40 Ways To Spot Fake IDs in 2021

Are you a bouncer at a club and looking for ways to help weed out fake IDs? You’re not alone. Counterfeit ids are one of the most common problems that clubs face, but they don’t have to be if you know what to look for. In this blog post, we will cover 40+ quick tips on how you can spot fake IDs with ease!

Primary Tactics

1. Cardholder’s Photo

Start with the basics, look at the cardholder’s photo. The picture should be clear and show their entire face. If you’re still unsure about whether or not it is a real ID, then move to more specific details.

2. Behavior Changes

Look for changes in behavior from the person presenting the ID. Any unusual moves can signal foulplay.

3. Notice The Hands

Look at their hands and see if they’re sweating – this is a key indicator of someone who may be nervous, so keep an eye on them!

4. The Question & Answer Game

If someone is trying to use a fake ID, they may be nervous. They will also try and avoid your questions or give too many answers.

5. Edges & Sledges

Check the edging of an ID where it is laminated. If there are air bubbles or bumps in this area, then the ID may be fake.

6. Card Heading

Does it say “novelty” on the card or does it have a disclaimer that says, “This is not for identification purposes”?

7. Use Apps

If you have the Bouncer App installed, you can scan any US driver’s license using its proprietary technology that utilizes both ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR). The app instantly determines whether or not it is valid!

8. Year of Issue

You could even ask them what year was printed on their ID! If they don’t know, then chances are something is wrong.

9. False Age Factor

The information on an ID should match up with what they say it is – if someone claims that they are 25 years old but there’s no mention of this age on the card then this might be suspicious.

10. Height Comparison

Compare height to weight on their license – most people have more of an even distribution between these two parameters but if one number is considerably higher then there could be something wrong with the ID.

11. Vertical Magnetic Stripe

The magnetic stripe on the back of IDs shouldn’t be vertical. The corners should not have rounded edges.

12. No Updates

Check to make sure that there are no updates or recent editions to the photo ID card (ex: updated hair color).

13. Expiry Dates

Check the expiration date. If it has been tampered with, then there’s a high chance that it is fake.

14. Instate Real ID Comparison

Look closely at the state on their ID to see if they are from your area. If you can’t tell by looking at the photo, compare them to another real ID in front of you for comparison.

15. Typos

Check for spelling errors and typos. The more mistakes on an ID means less likely this person could have gotten past any security system or bouncer without being noticed.

16. Compare Address

Ask questions about where they live (point out different places on the map) and what town or city they go to school in.

17. Matching Cards

Do they have any other identification cards nearby like social security cards, credit cards, etc.? The two should match up if it is real. A fake ID will not likely have another form of id close by; as this would make it very easy for them to get caught quickly.

18. Quality & Printing

The biggest giveaway for a fake ID is that the person trying to use it looks much older than they claim. Another problem with fakes IDs is the low quality. Most fake ID services lack vital security features and have never seen a real ID in person. There are premium fake ID websites that might resemble a real license with accuracy. They are less in number and expensive. They are often made very quickly, which leads to printing errors and blurry lines on the ids.

19. Overlays

The most common tampering done to fool bouncers includes adding an overlay sticker or altering personal information so it won’t match up with other data from different places like their driver’s license records in the database.

20. Hologram Fakes

Use a flashlight to look for holograms, thin printing, and off colors.

21. Color Texture

 Look at the coloring on some state’s IDs. For instance, if they use purple instead of red when making their state seal, then that’s a big warning sign this ID might not be real!

22. ID Substance

Check the card for PVC. Fake IDs are often made of PVC instead of a more expensive material like plastic which makes them easy to spot by feel alone.

23. Scan the ID

Scan the card for tampering. Fake IDs can be scratched or worse, they may have different id on them that are not tampered with!

24. Random Questions

 Ask Questions: Another quick way to tell which cards were legit was asking questions like “Do your parents know?” or “What year did you graduate?”.

25. Pixelations

Does the ID use a glossy or laminated card? or Is there any pixelation on the card when you zoom in on it?

26. Birthdate

Does the birthdate on the ID match up with what is written in their Facebook profile, if they have one linked to an account.

27. Thickness & Size

Check the edges of an ID for a thin, raised line. Compare the dimensions of the ID with a real barbook size.

28. State Seals

Check holograms/stickers on IDs for misspellings or other errors like misaligned words and letters. Look at the state seals to see if they are not lined up correctly in relation to each other.

29. Inspect the UV Features

Hold an ID under black light – UV ink will glow when held under one. Scan the ID for skinnier fonts or words that are too thin.

30. Apply the Bend Test

Check any textured parts of the photo like hair in order to compare it with what’s seen in the picture. You can also do this by checking where wrinkles should be located on their face from age progression photos as well. (This test can only be applied to Teslin or PVC cards).

31. Inspect the Font

Look for anomalies in other areas of the license as well. These include things like missing words, poor lettering quality/structure (some letters may also be bolded), and incorrect grammar usage.

32. Signature Counts

Check the cardholder’s signature as well. Does it appear sloppy and rushed? If so, this may be a fake ID.

33. Check For Photoshop Editing

A good way to tell whether or not someone might use Photoshop (or any other editing software) for their photo is by checking how blurry they are in comparison to what else is around them. The person should show up crisper than everything else in the image.

34. No International License

If you see an international driver’s permit, then they are not allowed in.

35. Microprinting

Most state ids come with peculiar printing technique. This is a security feature introduced by the DMV using a micro-printing device. Counterfeit services cannot replicate this with precision.

36. Laser Job

Bogus id cards lack laser-engraved features. The lack of back-lit feature can expose a fraudulent id.

37. The 2D Codes

Every driving license comes with an embedded 2-Dimensional code. It comes in QR format and can be scanned. A fake id that scans is very rare.

38. Check for the License Number

Every state ID uses a different format for their license number. If the format on the id you inspect is different from the state-issued number then it is most likely a fake.

39. Avoid Doppelgangers

The person should never look like their photo (for example: if it’s them but just younger).

40. Place of Sign

They might not know where they are supposed to sign as well! If you see that ID is fake? Deny them entry! These tips can help keep underage people out of bars so everyone has a better time. Happy bouncing!

5 thoughts on “40 Ways To Spot Fake IDs in 2021”

  1. Failure

    Massachusetts & NY 2021 fakes can also be spotted using the “DROP TEST” – When you drop your ID on a solid surface such as a wooden or a tile floor it will make a sound of a metallic object. IF its a fake id it makes a plastic sound. Trained bouncers will be able to detect this flaw and inspect ids for further features.

  2. Robin

    Perforated minute elements in California license & the Bear feature with backlit grabs the attention of every Bouncer instate. You cannot evade any Bar or Clubhouse without these features It is the #1 reason to get caught with a fake California id.

  3. Mamasita

    Too many people are complaining about Chinese ids lacking the inverted “O” feature in Ohio fake licenses. This is a very important security feature. Only instate Bouncers know about it though. Making it a tough task for out-of-state doormen. Keeping the new Ohio id is a wise choice but buying one from verified sites will be a better option (don’t forget to keep $100+ in your mind if you want to get one that has the inverted “O”)

  4. Roller

    Round edges and thickness of the id counts. Doormen are often trained to feel the edges of the id with their finger tips. Ultraviolet features count as well. There is a trend of scanning ids through the Show-Me ID app these days. The scanner will run and go through any uneven microprinting on the surface of the id. Laminations play a role and if there any bubbles under your laminate rolls then it is only a matter of seconds before a machine or a scanning device picks up your fake id.

  5. UptownGuy

    The Barbooks regularly update so if you get your hands one a Barbook of 2021 you’ll be able to tell a fake id from a legitimate one by comparing it with the features. I remember comparing a Michigan fake driver’s license that I purchased online with my real Michigan id. Both had some similarities but the fake one couldn’t have the “MICH” laser-engraving and so it was an easy tell. There are many ways to spot fake licenses but the easiest one imo is to look for complicated features. They cannot be replicated by a normal machine.

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