Fake identification is one of the largest, most profitable crimes out there, especially in a big state like California. California has some of the strictest fake ID laws; although that isn't stopping such cards from getting out. If you run a business where proper ID is needed for customers, you need to know what to lookout for. There a number of ways to tell if a California ID is fake, and they revolve around knowing what a real one looks like.
Feel the card in your hand. A valid California ID has two layers of laminate sandwiching the paper card. You are holding a fake ID if it feels bumpy, or if the lamination peels off at the corners.
Look over the top portion of the card: It should say "CALIFORNIA" in blue capital letters in bold Times font. The letters "DMV" -- or other legal ID-granting organization -- should be on both sides of the state name in purple/gold letters behind gold backdrops.
Observe the photograph on the card and compare it to the person possessing it. Seeing that the person doesn't match the photo is one of the first and easiest ways to tell a fake ID -- in any state.
Check for all the information. The person's name should be to the right of the photo with home address, gender, hair color, height, weight and restriction list below it. To the right of that is the eye color and birth date, with the latter in red.
Look at the expiration date, which should be above the picture and printed in red. Make sure the date has not expired. The license number is to the right of that date and also in red.
Check the strips on the back of the card. There should be a black magnetic one and a white one. See if either looks like it was drawn on, like the magnetic stripe with a black marker or the white one with White Out.
Make sure the person's signature is directly below all the personal information. Have the person sign his/her name if needed, to match up with the card's signature.