How Do Bouncers Spot Fake IDs


The doormen are considered to be the ambassadors of a nightclub. To make sure they vet every person identifying themselves are legally fit to consume liquor. The doorman has to have a process of examining a person’s identity card before letting them in.

These steps can be explained in the following manner.

1. Having your ID in their hand: Once the customer hands their ID to a Bartender or Doorman, that is the only way they can identify it as legitimate or fake. In some instances, Kids will flip them in their wallet or keep in their pocket and show a glimpse; which is not acceptable for the establishment. This may arise suspicions already because you are restricting them to have a direct look at your ID.

You need to have good lighting to be able to examine the document. Nightclubs aren’t a great place for bright lighting. You might get away with minor flaws in a dark night club. Some Doorman likes to keep a reliable Flashlight that may work all night. That is the only instance when you may consider yourself unlucky.

Moving on, start the examining process. Try to stand in a position where a Bouncer cannot get a direct look or examine your face structure. Normally they get square to the person facing for identification. They Make sure you are standing straight forward to them as they look at your ID’s photo in the same angle.

The nightlife security professionals are trained to examine the customer’s facial structure and compare it with the cardholder’s photo. They may briefly examine the eyes, teeth, and chin of your face to that in the photo.

Make sure to use an extended expiration time for your fake Driver’s license. You also need to make sure that the expiry date matches the actual (DMV Expiry Dates) for the particular state ID.

For example, Washington state only allows 4-5 years expiry time-frames. So if your fake ID has an expiry duration that exceeds that then, the Bartender can easily spot your ID as fake.

2. Damage To the ID: The next thing to check is whether the ID is bent, punched or clipped. Most states will put a hole or punch in the ID if it’s secondary and that gives you an idea. So if it has any physical damage it means it is not legit.

3. Age on the ID: Bartenders are usually trained and their logical reasoning is enhanced. They will inspect the age on the ID and compare it to your physical appearance. The age obviously needs to be 21. If your age says less than 21 then obviously you will be denied entry.

4. OVD: Each ID should have minor details loaded for optical varied devices. This data is embedded inside of an ID. With the help of these Law Enforcement & Bar-security can identify whether an ID is real or forgery. It is important to note that each state ID has different OVD. For example, Florida comes with a golden ghost window & Massachusetts comes with a Kinegram(r).

5. Microprinting 

This a technique where minute details such as state name “FLORIDA” or “DELAWARE” in their respective state IDs are printed in micropatterns. They are usually embedded and laser-perforated through the card material.

A Doorman will inspect your ID and see if it has a printing sticker with a template or whether it is an actual ID printed on the cardstock. The legitimate (Fake IDs) usually come designed directly into the card material such as Teslin or Polycarbonate. There are also inferior fake licenses that you should stay away from as these print on stickers.

6. Engraving: Some state licenses have interior parts printed with laser engraved parts. This can also be specified as raised printing. These elements such as Signature, Date of Birth, Expiry Dates, License Issuing Dates are Tactile and can be felt with fingertips. Nightlife security is usually experienced so that they can feel the rigid parts in their hands.

7. Material: Teslin is a recommended substance for most state licenses. Georgia and Indiana Bouncers are known for bending IDs at will. Some ID makers use cheaply obtained PVC from the markets. The inferior PVC or plastic is used for School or College badges and identity cards. These are not intended to be used for DMV printing purposes.

Polycarbonate is now the most modernized adopted substance. The 2005 “Real ID Act” is now implemented in almost every state of the US. To avoid alterations and tampering with safeguards of each state ID; the DMV has introduced some unique security features for their identity cards. Some of these features cannot be embedded in a substance such as Teslin or PVC. Hence, almost 20 state IDs are now printed using Polycarbonate.

8. Encoding: Gone are the days when magnetic stripe or 2D codes would be easy to embed into the cardstock. As we mentioned earlier, Polycarbonate is a newly introduced substance for printing IDs and to adhere to QR and magnetic codes on the back are not as easy as it sounds.

9. License numbers: Each state ID has a different format of making up License numbers. Some IDs come with 8 digit and others with 10 digits. The formats for all are different.

10. Laminates: As long as your ID doesn’t peel off with bending you are fine. Inferior or fake IDs are usually made with stickers.

Jason Kray

Jason Kray was born in Yakima, Washington. He has written more than 100 reviews on novelty IDs keeping a close eye on "Fake ID Services" & their year-to-year performance.

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