Fox Valley bars crack down on fake IDs as a new college semester approaches

FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WLUK) — As students prepare to head off or return to college, many local bars will be on extra alert. One Appleton bar recently showed off its stash of fake IDs.

D2 Sports Pub in downtown Appleton is no stranger when it comes to dealing with fake IDs.

“We are probably averaging anywhere from six to 10 a week,” said manager Bradley Stelow.

Stelow says his bar has collected more than 2,000 fakes since 2016.

Fake IDs in a binder seen on August 18, 2022. (Photo Courtesy: WLUK)

“There’s definitely cases where cops were involved. Some of them may have gotten lost. Some of them might have even broke just by grabbing on to them,” said Stelow when talking about collected fake IDs.

According to Wisconsin law, no person may make, alter, duplicate, provide or knowingly provide other documentation to an underage person, showing that the underage person is over 21.

Oshkosh Police Sergeant Todd Wrage says those citations can come with big consequences, including jail time from 10 to 30 days.

“Penalties range from $300 up to $1,200 and can also include suspension of operating privileges,” said Wrage.

A sign regarding fake IDs hangs in D2 Sports Pub in Appleton on August 18, 2022. (Photo Courtesy: WLUK)

Wrage says they hand out fake ID citations frequently during the school year.

“The local taverns are very good at calling us when they recover fake IDs from juveniles or underage drinkers trying to come in,” said Wrage.

If you’re asking how common fake IDs are, around 32% of college students under the age of 21 admitted to having one.

According to, 51% of college students under 21 reported how easy it was for them to get alcohol. Of that percentage, 18% admitted the alcohol was bought using a fake ID.

Some fakes duplicate real IDs regarding address and their picture. The only difference: the birthday.

“Even sometimes the plastic on top isn’t real,” said Stelow. “You’re putting everyone’s job on the line. You’re putting their careers at risk, coming in here trying to have a little fun.”

“I think it’s a good conversation to have with a son or daughter that’s heading off to college,” said Wrage, “just to help them understand what the ramifications of that behavior is.”