How To Spot a California Fake ID – Detailed Review

California fake ids are now more common than ever. However, the business owners who need to check id before they sell or give service to a customer face considerable losses.

Many liquor bars have been fined for serving liquor to a minor, and some faced license termination.

It is estimated that 72% American teenagers in California use fake IDs of their respective state to indulge in alcoholism.


To tackle this problem, the California Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control has developed a FLAG system. This system helps the business owners or employees detect a fake id card.

However, sometimes the employees can tell by observation if a person presents a phony id.


Here are directives that will help company owner or employee detect a forged California ID card.

1. Observe the individual giving the id

Most individuals who give fake ids have shown the following behavior.

  • They refuse to make eye contact. They will look everywhere except your face.
  • The cardholder will try to involve the person in authority in a conversation. This is his/her’s attempt to distract them.
  • Ask counter questions rather than giving answers.
  • They will get agitated if the employee or owner asks any questions.
  • Their voice pitch will also increase when answering questions you ask them.

If the person in authority sees any of these behavioral patterns, then they should check the id thoroughly.

2. Consider their age

When a person comes to buy liquor, the first question the server should be asking is about their age. This is a requirement by the law agency.

Often undercover agents (who are underage) try to buy alcohol, and if they succeed, the liquor license of that place is terminated. If the doorman asks their age, then the agents must tell their real age by law. This question can save a lot of damage.

3. F = Feel of the card

A fake id can easily be caught if the person checking the ids knows how a fake id can feel.

  • Examine the id in your hand, if there are any lumps or bumps on the ID. They will usually be near the photo or the birth date.
  • Minors often cut paste on real id and laminate it. The laminations can be felt easily once the card is in the checker’s hand.
  • The real California ID has a slight course on its back. Fake id makers often don’t incorporate this feature in the ID.
  • The (2020 California fake licenses) comprises of three layers which are heated up. The heat bonds up the layer so tightly that no one can loosen the layers unless the card is destroyed if the checker feels that the ID card is fake. They can try separating layers by using a sharp object. If the layers separate, then the card presented is phony.
  • The top edge of the California id is sharp and flat; meanwhile, the underside is smooth. If the ID card doesn’t feel like this, chances are it is a fake id card.

You can also swipe the card’s magnetic strip against the card reader to check authenticity, but don’t rely on it as fake id makers have already reproduced this feature.

4. L=Look

Here are a signs to look out for when checking an id. The checker might also require a flashlight to make these checks.

  • Look at the expiration date; millennials often try to use their relative’s expired id to get alcohol or to enter a club. If the card is expired, don’t accept it.
  • The portrait picture on the ID of a minor will be on the left side of the card. Meanwhile, the picture of an adult will be on the right.
  • The barcode of every California id has the same three lines thick line, medium line, and thin line. The checker can see the barcode by help of a flashlight. (Read more on how each country encodes their identity cards).
  • California ids have a microprint. It is usually on the top blue line of DMV letters. It is easily missed by vendors.
  • Unique Typeface – The forgery makers often place these in the wrong position or misspell it.
  • The ID card also mentions the eye color of the holder. If millennial tries to use someone else’s id, they might not notice these details and tell you the wrong color.
  • The signature on the California id is smaller than the standard size. Forged cards have a normal-sized signature, which is in blue or black ink.
  • If someone uses a real id that doesn’t belong to them, then there is a high chance that the weight and height of the individual might not match with the one written on the id.
  • If the person presenting the ID does not look 21, don’t accept their ID even if it feels real. It is best to check more details.

If the person has passed all previous checks and you still feel something is amiss. Then ask these questions, Fake id holders are often unable to answer and get confused when answering.

  • Ask them about their driver’s license number and their zip code. Minors are often unaware of these numbers.
  • Month in which they were born, fake id holders respond with the number of the month rather than the name.
  • Ask them if they have any other identification document, and fake id holders will be able to produce one. Meanwhile, the real id holders will insist on using that id.

5. G= Give it back

If the id passes all these tests and you are sure then let them in the club or make the transaction. If you are still unsure, you can decline to the sale. It is always better to be safe than to lose your license or be heavily fined.

6. Actions to take when you finally spot the California fake ID?

Here are some ways in which you can deal with the fake id you have detected.

  • Some companies have procedures in place which allow them to seize the ID. Along with taking the id, the company has to produce receipts.
  • One receipt will be attached to the forged id, and the other copy will be put in company records. Lastly, the seized id should be handed over to the local authorities within 24 hours.
  • Many companies that don’t have the power to seize the id. So they return the ID without doing the transaction. The fake id holder might use the ID at another place.

There are law enforcement officers that patrol the cities at night. The company can call them up.

The officer will verify the id with an id scanner. Once proved, the fake Id holder will be liable to fine, which can vary depending on the fraud they were trying to commit.

We hope that this guide will help employees and business owners detect fake ID cards and save themselves from possible losses, hefty fines, and license terminations.

Please follow and like us:

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *