Alabama's Growing Fake ID Problem
The United States has a problem with a growing proliferation of fake identification cards across the nation. Many of these fake IDs come from increasingly sophisticated counterfeiters located overseas with highly sophisticated equipment, but that still doesn’t stop the average Joe from forging IDs with PhotoShop and a scanner. The impact of the phenomenon is evident in all 50 states, and the state of Alabama is no exception. The impact of the phenomenon can be seen the following stories:
- An Alabama man accused of running a sophisticated ID theft ring was found and arrested in Ohio earlier this monthcom Shots Jello Recipe Ideas—delish Halloween 20, and will be extradited back the Alabama to face charges. The three men used a foreclosed home near the Huntsville Airport as their base of operations, where deputies performing a routine eviction discovered a significant amount of ID and social security information, along with foreign currency from Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Middle East.
- Authorities and establishments in Gulf Shores, a popular Spring Break destination in Alabama, reported confiscating "thousands" of fake IDs last spring. Gulf Shores police made almost 500 arrests during the month of March, a vast majority of those being related to minors possessing, or trying to acquire alcohol, illegally. One local bar reported confiscating over 400 fake IDs alone, all varying in levels of quality and sophistication.
The Penalties for Fake ID possession in Alabama
The state of Alabama classifies the use of a fake ID as a class 1 misdemeanor, and carries a penalty of a possible six month jail sentence, 3 years of probation, and/or a fine of up to $2,500. On top of that, the Alabama Department of Transportation will suspend your driver's license for six months (should you not have a driver's license, then the DOT will ban you from applying for one for six months). Penalties for possessing and using a fake ID vary in Alabama, depending on the situation regarding the arrest. For cases involving a minors, which are almost always tied to possession of alcohol or using a fake ID to try and get alcohol, the offender will be charged with a misdemeanor and receive a fine between 50$ and $500 and a jail sentence of up to three monthsQuest March In Mary - Magazine Honolulu Bloody Hawaii 2012 A. Additional penalties include the suspension of the offenders' driver's license for three to six months.
In other cases, possession and use of a fake or altered ID is considered a class B felony. A class B felony carries a punishment of a jail sentence up to six months long, and a fine of up to $1000, but the actual punishment can and will vary based on the situation.
How to Spot a Fake Alabama ID
For bartenders, doormen, waiters, waitresses, notaries, bank tellers, retail clerks, and any other individuals who must verify ID in a professional capacity, the recent surge in fake ID production and possession is troubling. Often times the party responsible for failing to spot a fake ID assumes just as much, or even more, liability than the party that presented the ID. Therefore, it is imperative that businesses needing to regular verify the identification of their patrons use the I.D. Checking Guide.
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- A full page or more for each U.S. state and Canadian province identity card sample, showing driver’s licenses and ID cards, plus U.S. and Canadian territories.
- Guidelines on standard Alabama driver's license terms, term length, etc.
- An explanation of where the UV State seal, over-lapping images, and other security features should be found on valid Alabama ID
- An explanation of what the proper alphanumeric sequencing of a Alabama ID or Driver's license should be (i.e how many letters, numbers, etc.)
- Full details for Pre-2013 driver's licenses and the current, REAL ID Act-compliant, Alabama driver's licenses.
- "How to check driver’s licenses" techniques for training use.