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How to Spot a Fake ID

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Spotting a fake ID can seem incredibly difficult, but as you’re checking IDs and driver’s licenses the next time you open the doors to your restaurant, bar, or store, here are some easy-to-remember features of real IDs that can help you spot the fake ones. Age Validators is dedicated to helping you to ensure that those you’re selling alcohol and tobacco products to are of legal age. Contact us today!

Grammar and Spelling

While this may seem like a no-brainer, incorrect grammar and spelling can be an obvious red flag of a fake ID. Check the spelling of not only the person in question’s name, but also of the state, county, city or town, and any other spelling on the card. If something appears off, listen to your instincts. It may end up being a fake driver’s license.

Holographics and Foils

If you move the card up and down and from left to right, the holographic or foil on a real ID card will shine with the light and should be in a certain shape, such as a state crest, shape, or name. If the edges seem fuzzy or incorrect, then you could be holding a fake ID card.


Probably the easiest way to nullify a fake ID, the microprint is incredibly small writing that may appear to be a straight line across the card, but when magnified 10 times, it will be readable. This is extremely difficult to reproduce, so if the writing is illegible when magnified or simply a black solid line with no text, then the ID you’re inspecting is indeed fake.


The edge of a legitimate driver’s license or government-issued ID card is uniform and smooth. Fake IDs are typically made of several different layers which can appear bulky or even pull apart from each other. You can try bending the card slightly and check the edges to ensure that the card you’re inspecting is real or fake. If you’re still unsure, you can compare the card you’re inspecting with a real driver’s license or ID.

Scan the Card

With how advanced fake IDs are now, the card in question may pass all of the normal tests. Scan or swipe the ID using your ID scanner, and if the magnetic stripe doesn’t scan, then the ID is definitely fake. The encoding of the stripe is extremely expensive, so a fake ID won’t typically scan. If it does, check the name of the card with the name that appears on the scanner and also the DMV number, if it’s there.

Age Validators is dedicated to giving you the tools to correctly identify real and fake ID cards and driver’s licenses. Stop worrying about serving underage patrons or selling alcohol or tobacco products to customers below the legal age. We have ID scanners specifically for every state in America, so you can easily choose which scanner is correct for your business wherever you are in the country. Contact Age Validators and get your ID scanner today