a signature in lieu of a real one. A signature with perfect letter spacing and lines is a clear-cut sign that the card is a fake.

Check for Obvious Tampering

Peeling laminate, excess glue, blurry text or a raised photo are all sure-fire signs that the card itself has been tampered with. In most cases, these are legitimate cards that have been altered, as opposed fraudulent cards manufactured from scratch.

Check the Security Features

Over the years, states have revisited driver’s license and state ID card designs to implement highly technical security features to make it harder for criminals to produce fakes. While no two states feature the exact same features, most ID’s will feature laser-perforated images, overlapping data, ghost images/headshots, tactile features like raised lettering, and transparent or opaque images. Most of these features can be detected by sight, touch, tilting the card or with the aid of a flashlight.