Washington State's Growing Problem with Fake IDs
The United States is facing a serious problem with the rising prevalence and proliferation of fake identification cards across the country. This issue goes well beyond college students trying to pass of fake ID to get into the local watering hole; we are seeing growing instances of high-quality forged documents being utilized to commit white collar crimes like identity theft, mortgage fraud, and credit card fraud. The impact of the phenomenon is evident across the US, especially the state of Washington. As the stories below show, fake identification has been highlighted in several recent events across the state:
- A resident of Canada is in hot water after attempting to purchase a semi-automatic rifle and ammunition from a local Tacoma sporting goods store using a fake ID. While the 51-year-old man had originally entered the States under a temporary 6-month visa in 2014, he has since overstayed his welcome and had been using the false identity to live in Washington illegally. After being tacked down by ATF agents at the motel he was staying at, he admitted that he had intended pawn the rifle along with two other firearms he had purchased with the fake ID.
- In Wishkau, a man attempting to purchase almost $2,000 worth of equipment from a cell phone store was caught with several fake identification documents and debit cards. Employees were tipped off when the man could not verify his address and kept texting someone to get the info they asked for. Officers were alerted and when they search the suspect, they found seven US passport cards with different names and the same date of birth, seven debit cards with names matching the passport cards. A New York state ID was found and is presumed to be the man’s real identity.
Stock Royalty-free Image Storyblocks Driver Images Male License Generic - Penalties for Fake ID Possession in Washington
In Washington State, penalties for using a fake ID vary given the specific circumstances. In most cases, fake ID infractions happen in regards to minors using the real ID of someone else to purchase alcohol or enter a bar. Should you be caught, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by:
- Up to 90 days in jail
- A fine up to $1,000
Misrepresenting your age with an ID card is on thing, but creating a fake ID with totally different information is a far more serious crime. In the state of Washington, you will be charged with a class C felony, punishable by:
- A state prison sentence up to 5 years
- A fine up to $10,000
How to Spot a Fake Washington ID
For bartenders, doormen, waiters, waitresses, notaries, bank tellers, retail clerks, and any other people that need to verify ID’s in a professional setting, the rise in fake ID production and distribution is concerning. In many scenarios, the individual who fails to spot a forged ID takes on the same amount, if not more, liability than the person in possession of the forged document. That being said, it is absolutely vital that businesses needing to regularly verify the identification of their patrons or employees use the I.D. Checking Guide.
What the I.D. Checking Guide Includes:
- Stock Royalty-free Image Storyblocks Driver Images Male License Generic - 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 Washington driver's license terms, term length, etc.
- An explanation of where state seals, UV light and microprinting elements should be found on valid Washington ID
- An explanation of what the proper alphanumeric sequencing of a Washington ID or Driver's license should be (i.e how many letters, numbers, etc.)
- Stock Royalty-free Image Storyblocks Driver Images Male License Generic - Full details for past and current Washington driver's licenses in circulation.
- "How to check driver’s licenses" techniques for training use.