Understanding Australian Fake ID Laws and How to Spot Them

Turning 18 is an exciting time. From finally being able to vote to heading out for a pint with friends, there is a lot going on. People under 18 are often just as excited to enjoy an alcoholic beverage. In some cases, this leads to purchasing a fake ID.

Whether you’re a bar owner or a 17-year-old reveler, there are a few things you should know about Australian fake IDs.

Australian Fake ID Types

For many people, the concept of a fake ID includes purchasing an identification card made in a backroom somewhere. As it turns out, though, there is more than just one type of fake ID in Australia.

The false identification cards that we see in movies are ones that are created without proper authority. Some people think that they can simply make their own on their computer, and they often receive a rude awakening the first time they visit an establishment with an ID scanner.

In addition to completely falsified cards, some fake IDs are made from real licenses. Many underage drinkers are caught for altering their ID in some way to appear older. Some people simply use a real identification card that belongs to someone else. For those who attempt these deceptive measures, though, there are serious potential consequences.

Legal Consequences for Using a Fake ID in Australia

While laws vary depending on where you live in Australia, bartenders or door staff will often notify police if an ID appears fake. It is then their duty to turn the card over to police so that a proper investigation can take place.

If you are caught using a fake ID, you may only be asked to leave or be given an informal citation. You may also receive a formal citation. If police officers want to press the matter, though, which is more likely if you’ve been caught before, you could face criminal charges.

These days, there is an increase in the use of ID scanners in bars and nightclubs. ID scanners quickly detect fake cards, and at this point, you are likely to be fined.

Fines vary from state to state. In Western Australia, you’ll get a $200 fine (at least) on the spot for using a fake ID. In New South Wales, this fine is around $220. In Queensland, however, the fine varies from $353 to $589.

On-the-spot penalties could be the best of a bad situation. If police officers decide to take the offender to court, fines between $2,000 and nearly $5,000 are a distinct possibility. Additionally, provisional license periods can be extended.

How to Spot a Fake ID

If you own a bar, pub or other business that sells alcohol, you have a vested interest in spotting fake ID cards. If you serve minors, you could face legal consequences even if they presented fake IDs. Fortunately, there are ways to spot these phony cards.

Check for Foils and Holograms

Regardless of where you reside, a majority of ID cards now come with foil or holograms as a security measure. Ensure that these features are visible, and make sure holograms fade in and out as you turn the card. If a hologram is constantly bright, the card is likely fake.

Scan the ID

People who make fake ID cards have become quite adept, but they don’t often have the money to actually encode a magnet strip. By using an ID scanner, you can quickly tell whether the card is legitimate or not. Scanning the ID into a networked ID Scanner allows you to easily spot a fake, as it quickly performs a series of authenticity checks and even records the ID data to your system.

Many systems also give prompts if they suspect a fake, offering security staff or bartenders questions to ask the presenter of the ID, such as zodiac sign.

Examine More Than the Birth Date

As mentioned, some people use real ID cards that aren’t theirs, so take time to compare the photo with the cardholder. Using an Australian fake ID isn’t considered child’s play; it’s a serious crime. For minors, it’s best to wait until 18 to drink, and for bar owners, make sure you’re protected by catching fake IDs as soon as you see them.

If you are involved in supplying alcohol in any way and want to protect yourself from legal consequences, contact Scantek today for a free ID scanner trial and keep minors out of your establishment.

Get in touch