Shippensburg Police Department


Fred A. Scott, Chief of Police


60 West Burd Street ~ Shippensburg, Pennsylvania 17257 ~ Department: 717.532.7361 Fax: 717.532.2313

          Please pull over to the right for lights and siren....whether they are coming up behind you or driving on the other side of the road...Please pull over toward the right hand side for lights and siren         



Fake ID's


How to Spot a Fake ID

Identifying a fake ID can be a difficult process, but there are several key points to consider that can make the task easier.

Body Features

Compare the picture to the person in front of you. Look first to see if the eye color and heights match up. This will weed out a lot of fake IDs by itself. Then compare cheekbones, the forehead, nose, ears, and weight. Some peoples' body compositions change, but inconsistencies can be a telling sign.


Looking at the ID card itself is another great way to identify a fake ID. Look to see if there are raised edges around the photo indicating a picture was added on top of the original. Also look for fuzzy numbers and words that might indicate low quality printer ink. Any misspelling on the document should instantly make it very suspicious since most government organizations are very careful to spell everything correctly. Does the photo have red eye? Do the holograms flake off if you scratch them? Are there bubbles under the lamination? Swipe the magnetic strip if the card has one. Does the information on it not read properly? All four of these things can indicate a poorly made fake identification document.


Determine if the person looks nervous. Is he fidgeting with his hands, shifting his weight a lot, or will he not look you in the eye? These can be signs that the person is worried that you will discover his fake ID.

Expiration and Issuance Dates

Check the expiration date. If the license is expired, then it is not a legal form of ID. For all you know, it could have been thrown out by the original owner when he got a new one, and someone just picked it out of the trash or got it from his older brother. If the issuance date is 3 years old, does it look like the card has 3 years of wear on it? That is another thing to look out for since many "fresh" fake IDs look brand new.


Always keep an up to date book of drivers licenses for all 50 states. This way you can know what an Oregon driverís license is supposed to look like, even though you have never been there. Some states' licenses are easier to copier than others; New Jersey's driversí license is one of the most popular to copy due to its weaker security features.


Ask the person what his horoscope sign is. Most people should know that they are Scorpios or Leos in a flash. If the person stumbles, it may be a borrowed ID. Ask to see a 2nd or 3rd form of ID. Most people will carry student ID cards or credit cards that should back up the name on the license they are presenting. Finally, ask for a signature, and then compare it to the signature on the license. Handwriting styles do change sometimes, but this can be an indicator that the license is suspicious.

These are just some tips you can use to help recognize fake IDs. Fraudsters are getting more complex and using better technology as it becomes readily available, so you need to stay up to date yourself to combat fake IDs. When in doubt, take the ID and hold it until law enforcement officers arrive to verify the authenticity themselves.

Recognizing Fraudulent ID's

Recognizing Fraudulent ID's


The card's expiration date. Do not accept the license if the date is expired.


The word "duplicate" on the card. Someone else may have the original card.


The state logo. A state seal or logo that is partially missing or appears altered is another clue to a fake card.


Glue lines or bumpy surfaces by the picture or birth date. Uneven surfaces often indicate tampering.


Consistency of numbers. The typeset for the birth date and expiration date should match the lettering used on the rest of the license. Also, look for tiny pieces of paper with modified dates placed over the original numbers.


Pin holes on the surface. Bleach may have been inserted to "white-out" certain aspects of the date.


The card's reverse-side lettering. While the front may appear flawless, often counterfeiters merely photocopy the reverse side. Look for blurred lettering.


Someone else's card. Make sure the photo, height and weight on the card match the person in front of you.


If you suspect the ID to be a fake, ask the individual for another form of identification.


Size, color, lettering, thickness and corners. Compare the questionable ID against a "standard" - your own valid driver's license.


If it is an out-of-state license, or for any reason looks unfamiliar to you, use an ID checking guide. This is especially important in college and tourist communities.

If you should spot any one of these problems:


Ask the individual presenting the ID for a second form of identification. Ask for an ID that is over (1) year old.


Ask the cardholder questions about information contained in the ID, such as birth date, middle initial, zip code and so forth. His or her response should be without hesitation.

The Bottom Line

If you are not absolutely convinced that the card is authentic - DO NOT SERVE THE CUSTOMER!

Please monitor the intake of your customers. It is unlawful to serve alcohol to intoxicated individuals. Make an effort to provide a safe


Shippensburg Police Department  Phone - 717-532-7361  Fax - 717-532-2313        Last Modified :01/30/12 11:28 PM          Copyright 2008