10 Common Reactions Bouncers Have to Fake IDs


[I]t is estimated that at least two thirds of a US college campus has at some point used a fake ID to drink alcohol or party. 

With so many fakes passing through the eyes of vigilant bouncers and security personnel, you can expect a large portion of them being caught as fakes. 

Just about every bouncer has been to their fair share of fakes. And because of this, they’ve developed some common reactions to noticing fakes. Here are some of them:

10 – “No”

Often times, a bouncer just doesn’t want to deal with you. They’d rather be somewhere else, anywhere else than guarding a club from underage teens. 

When a bouncer delivers a swift “no”, he means it. It’s a simple yet effective way of saying “You aren’t getting in and I won’t go through the effort of explaining it since we both know why”. 

Sometimes he’ll even couple it up by crossing his arms and glaring at you. The bouncer knows that you know that he knows you’re using a fake ID. All he wants to do is end the conversation as quick as possible.

9 – They Spot You from a Mile Away and Shake Their Head

Bouncers aren’t an elite force of badasses that are trained to handle ID scrutiny. But what they do have is years of experience and dozens of IDs passing through their hands. 

Trust one when he tells you that he can spot a fake ID just by looking at it or holding it. That’s why if a bouncer manages to fish out your fake ID, you should just move on. 

Bouncers are usually able to latch on to details like whether or not you look old enough or if your ID has the same feel to it. All it takes is that subtle disapproving nod to tell you to try your luck elsewhere. 

8 – They Laugh it Up

For a bouncer, the name of the game is being able to catch fakes with precision and accuracy. But if they come across an ID that’s blatantly fake, then it can be a cause for some comedic moments. 

It’s possible that your local bouncer has had some well-designed fake IDs that he has caught and some that he hasn’t. So when you hand him something that resembles a third grade art project, it can be enough to send him into a fit of laughter at your expense.

7 – “Get a better fake next time”

Bouncers have seen it all. From badly designed basement fakes to high tier stuff that comes across the border. You bet they’re going to have some idea of an ID’s quality. 

When you hand them a fake and they respond by telling you can do better, then it’s not necessarily a loss. 

While you might interpret their words as “Your ID wasn’t good enough”, some might actually mean to say something along the lines “You were almost there”. 

Whether you take this as a sign of defeat or a hint to try again, it’s certainly better than having them laugh in your face.

6 – “Sorry, can’t let you through”

Not every rejection has to be a flashy show of words or actions from a bouncer. Sometimes they just want to clearly let you know that you aren’t getting through. 

While some bouncers might sneer or snarl at you until you go away, others take a bit more of a diplomatic approach. 

By politely telling you they can’t let you in, they’re letting you know that it’s nothing personal and they just have to follow the rules. 

There are several reasons why they would do this, maybe they don’t want to cause a scene, maybe they don’t want to lose you as a customer when you get older, or maybe they’re just nice in general. 

5 – They Confiscate Your Fake ID

Part of being a bouncer is knowing when to side with the law. And one of the results of that is making sure you can’t use your fake ID again. 

A lot of the times, your bouncer will simply confiscate your fake ID. This is so you don’t attempt to try your luck later. But it might also just be there for the business as proof if they’re ever accused of letting you buy alcohol. 

Getting your fake ID confiscated can suck but it is one of the most common reactions that you can get. 

4 – They Whisk You Aside and Shout “Next”

A bouncer doesn’t want to have to deal with you any longer than he should. After all, his only job is being a gatekeeper. 

Image Courtesy: Times of Israel

So when a bouncer sees you brandish a fake ID, he’ll be tempted to just ignore you as a subtle way of telling you to go away. This tends to happen at some of the busier bars or night clubs where you can expect long waiting lines. 

If you get put to the side and ignored, don’t take it personally. If It makes you feel any better, you probably weren’t going to get in anyway.  

3 – They Try to Sell Your Fake Back to You

Being a bouncer isn’t a celebrated or respected profession. It might help pay the bills but that’s all it is at the end of the day. So when a bouncer sees as opportunity to make some cash on the side, he might go for it. 

When your fake ID gets yanked, you can’t do a whole lot to get it back. You definitely can’t just go to the police and tell them someone took your illegal possession. 

This is why some bouncers see this as a way to make their night better. They’ll ask you to slide them some 20s or 30s to get your fake ID back. 

To them it’s just a worthless piece of plastic they’ll trash anyway. But to you it might be worth a lot more.

2 – They Give You a Stern Warning and Tell You to Leave

Bouncers know that when you use a fake ID, you’re taking a risk that you don’t want to end badly. 

That’s why the most common approach to deal with you isn’t with kindness or contempt. It’s to remind you that you’re doing something illegal. 

An experienced bouncer knows that you’re likely to bolt as soon you find out that they’ll be calling the police. They don’t actually want to go through the hassle of doing it but they know it’s the nuclear option. 

When a bouncer gives you a warning, they’re doing it to make you disappear without wasting their time. In these situations, it’s best to cut your losses and bail. 

1 – “This Isn’t You”

The most common phrase that any bouncer or store clerk has ever muttered upon seeing a fake ID being used is “This isn’t you”.

There are several ways to interpret this. Sometimes it’s used literally to tell you that you’re not the person on the ID itself. 

The more widely used method is to try and guilt trip you. They’re silently telling you to stand down and act like the good little boy/girl they think you are. 

Another common use of the phrase is to try and fish out something out of you. They might suspect that you’re using a fake ID but not be completely sure. By telling you something mildly disapproving, they’re trying to catch a reaction out of you to confirm their suspicions. 

Whether or not it is you depends on you and not them. But if they’ve caught wind of your fake ID, then it’s best to not try your luck anyway. 

Iulia Van

Born & grown up in Frankfort, Kentucky. Iulia works as a part-time Waitress in Stewarts Brewing Company. Having gathered valuable experience in serving cocktails, Iulia is a freelance writer focusing mainly on nightlife and related stuff.

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