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Thursday, January 3

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Use of fake IDs can have real consequences

Students use complete fabrications, older person’s driver’s
license as keys to bars

By Susan Lee

Daily Bruin Contributor

Hidden behind the credit cards, receipts, library cards and real
driver’s licenses of many UCLA students are the often useful and
always illegal, fake identification cards.

Some are shoddy, makeshift models, others are near perfect
replications. But whether it’s an older person’s driver’s license,
or a completely fabricated one, fake identifications cards can mean
the difference between downing alcoholic beverages while dancing at
a club or a few sodas at the local movie theater.

But whatever their purpose or form, all fake identifications are
illegal, said UCLA traffic Sgt. Jim Alexander.

"Simply put, it is unlawful to lend, sell, display or possess a
fake ID," Alexander said.

But despite the law, fake identification cards are widely
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available to students.

"Some of the people I know have friends who tell them that
downtown Los Angeles is the place to go to get a fake
identification card," said Steve Lee, a second-year international
economics student.

"Supposedly, people stand on corners and it’s pretty easy to get
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one … it’s like $40 for an identification card that will work for
liquor stores but won’t work in bars or clubs."

Another more expensive fake identification can be obtained for
around $120, Lee said.

"(Lee’s friends have heard) that there are people who have
worked at the DMV before who steal the machine and then make fake
IDs with the machines," Lee said. "They look real and even reflect
like the holographic ones. My friends have said that the computer
printing on the card looks more realistic, too."

According to the department of motor vehicles code 14619.1, or
"unlawful use of license," students carrying forged or altered
regular driver’s licenses or displaying cancelled or fraudulent
Apk Free 51 Download Netflix 20 31579 Android 1 6 nZ0S7 identification cards are committing a misdemeanor. A similar code,
13004A, entitled "unlawful acts with an ID card," considers altered
California identification cards a misdemeanor as well.

Alexander said that most bars and clubs hire their own security
officers, which is why there aren’t many calls into the police
station about fake identification cards. He added that most fake
identification cards are confiscated during traffic stops, when
students try to be secretive as they search through their wallets
for their real driver’s licenses.

"They usually turn the license away from us because they keep
their fake identifications in the same area," Alexander said.

"The law says that we can observe all identification cards and
look through the wallet if we think they are committing a
misdemeanor."

On the other hand, many students choose to skip the step of
obtaining their own fake ID and use the ID card of an older sibling
or friend who looks like them instead.

Della Song, a first-year undeclared student described seeing her
friend’s fake identification, which belonged to her friend’s older
sister, when her friend went to buy alcohol.

"My friend said she felt really nervous and scared because she
was pretty sure the clerk at the register knew it was a fake ID,"
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Song said. "She looked at it longer than the guy in front of her
and gave her this look but she was lucky because the clerk just let
her go."

Song cited desperation as a factor that would cause a student to
use a fake identification card.

"I guess if someone really wanted to party enough and couldn’t
find any other way, they might resort to using one," Song said, "or
if they wanted to go clubbing and weren’t old enough."

Although Lee said he has been advised that out-of-state fake
identification cards are better than California identification
cards because they are not as recognizable, he said many
establishments are taking measures to enforce the laws.

For example, most stores and bars keep a booklet with pictures
of all the state licenses as well as descriptions of what to look
for in a real identification card, said James Bark, a second-year
engineering student whose parents own a grocery store.

Distributed by the Alcohol Beverage Control, which distributes
licenses to sell alcoholic beverages, the booklet also lists
special markings to look for in real identification cards, Bark
added.

Now that driver’s licenses have magnetic strip and holographic
seals which make IDs harder to alter, Alexander said that police
commonly find fictitious names instead. These licenses are real and
issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles but are attained by
using a fraudulent birth certificate.

"I caught a girl with her real driver’s license and I said
‘well, what’s this other license?’" Alexander said. "It had her
picture on it but made her two years older and she had obtained it
with (a) birth certificate through (the) DMV."

Sometimes, Alexander said, check-cashing businesses will issue
temporary identification cards that are similar to a California
identification card or driver’s license but not similar enough to
violate section code 14510.1, which prohibits the sale or
manufacture of fake identifications.

"What other people do is manufacture cards which read
‘California’ across the top and then list the name, birthdate and
picture," Alexander said. "People can sell it like that and it’s
not really something that’s against the law."

Lee felt that American laws may be part of the reason why
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students use fake identification cards.

"In Europe and Asia, there aren’t really any age laws so people
don’t overdo it on the alcohol just because they’re used to growing
up with it," Lee said. "Here, I know people who use fake IDs just
because they like the thrill. But I think once some students hit
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21, they might not go out all the time because the thrill of
getting into where you can’t be is gone."

It seems that despite the consequences, students will use their
fake identification cards under any circumstance. Second-year
undeclared student Chet Lieu described when his friend was drunk
and tried to get into a bar in Westwood.

"He was really lucky. The ID he had was a real driver’s license
but someone else’s which had expired," Lieu said.

"The bouncer said he’d let him in if he (Lieu’s friend) could
show him a form of identification that wasn’t expired. So he pulled
out his UCLA ID, which has a different picture and a different
name, as well as says he’s two years younger than the other ID. And
you know what, he let him in … can you believe that?"

… many students choose to skip the step of obtaining their own
fake ID and use the ID card of an older sibling or friend who looks
like them instead.

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