Fake IDs

The Hidden Problem among America’s Youth.

Gianni Gonzales, Staff Writer

Cheaters never win. Many teenagers resort to underhanded tactics in order to get good grades and have access to unauthorized places. There are multiple reasons as to why they do this, reasons including: laziness, smoking, partying and buying drugs; a way they do this is by searching for answers online. Another tactic is by using fake IDs. Fake IDs are surprisingly prevalent among high-schoolers and college students. “Estimates suggest 15 percent of pre-college teens and 32.2 percent of college students confessed to owning a fake ID,” according to Veriff.com. This statistic shows proof that fake IDs are a dilemma with teenagers today.

Fake IDs have many usages. They are used for underage drinking, identity theft, public benefit fraud and human trafficking. For instance, “51 percent of college students under the age of 21 have been reported to easily get access to drink alcohol at bars. 18 percent of those students admitted using fake IDs while doing this,” according to Idscan.net.com. This statistic shows that many businesses these days are careless in determining if someone is under the legal drinking age. If things like these continue to persist, the society of America will be filled with people who use fake IDs on a daily basis, which will result in many issues. Thankfully, there are already many ways to stop this. Technology like scanners and AI powered software prove useful in detecting fake IDs. Scanners take images of IDs using UV lighting to check for holograms and other security measures, and then the ID is compared against a known database of fake IDs. The AI powered software allows for the most accurate ID validation and age verification on the market.

It is considered a crime to be in the possession and usage of fake IDs. Penalties include jail time, fines and community service. Fines vary depending on the state the crime was committed, and these fines can even cost thousands of dollars. Furthermore, not only is the punishment meted out to the person in possession of the fake ID, but the business itself could be in trouble as well. “If a business allows someone with a fake ID to purchase alcohol or access their services, then they face huge regulatory punishments,” according to Veriff.com. This furthermore emphasizes on how fake IDs are a real unrecognized problem in the US. The government and other officials are ensuring that the usage of fake IDs comes to a complete stop and are taking strict measures in doing so. However, laws governing fake IDs differ in each state, so some consequences may be less severe than others. For example, Florida’s Real ID ensures that people are allowed to travel abroad and enter federally guarded structures. After the REAL ID Act became effective nationwide in 2008, Florida began to put stars in the upper right corner of ID cards and new driver licenses. This is to make sure that the cards are REAL-ID compliant, and there are also some documentation requirements that further ensure the proper individuals get their cards (No risk of terrorist or criminal faking their identity to have a star on their card). For people who are applying for their first legal card, one of the things they must do is, “bring original documents that validate their identity, Social Security Number (SSN) and residential address,” according to flhsmv.gov.

It furthermore proves that fake IDs have been a solution of some sort to underaged people who want to smoke, drink alcohol, buy drugs and go driving. It has been increasingly difficult for teenagers to do this though. A senior named Eric describes his experience in using fake IDs. “My life isn’t much different with a fake ID because I’ve always had friends my age or older with fakes,” Eric said. “So I guess the only difference would be the convenience to go out and buy illegal contraband on my own,” according to thecampanile.org. This quote states how widespread the usage of fake IDs are among young adults. Fake IDs have been so common that they are accustomed to using them everyday instead of obtaining them through legal means. But in the end, fake IDs will not help. “Eric, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, bought a fake ID at the start of his senior year, but not many new doors were opened to him once he had it,” according to thecampanile.org. Fake IDs not only restrict people from certain areas, but they could impede the progress and plans that they have for life, possibly ruining their chances into getting to their dream universities or jobs, for example.

Many states have recently been imposing tighter security on IDS cards, making it impossible to change the information on the ID. These fake IDs are made and exported mostly from multiple Asian countries. “One seizure from Cincinnati revealed that of the 14,000 fake IDs confiscated in 2020, 97% of those were shipped from either Hong Kong or China.” According to idscan.net, This quote tells us that foreign countries are also responsible for the increased usage of fake IDs in the US. The statistic itself warns us about the hidden dangers and issues that are in America that are barely talked about. It shows us how outside factors can be detrimental to a certain area if nothing is done about those factors. It furthermore shows us that further protection and solutions need to be made in order to stop these dilemmas from happening, such as making the technology in order to detect these and placing more security around harbors to check what is in the cargo (to ensure if the material inside is beneficial and ok to people, not harmful and bad).