Easy-to-Obtain Phony ID Cards Can Bypass Digital Security Systems


Overseas forgers from as far away as China are shipping fake driver’s license and other IDs to the U.S. that can bypass even the newest electronic digital security systems, document security experts, tell USA Today. The new IDs are “an affront to the very sovereignty and dignity of the states that issue them,” says David Huff of Virginia’s Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control.

The forgeries are sophisticated. Digital holograms are replicated, plastic identical to that found in credit cards is used, and ink appearing only under ultraviolet light is stamped onto the cards. The manufacturing methods help the IDs defeat security measures aimed at identifying forged documents. The overseas forgers sell their wares on websites. Anyone with $75 to $200 can order a personalized ID card online. ID Chief, whose website is based in China, responds to each buyer with a money-order request. Brian Zimmer of the Coalition for a Secure Driver’s License said the ease with which people can get fake documents is alarming. “If the ID buyers are terrorists, the list of protected targets they can now access is a Homeland Security nightmare,” he said.

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