Some people like to ask questions.
- "When's your birthday?"
- "What's your sign?"
- "What street do you live on?"
I don't ask questions. I don't because all that information can be learned and remembered. I look hard at the i.d. and the person. I remember a little bit from biology class and apply that (which is limited) to what I look for. Eye placement, ear placement, chin, weight gain, weight loss, hair color, eye color, and so on. Yes, I will ask you to take out your contacts if your eye color is different and I don't think it's you.
I also rely on my 6th sense of just feeling a person out as they talk and their mannerisms. The way they hold themselves, if they're looking away from me, if they can't shut up, how nervous they're acting, and so on.
There is a basic procedure for checking i.d.'s. It's what every door person will learn on their first night. Beyond this procedure is what I've learned through my experiences.
This is the basic procedure:
- Ask patron to see their i.d.
- If they refuse, then refuse them entry.
- I.D. must be taken out of the holder and placed in your hand.
- If they refuse, then refuse them entry.
- Check condition of the i.d.
- If any of the holograms listed below are on the i.d. it is fake. Keep it.
- Check expiration date
- If the i.d. is expired, then it is not a valid form of i.d. No Entry.
- Check birth date
- Check photo and compare it to the presenter
- Check eye color
- If eye color is different and you are suspicious, ask if they wear contacts. If yes then ask them to remove one.
- Check hair color
- Hair color changes constantly. Nothing to do here really.
- Check height
- If the i.d. says they are 6'2" and they are noticeably shorter then there is reason to be cautious.
- Check weight
- Weight does change in time but if the person weighs noticeably more or less there is reason to be cautious.
- Check sex
- Laugh now but this has happened before. I caught a guy with his twin sisters i.d.
- Compare the location of eyes, ears, chin to presenter and photo
- If all of these are satisfactory allow them entry.
First off, let's go through the list of terms or symbols that you will never see on an i.d. that is supposed to be issued by a state within the United States. These terms and symbols are usually in a form of a hologram on the i.d. somewhere. Most commonly they are diagonally or straight across the entire face of the i.d.
These terms are:
- Seal of Authenticity
Disclaimer: I will not say that this company is willingly or knowingly selling these products to counterfeiters. In fact, the company is designed to create i.d.'s for companies to use as part of their security efforts. It just turns out that a lot of kids that make fake i.d.'s use products that are similar to theirs. By directing you to this website I do not make any claims that this company is helping to make i.d.'s for underage people or that their specific products are being used in any of these processes.
You can view these holograms at this web address: http://www.securityhologram.com/
Some very common symbols are:
- Skeleton Keys
- An Eagle's Head
- A badge or shield
Another thing to look for is the thickness of the i.d. If the i.d. is really thick then there's good reason to look at it harder. Just take the i.d. in both hands and try to twist and bend it. A lot of times the i.d. will start to separate between the layers of pressed paper. It might reveal a real i.d. below or it might just reveal that it's pressed paper. Also, watch the expressions on the person's face as you do this. They might try to object to you bending and twisting their i.d. If the i.d. is real there's no need to worry because it won't split.
Check the edges. Sometimes fakes are nothing more than a scanned i.d. that has been rendered, printed as a sticker, placed over the i.d. and then the excess trimmed off the sides. Usually you can feel the edge and can start to peel it off with your fingernail. When the presenter sees you doing this they'll usually object to it. Personally, I keep doing it until I'm satisfied.
These are a lot of the ways to spot fakes. Each time is usually a different incident and there's always different outcomes. Sometimes the people just walk away, sometimes they argue and at times they even try to buy it back. Each i.d. is a different story and I hope to bring these stories more to life for you in the coming posts.
If I can, I'll try to show you the differences between real i.d.'s and the fake ones, side by side if possible.