The 5 most common security features on IDs and drivers licenses

ultraviolet light id authentication / fake id detection

Last updated on March 19th, 2024 at 02:41 pm

Verifying the authenticity of a driver’s license and other forms of identification is one of the smartest things a business can do to protect its interests and foster growth. These security features help separate legitimate IDs and drivers licenses from fraudulent ones. But do you know what common security features to check for ID verification?

As the threat of identity fraud rises, customers want to know that the establishments they patronize take the threat of identity theft and fraud seriously. In some industries, verifying a driver’s license common security features isn’t just about building customer relationships and business reputation – it’s required by law.

But how can a business tell if a driver’s license presented to them is actually valid? By checking for the most common security features included on official forms of identification, businesses can be reasonably sure whether an ID is legitimate or whether they’ve come across a fake. These security features are extremely difficult to imitate, and taking the time to carefully check an ID to make sure they are present is the first step in accurate authentication.


Hologram features are unique security elements that allow for three-dimensional effects to be seen on flat surfaces. Composed of nano-structures that refract light in a specific way, holograms are created by recording the pattern that results from the interference of two light waves. To form these patterns, the beam of a single laser is split in two and the interaction of these wavefronts at a specific length will cause the illusion to appear. This can only be done using highly specialized optical equipment in a laboratory environment that meticulously controls various factors, such as equipment vibration and air temperature.

Hologram check on Pennsylvania ID


Microprinting refers to the use of microscopic patterns on a document or ID card that cannot be reproduced through conventional photocopying devices. Unlike holograms, microprint is typically not visible to the naked eye and requires magnification to verify. This technique is commonly used in various currencies around the world, but is also widely incorporated into driver’s licenses and other forms of identification.

microprint security feature on ID

Infrared markings

Infrared is another light wavelength that is longer than white light. Most IDs and drivers licenses contain infrared elements such as name, ID number, and an infrared version of the ID photo. Infrared scanners can check for the presence of these markings, or reveal marks that should not be present.

infrared light fake ID detection / authentication

UV ink

Ultraviolet (UV) security features are another form of specialized printing that covertly hides images and text on an ID that can only be seen with the help of a UV light source. Similar to holograms, these features can be highly complex, multicolored images that are almost impossible to reproduce without the right equipment, resources, and environmental conditions. Businesses can use UV LEDs, also known as black lights, that cause the ink to fluoresce and emit visible light that can be easily seen with the naked eye. This is sometimes known as an “ID light test.”

Maryland written in green UV ink security feature

2D barcode “tells”

The 2D barcode on the back of an ID contains all the same information as the front of the ID. However, not every state formats this data in the same way. For example, Idaho may fully spell out the hair color in the coded information inside the ID’s barcode (“brown”) while Hawaii uses an abbreviation (“brn”). When using sophisticated ID scanning software, the software can look and ensure the data is conforming to the expected format for that state. This is another critical security feature to look for on IDs.

Back of a colorado drivers license

Technological solutions for ID verification

While looking for the most common security features for ID verification is a good step in protecting a business, its customers, and its investors, counterfeiters are continually refining their methods to reproduce these features as much as possible. Particularly for businesses that experience periods of high-volume that increase demands on limited staff, such as bars and dispensaries, fake IDs are becoming increasingly difficult to spot and mistakes can be made in the heat of the moment.

That’s why businesses need to integrate ID authentication into their establishments to minimize their risks. provides these solutions to companies, taking the guesswork out of verification with comprehensive technological solutions and services – including a mobile ID and scanner app that lets businesses quickly verify the authenticity of a driver’s license from the point of sale or point of entry.

Don’t place the responsibility of verifying IDs solely on the shoulders of your team members. Give them the tools they need to get the job done right every time. For help choosing the perfect solution for your business, contact one of our team members or schedule a demo to see our products in action.