For police officers, bouncers, human resources officers, bank clerks, landlords and anyone else who has to verify identity in a professional capacity, the use of fake IDs is a growing challenge. The California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control advocates a system called FLAG to check IDs that
“F” Stands for “Feel”
Have the person remove their ID from their wallet to allow identification of its tactile features.
- California ID cards and driver’s licenses issued after September 2010 display raised numbers to display the cardholder’s date of birth, which can
. be felt
- Insert a fingernail into a corner of the card. California IDs contain three layers bonded together with heat, so the layers should not separate. If they do, the card is
- Feel for bumps, lumps or any information that has
been or pasted onto the card. cut
“L” Stands for “Look”
- Press a flashlight to the back of the card to see the laser
shapeof the California Brown Bear.
- Check which side the photograph is on. For California IDs, the adult card is horizontal, and the image appears on the left. Minor cards are vertical, and the image appears on the right.
- Look at the photograph. Focus on the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and chin
the so-called “triangle of recognition.” Unlike hairstyles and beards, these features do not change. –
- Check the birthdate. Does the person look as if he is the age he claims to be? Look for changes to the birthdate area.
- Inspect the person. Does their height and weight reasonably match the information on the ID card?
- Run a finger over the signature. Since September 2010,
this has been on California IDs, allowing the signature to raised . be touched
- Check for obvious spelling and other errors.
“A” Stands for “Ask Questions”
Ask a series of questions
- What is your zip code?
- What is your driver’s license number?
- What is your Zodiac sign?
- Will you sign your name, please? Verify this new signature against the signature on the card.
“G” Stands for “Give Back”
If, after inspection, the card looks genuine, it should
If a business seizes the card, the California Business and Professions Code 25659 requires that they give the cardholder a receipt and attach a copy to the ID.
Penalties for Possessing a Fake ID
California law makes it a crime to possess or display a fake ID
For example, a person under 18 using a fake ID to buy cigarettes is likely to
For businesses, the penalties are also severe. California operates a “three strikes, and you’re out” policy for businesses that furnish alcohol to minors. The first offense carries a fine of up to $3,000, with a mandatory license suspension for the second offense
Jayne Thompson earned an LL.B. in Law and Business Administration from the University of Birmingham and an LL.M. in International Law from the University of East London. She practiced in various “Big Law” firms before launching a career as a commercial writer. Her work has appeared on numerous legal blogs including Quittance, Upcounsel and Medical Negligence Experts.