IDs becoming more difficult to fake

You may remember the scene in the Chevy Chase film Vegas Vacation when Rusty gets a fake ID and becomes a winning high roller, taking on the pseudonym “Nick Pappagiorgio.” Although this scene was obviously quite fictional, fake IDs are witnessed way too much throughout the country.

But, fake IDs may soon be less widespread in the state of Pennsylvania thanks to several new security additions.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently deployed a new security hologram that makes it easier to spot fake drivers’ licenses and identification cards. Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation to use this enhanced security feature.

“A driver’s license or identification card has always been a trusted source for establishing a person’s true identity,” said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. “We are steadfast in our resolve to combat counterfeit forms of identification, which ultimately jeopardize lives and hold great potential for harm to our national security.”

The new hologram suppresses the “rainbow” colors normally associated with holographic images. The result is a hologram that appears to switch between white and black as the image is moved. Also, because the new image is of a much higher resolution, it is clearly visible in bright, moderate and even low-light environments.

The latest Pennsylvania driver's license with new security holograms

This state-of-the-art technology is added to an array of security features including a holographic overlay of county names and keystone outlines already embedded in current license and ID cards.

According to experts, Pennsylvania is within the top three for the most intimidating IDs to fake.  Arizona tops the list, California is second, and Pennsylvania is third.

Pennsylvania’s law for carrying a false ID says that the person could be fined up to $300 and will have a license suspension of 90 days.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board suggests ways on how to card an individual.  Restaurant and bar owners are recommended to examine the following when asking for a driver’s license or ID:

  • The photo and physical description on the card. They should match the person handing you the ID.
  • The expiration date. You CANNOT accept an expired ID.
  • The birth date. Do your math. Does it add up?
  • Consistency of numbers. The numbers should match throughout the license. Also look for tiny pieces of paper with modified numbers placed over the original numbers.
  • The state logo. A state seal or logo which is partially missing or appears altered is another clue to a fake card.
  • The hologram. Is it a genuine hologram for that license or a basic hologram added to a fake ID?
  • The card’s reverse side lettering. While the front may appear flawless, often counterfeiters merely photocopy the reverse side. Look for blurred lettering or a cut out piece of paper.
  • The size, color, lettering, thickness, and corners. Compare the questionable ID against a standard ID.
  • Whether it is an out-of-state license. You should use an ID checking guide anytime you are looking at an unfamiliar license.
  • The Social Security number. Each state has their own set of social security numbers that you can ask questions about.

Since driver’s licenses and identification cards are issued on a four-year cycle, it will take nearly four years for every driver’s license/identification card holder to have a product with the new security feature, says the Department of Transportation.

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