North Carolina officials report an alarming growth in the size and sophistication of the fake identification business, which has graduated from nuisance industry to national security threat, says the Raleigh News & Observer. At the end of October, the Department of Motor Vehicles had recorded 373 arrests for driver’s license fraud, which includes both manufacturing and possessing the bogus IDs. That’s a larger number in 10 months than the 294 arrests made during all of last year.
The state Alcohol Law Enforcement Division closed down a “document lab” in a trailer park a week ago. One suspect arrested had been previously deported and is awaiting deportation again. Demand among illegal immigrants is helping drive the growth of the fraudulent ID business. Undocumented residents need identification to transact business and to drive. “It’s not just [underage kids] getting a driver’s license to be able to beat the guy at the door to get into the club. It’s getting to be a much more serious problem for everybody,” said DMV Commissioner Mike Robertson. “If you look at what businesses accept, your North Carolina driver’s license is your ticket. It gets you on an airplane. It cashes your checks. It gets you other identification.”