Your First Line of Defense Against ID Fraud!
5 Steps

How to Check ID in 5 Steps

First, the basics:

If you’re wondering how to check a driver's license or ID, start with a check of the ID's expiration date. Does the photo match the presenter? Does the height and weight approximate those of the presenter? See if the address and birth date on the ID can be recited. Request a second piece of identification as backup.


Check for alterations:

Are the corners even and rounded, free of cuts? Is the ID enclosed in an irregular laminate? Can you see glue lines or bumpy edges near the photo or birth date? Is the data consistent, especially any cross-match between birth date and license number? Does any raised or embossed data match the corresponding printed data? Is part of a state seal or other image missing? (Shining a light from the back will show any cuts.)


Fraudulent IDs:

Is the format of the ID consistent with a valid ID from that jurisdiction? Is the quality of production—color, lettering, fine detail, corners, etc.—consistent with a valid sample? Does any rainbow printing show a gradual shift from one color to the next? Inspect back of license for blurred lettering or other fraud signs. Spot a fake ID every time with our guide!


Additional security features:

Using a magnifying glass of 10x or more, check for correct microprinting in lines, borders, and when incorporated into the background design. Using a UV light, check for state seals and emblems, and duplicated name, birth date, and other holder-specific information. Hold a light behind the card to check for the presence of opacity marks. Small details are critical when learning how to check IDs.


Consider potential exposure:

How much is at risk? (Renting out a pair of roller skates may be less critical than serving alcohol to a minor, or cashing a check.) If concern remains, request additional backup: perhaps another person in the party could produce ID, or a valid credit card would increase your confidence in the presented ID.