The days when faking driver's licenses was a cottage industry — often practiced in college dorm rooms with a laminating machine — have given way to far more sophisticated and prolific practitioners who operate outside the reach of U.S. law enforcement, reports the Washington Post. In an era when terrorism and illegal immigration have transformed driver's licenses into sophisticated mini-documents festooned with holograms and bar codes, beating the system has never been easier. Just wire money to “the Chinese guy.”
The “Chinese guy” — whose e-mail address is passed around on college campuses and among high school kids — is actually a Chinese company that mails untold thousands of fake driver's licenses to the United States. They have been turning up in states from coast to coast. To the naked eye — even the practiced eye of most bartenders and police officers — the counterfeits look perfect. The photo and physical description are real. So is the signature. The address may be, too. The holograms are exact copies, and even the bar code can pass unsophisticated scans.