Recently, the state of New York has started to pioneer a new type of ‘unforgeable’ driving licence in a bid to crack down on the use of fake ID’s. But will it work? In a nation that has relied so heavily on the use of forged documents to buy alcohol and other controlled substances before the age of 21, it may seem like too little too late in the eyes of some.
In a country where college life is widely associated with binge drinking, the legal age of 21 is the highest of nearly any country in the developed world. As such, many thousands of college students resort to using fake or novelty ID’s to purchase otherwise unobtainable goods every year.
In an attempt to crack down on this practice, the state of New York has recently decided to create driving licences which they believe to be unforgeable, which includes a ghost image that is engraved in a transparent window. Many officials are claiming that this new practice makes their licences impossible to forge.
Despite this, many teens still use novelty or fake ID’s for every day purposes and the sheer prevalence of this practice proves that the authorities still have a long way to go before they are able to crack down on the use of novelty documents. All of the evidence points to the fact that fake and novelty ID’s are still very much in common usage and their usage is even on the rise. A study conducted by the University of Missouri in 2007 found that 32% of the students that were surveyed owned a fake ID by the end of their second year. Those are just the people that admitted to owning one.
Even though the law generally frowns upon the ownership and use of these forms of ID, acquiring one is becoming very much a normal part of life for many teenagers and college students in the US, UK and other developed countries that have strict laws regarding the sale of alcohol and other substances to those under the legal age.
As was common during the period of prohibition in the US, the abnormally high legal age of drinking has led to the development of a controversial and very lucrative black market, which in many ways is far more harmful than lowering the legal age would be. Many people see the ordeal of having a fake ID as one of the many trials on the way to adulthood, and some feel that it is their rite of passage to do so. With the punishment for the use of these forms of ID being little more than a slap on the wrist and confiscation in some places, it is little wonder that people are deciding to go down the easy route.
The novelty fake ID industry is one that is taking off and is growing year on year, despite the government measures to prevent this from happening, and it is trend that doesn’t show many signs of letting up.