Growing use of fake IDs by minors problematic for bars, restaurants, and dispensaries

Pile of confiscated fake IDs

Use of fake IDs is helping dangerous underage drinking proliferate. A recent Detroit-area car crash injured 6 passengers. The driver was booked for a DUI after using a fake ID to buy drinks at a local bar. Cities such as Lubbock, Charleston, Madison, and New York City have all announced major initiatives to crack down on fake ID usage via fines and arrests, but a 2021 survey of college students said that a whopping 69% claim to have used or owned a fake ID.

“Most bars and nightclubs think any scanning of an ID is catching fakes, but the reality is most ID scanning apps are just verifying age; they don’t catch any fake IDs at all.”

Terry Slattery, CEO

Cracking down on ID manufacturers is difficult, as most fake IDs are manufactured abroad, and often sold on the internet for as little as $20. While many bartenders expect fake IDs to be obvious, like the McLovin ID in the film “Superbad,” these foreign fakes are sophisticated and typically will pass a visual inspection as well as a barcode scan.

McLovin fake ID from Superbad has partnered with global technology provider, Thales, to offer an affordable solution capable of catching 95% of fake IDs. The solution utilizes a Thales CR5400 or Thales AT10K scanning device, and can perform UV/IR/White light scanning, as well six-image capture that allows for’s proprietary software to check against hologram and watermark libraries. These features, in addition to hundreds of proprietary checks, are capable of finding anomalies in even the best-produced fake IDs.

“Most bars and nightclubs think any scanning of an ID is catching fakes, but the reality is most ID scanning apps are just verifying age; they don’t catch any fake IDs at all. Even companies with more sophisticated tech simply can’t do it without specialty hardware. We’ve partnered with best-in-class hardware because we know how important fake ID detection and ID authentication is to our nightlife customers,” said CEO Terry Slattery. “With Thales products you know that the hardware can truly put an ID through its paces and do it very quickly.”

The Thales scanners come pre-integrated with’s VeriScan Authentication software, which not only verifies the ID, but parses ID information directly into a visitor management system. This can help deter troublemakers by managing banned lists and prevent chargebacks by proving who was on-site on the night of large purchases.

The VeriScan solution is currently in use by thousands of bars, nightclubs, and venues across North America, but predicts surging interest as states crack down on underage drinking. Several states such as Nevada, Illinois, and Utah have already put regulations in place that require use of a digital ID scanner for purchase of age restricted products, and others like New York are considering overhauling their existing approach.

About is the leading AI-powered identity verification platform focusing on age validation and fraud reduction for high compliance industries. We have enhanced digital and physical environments for more than 7,500 customers including IBM, Jack Henry, Shell, AMC Theaters, Trader Joe’s, and Circa Casinos.

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