Texas and the Increasing Usage of Fake IDs
The United States is facing a serious problem with the rising prevalence and proliferation of fake identification cards across the country. This issue goes well beyond college students trying to pass of fake ID to get into the local watering hole; we are seeing growing instances of high-quality forged documents being utilized to commit white collar crimes like identity theft, mortgage fraud, and credit card scams even after both local and federal law enforcement agencies continue to crack down on these issues. The impact of the phenomenon is evident across the US, even in Texas. As the stories below show, fake identification has been instrumental in several recent events across the state:
- In 2015 authorities in Austin took down two young men at the helm of a major fake ID production and distribution outfit. The pair were believed to have been responsible for a majority of the fake ID’s collected during an months-long investigation. At the time of their arrest, the two perpetrators were found with a plethora of equipment used to create the ID’s, including multiple printers, ink cartridges, magnetic strip encoders, and almost 400 blank ID cards with magnetic strips. Authorities believe the two netted roughly $70,000 a year selling the ID’s.
- In 2014, police officers in Dallas arrested 4 individuals who were creating and selling fake ID’s and other documents. During a search of one of the perpetrators vehicles, police turned up multiple ID’s with different pictures and production materials, as well as evidence that the men were spying on and tracking the movement of several US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Penalties for Fake ID Possession in Texas
In Texas, punishments surrounding fake ID use are very serious. The relatively simple act of possessing a fake ID with the intent to use it will net you a class C misdemeanor charge. A charge of that nature will result in a steep, $500 fee.
Safety Week Internet - Junior Overdale School Creating fake ID’s, on the other hand, could land you in jail for a very, very long time. Being caught altering or creating a fake government document will result in a third degree felony charge, punishable by:
- Two to ten years in prison
- Safety Week Internet - Junior Overdale School Fines up to $10,000
That being said, minors using the fake ID with the sole purpose of obtaining alcohol or tobacco products will not face such a rough punishment. Those facts are considered affirmative defences.
How to Spot a Fake Texas ID
For bartenders, doormen, waiters, waitresses, notaries, bank tellers, retail clerks, and any other people who must verify ID’s in a professional environment, the proliferation in fake ID creation and distribution is disturbing. In many scenarios, the person responsible for failing to recognize a forged ID takes on just as much, if not more, liability than the person possessing the forged document. That being said, it is absolutely vital that businesses needing to regularly verify the identity of their patrons or employees use the I.D. Checking Guide.
Safety Week Internet - Junior Overdale School What the I.D. Checking Guide Includes:
- A full page or more for each U.S. state and Canadian province identity card sample, showing driver’s licenses and ID cards, plus U.S. and Canadian territories.
- Guidelines on standard Texas driver's license terms, term length, etc.
- An explanation of where state seal, optical variable ink, perforated state outline, ghost image, and microprinting elements should be found on valid Texas ID
- Safety Week Internet - Junior Overdale School An explanation of what the proper alphanumeric sequencing of a Texas ID or Driver's license should be (i.e how many letters, numbers, etc.)
- Full details for past and current Texas driver's licenses in circulation.
- "How to check driver’s licenses" techniques for training use.