How common are fake IDs?

McLovin fake ID from Superbad

Last updated on March 19th, 2024 at 03:24 pm

The use of fake IDs is a widespread problem, and the exact prevalence of fake IDs is difficult to determine and most owners of fraudulent identification are not keen to admit they’re breaking the law, or have their ID confiscated.

For example, a study by the Alcoholic Beverage Control in California estimated that there are over 1 million fake IDs in circulation in the state alone. And the number of fake IDs seized by the agency has increased by over 20% in the past five years.

A study by the Driver’s License Guide found that over 20% of college students have used or plan to use a fake ID.

A study by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign found that the number of fake IDs seized by law enforcement has increased significantly in recent years.

Fake ID statistic infographic

With technology advancing and fake IDs becoming harder to spot, countless businesses are being slapped with fines every single day. In this article, we take a look at some statistics on fake IDs, and how you can catch them using AI Powered identity verification software. 

How Many Fake IDs Are In Circulation?

While exact numbers are unclear, one study found that 12.5% of high school students admitted to possession of fake ID, and 32.2% college students under the age of 21 admitted to possession as well. To narrow those statistics down even further, one cross sectional study found that 7.5% of youths aged 18-20 years old reported using a fake ID within the last month.

Which Cities Have The Highest Prevalence of Fake ID Usage?

Some cities are known to be hotspots for the production and use of fake IDs.

Cities with large college populations, such as Boston, New York, and Los Angeles, are often seen as having higher rates of fake ID use due to the high demand for alcohol among college students.

Other cities, such as Miami and Las Vegas, are known for their nightlife and tourist attractions, and have a high demand for fake IDs due to the large number of people looking to enter bars, clubs, and casinos.

In addition, cities with high immigration populations may also have higher rates of fake ID use, as individuals may seek fake IDs in order to obtain employment or other services.

What are the Fake IDs being used for and where are they coming from?

Despite restrictions on the sale of alcohol to persons under 21 years of age, a whopping 51% of college students under the legal drinking age reported how easy it was for them to obtain alcohol. Of that percentage, 18% admitted the alcohol was purchased using a fake ID. So how are all these minors obtaining these fake IDs? 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. 

How do you catch fake IDs?

With technology advancing at an unprecedented rate, fake IDs are becoming more realistic every day. State governments have tried combatting this by adding microchips, holograms, UV imaging, tactile features, etc., but with all these new features, it makes it hard for the naked eye to spot a very good fake ID. This is where technology comes into play. There are ID scanners on the market that can take images of the ID using different UV lighting to check for holograms and other security features. However, that’s not all they are capable of. Using AI powered software , the ID is compared against a known database of fake IDs, which allows for the most accurate ID validation and age verification on the market. 

With local governments cracking down on the sale of age restricted products to minors, the time to act is now! Don’t get hit with fines, or even jail time. Contact one of our industry experts and let us find the best possible solution to ensure your business remains compliant.