‘Rip up those fake IDs; you’ll be 21 soon enough’

By Kellie Belmonte
April 28, 2005

Jess Webb

A 19-year-old boy was driving down a road when he was pulled over for speeding. When the police officer asked the boy for his license and registration, the officer noticed an additional identification in the boy’s wallet. He confiscated the ID, only to find that it was a fake driver’s license, claiming that this boy was of the age of 21. Now what used to seem like a small offense is considered serious, and it is even considered an act of terrorism. This boy is now facing potential prison time.

Tons of underage college students all over the United States have had fake IDs at some point or another, mostly to be able to purchase alcohol and enter bars. However, what students don’t realize is that there are repercussions for having a fake ID.

According to the U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 47, a person who knowingly and without lawful authority produces an identification document or a false identification document, knowingly transfers an identification document or a false identification document knowing that such document was stolen or produced without lawful authority, and knowingly possesses with intent to use unlawfully or transfer unlawfully five or more identification documents (other than those issued lawfully for the use of the possessor) or false identification documents, could potentially serve up to 15 years in prison, if there were no other charges or crimes involved. The punishment for an offense under this could be a fine or imprisonment.

Since the September 11 tragedy, the government has become much more strict with those possessing, producing and transferring any kind of false identification. According to CNN.com, since state IDs, such as a driver’s license or birth certificate often vary by state or county, it’s almost impossible for service employees to verify the authenticity.

Chris McGoey, a San Francisco, Calif.-based security consultant, has worked with numerous major retailers on combating identity theft. He has seen hundreds of falsified IDs, and while he hasn’t seen the ones used by the alleged September 11 hijackers, he offers some insight into how they could have been obtained. “If you take an L.A. birth certificate to New York, they’re probably not going to have a clue as to whether it’s official or not,” says McGoey, according to CNN.com.

Many college students believe it is very easy to obtain a fake ID, especially those at close proximity to a big city. With cities like Philadelphia and New York, young adults claim that the process of getting a fake ID is simple.

A young man by the name of Aaron Ginsberg is a 20-year-old sophomore at New York University in New York City. Ginsberg has lived in the city for two years now and claims that everyone knows where to go and how to get fake identification. Ginsberg said, “All there is to do in New York is go to bars and clubs. Because barely any young people here drive, they aren’t very strict with carding at the door, because they know they won’t be at risk for trouble with people driving drunk afterwards. If they didn’t have these young people coming to their bars, they wouldn’t be making the same money.”

Ginsberg also explains that finding a place or a person who will make fake IDs is not difficult. “Everyone here knows that tattoo and piercing places are your best bet. Some of the places can scam you pretty bad, but others can give you a pretty good fake. There’s also so many young kids making them on their own and selling them. If you have Photoshop, it doesn’t take too long to figure out how to do them,” Ginsberg said.

A former student of Cabrini College works part-time as a bouncer at the Wild Onion Bar in Villanova, Pa. He said, “It’s pretty easy to tell a fake ID from a real one. We pretty much have to card anyone who looks around the age of 28 and younger. We don’t call the police when someone has a fake ID, but we will confiscate it. However, sometimes if there are problems, the police will be called and people will be charged.”

Although young adults tend to believe that having a fake ID isn’t such a terrible crime, the government tends to think otherwise. If having a fake ID can be considered a form of terrorism, then one with a fake ID can be considered a terrorist. The 20-year-old boy who is potentially facing prison time has some advice: “Rip up those fake IDs, because this isn’t worth it. You’ll be 21 soon enough.”

Posted to the web by Ryan Norris

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Kellie Belmonte

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap