So you’re on the trail to finding your way to freedom. You are done sitting back, watching your friends go out on the town, and leaving you on the couch. To minimize these risks, you need to do your research and figure out just what things you should be looking out for.

You have to be 21 these days to not only drink but also enter nightclubs and dispensaries, gamble, and even purchase nicotine products in some cases. But you know as much as the next guy purchasing a fake ID comes with risks.

Sure, back in the day, you could get a fake ID from a friend in the dorm room down the hall. A bit of laminating and some good copy, and bam, you had your golden ticket.  

However, in recent years, states have been cracking down on fake IDs, making it harder and harder for their IDs to be reproduced. They have mastered the fine art of photo-taking. We are certain you’ve probably seen their fine skills on your own ID.

There are some things even in the photos that will give your fake ID away. There are holograms in some cases and raised textures. There are magnetic stripes that contain valuable information, micro printing, and more.  

To complicate things further, there are different things to look for in the different states. There’s a lot to take in, so buckle up and grab a pen and paper, as this is going to be a list you are not going to want to miss.


Before we even start on the technical details of a fake ID, you should probably start with how believable the ID will be. Sure, people are traveling all the time around the country; however, you are probably going to be using this id at the same spots. Because of this, step back and make sure it makes sense.

Do you have a southern drawl? If so, you probably shouldn’t be trying to use an ID from New York or Massachusetts. Things like this will make you look very suspicious. Do people from the Carolinas move to New York or Massachusetts?

Of course! But let’s try to keep things as realistic as possible in this area. Also, people cross state lines to go to school all the time, but not as much across the entire country. These are also things that you need to keep in mind when on the market.

Do you have access to a real ID from the state you are considering? That would be the best scenario, as you can then look at both side by side for comparisons. Remember, IDs are changing all the time, too, so be sure that your birthday and the date issued match what version that state was issuing at the time.


The font is actually a big one. Every state has its own style of putting the same information onto the ID. The font or how the letters are formed will be a dead giveaway if it doesn’t match.

Be sure that it matches each line item, as it’s very common for the states to change up the font and use different styles and sizes in different areas. There is even something called microprinting, which you’ll also need to look out for.

Microprinting is very small lettering in a very small pattern that isn’t easily replicated. The lettering is so small that you will need a magnifying glass to see what the print reads or the design.


To further complicate things, you have holograms. These are found in various state IDs. When these were first introduced, manufacturers of fake IDs had a hard time replicating them.

However, the manufacturers, in most cases, have caught up to the technology and offer some pretty good replicas. But you need to remember to check them. Each state has its own types of holograms, different birds, letters, and such. For instance, Massachusetts uses a Kinegram instead of a hologram.

You want to be sure that your fake ID has the correct hologram on it for the state it was supposedly issued from. You should be able to view the hologram when moving the ID back and forth under light. 

Imagine holding your potential ticket to adulthood in your hand. Close your eyes (figuratively, of course) and run your fingertips over its surface. Feel that? Real IDs have a substantial weight like they’re saying, “Hey, I’m official!” They’re not flimsy or paper-thin; instead, they have a reassuring heft that screams authenticity.

But it’s not just about the weight—oh no, we’re getting more intimate than that. Pay attention to the texture as your fingers glide across the ID.

Legitimate IDs often have a smooth yet slightly matte finish that feels… well, legit. If it feels like you’re holding a laminated piece of cardboard from elementary school, chances are it’s not going to pass.

Now, let’s talk about rough edges – the telltale signs of a counterfeit in disguise. Run your fingers along the edges of the ID. Do you feel any jagged edges or rough patches? If so, you’ll need to try to file those down. Authentic IDs are crafted with precision. This precision offers smooth, clean edges that are a testament to their quality.

Furthermore, some states have raised textures on their IDs. If your ID is from one of those states, your fake should have the same texture. This texture should be clean and smooth, just like the edges. Read IDs don’t have various jagged edges or bumps in their texture.


You thought we were kidding when we said they had perfected their photos, but we are certainly not. The states all have a different type of photo background that has been perfected to the exact color throughout the state. This color needs to be replicated in the photo your fake has.  

Let’s zoom in on the eyes. They say they are the windows to the soul, but in this case, they might just be the giveaway to spotting a fake ID.

Take a good, long look at the person staring back at you from the photo. Are they giving off major deer-in-headlights vibes? If so, you might want to proceed with caution. Authentic IDs usually feature individuals who appear relaxed, confident, and ready to take on the world (or at least the dance floor).

Now, let’s talk about the quality of the photo. Does it look like it was snapped in a shady back alley photo booth with questionable lighting? If the answer is yes, then you might be dealing with a counterfeit.

Real IDs typically boast clear, high-resolution photos that look like they belong in a passport – crisp, clean, and ready for their close-up.

So, the next time you scrutinize a potential fake ID, remember to give the photo a thorough once-over. Look for confident smiles, clear images, and believable backgrounds. If the id photo passes the test with flying colors, you might just have stumbled upon the real deal. 

This should go without saying, but the photo should also look like YOU!


Let’s dive into the world of words, where every letter counts and every typo tells a tale. Checking for spelling errors is like embarking on a treasure hunt for the truth, and boy, is it an adventure!

First things first, let’s focus on the name. It’s the bread and butter of any ID, the one thing that ties it all together. Take a magnifying glass to that name – is it spelled correctly? Are all the letters in the right order? Is it a name that is believable? Or if you say it out loud, does it make you want to giggle? You don’t want a name like Harry Whole or Sharon Cox, just saying.

Next up is the birthdate—the magic number that unlocks the door to adulthood. Give it a once-over and make sure everything adds up. Do the day, month, and year align with what you’d expect? If not, it’s time to sound the alarm bells. Also, you can’t have a date of February 30th, as that would be a dead giveaway.

Additionally, you’ll want to examine any other text on the ID—the address, the issuing authority, the license number—you name it. Are there any glaring errors or inconsistencies? If something seems off, trust your gut—it’s probably trying to tell you something.

Now, let’s discuss the importance of attention to detail. Spelling errors aren’t just a sign of laziness or carelessness—they’re a red flag waving in the breeze, begging to be noticed. Counterfeiters might think they can slip a sneaky typo past you, but we know better than that. 

Remember, in the world of fake IDs, spelling errors are the smoking gun – so don’t let them go unnoticed.

Up until now, we have been talking mostly about common sense stuff. However, these things are often overlooked, as when you receive your fake ID, you’re so excited that common sense may take a backseat.

But the next critical part of spotting a fake ID is the security features for that ID. These can vary by state, so it’s important that you do your research to ensure you understand what security features your ID needs to process.  

  1. UV Markings – The invisible ink of the ID world. Grab yourself a trusty blacklight, and let’s go hunting. Shine that UV light on the ID and watch as the hidden markings come to life. Every authentic US identification card comes with UV elements that are visible under blacklight. The intricate patterns or text that reveal themselves only to those in the know. If you’re met with nothing but darkness, it’s time to proceed with caution – you might just be dealing with a fake.
  2. Watermarks – Think of them as the fingerprint of the ID world – unique, subtle, and oh-so-telling. Hold the ID up to the light and take a closer look. Do you see any faint images or designs embedded in the paper? If so, you might just have struck gold. Watermarks are a common security feature in many legitimate IDs, and their absence could be a red flag.

Security features aren’t just for show—they’re the telltale signs of a legitimate ID. This is why it is so very important that the ID you purchase has these features. Counterfeiters might try to mimic the look of a real ID, but they often overlook these crucial details. That’s where your keen eye—and trusty blacklight—come into play.

Getting a fake ID can be a rite of passage for many young adults, and we’re all about embracing the adventure (within reason, of course).

So, go forth and conquer, but remember to use your newfound knowledge. Cheers to the thrill of the chase and the joy of finally being able to flash that ID with pride. Just remember to drink responsibly, stay safe, and, most importantly, have fun!

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