Illinois's Growing Fake ID Problem
The United States has a problem with a growing proliferation of fake identification cards across the nation. Many of these fake IDs come from increasingly sophisticated counterfeiters located overseas with highly sophisticated equipment. The impact of the phenomenon is clearly evident in all 50 states, and there is no better example than the state of Illinois. The stories below offer a snapshot of how the use of fake ID usage has impacted Illinois:
- In 2009, authorities in Chicago arrested 19 people in connection with a massive fake ID ring centered in the city's Chinatown neighborhood. The offenders, which included two former Illinois secretary of state employees, are accused of providing customers with fraudulent social security numbers and illegal driver’s licenses. Authorities reported that customers paid up to $3500 for the highly sought after documents, often times used to commit various forms of fraud.
- In 2014, a federal judge sentenced two brothers who operated a violent, black-market fake identification ring to life in prison. According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Nasser, "Julio and Manuel Leija-Sanchez were the kingpins of a decades-long, multimillion-dollar international criminal organization and they killed to protect their own pocketbook and the empire they built."
The Penalties for Fake ID possession in Illinois
Given the states past dealings with large scale criminal operations revolving around fake ID’s, its no wonder why they hand out some stiff penalties for individuals who engage in the production or possession of fraudulent ID.
Vertical Belleplaineherald Includes com Designs News Id Horizontal Look The state of Illinois can punish an offender who uses a fake ID in two ways, depending on each situation. Individuals will be charged with a “class A” misdemeanor, which holds a punishment of a jail sentence up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500 for:
- Lending a license or ID to a friend to use
- Vertical Belleplaineherald Includes com Designs News Id Horizontal Look Vertical Belleplaineherald Includes com Designs News Id Horizontal Look Using as one’s own and ID card or drivers license issued to someone else
- Possession of a fictitious ID card or drivers license (the term “fictitious” referring to an official state ID card or license produced by the state)
- Altering a state ID card or driver’s license
An offender can be convicted of a “class 4” felony, which holds a punishment of one to 3 years imprisonment and a fine up to $25,000 for:
- Vertical Belleplaineherald Includes com Designs News Id Horizontal Look Being in possession of a fraudulent state ID card or driver’s license (the term “fraudulent” referring to an ID card or license produced by someone other than the state)
- Possessing equipment to reproduce a government issued ID card or license
- Vertical Belleplaineherald Includes com Designs News Id Horizontal Look The advertisement, distribution, production and sale of a fraudulent ID card or license.
How to Spot a Fake Illinois ID
For bartenders, doormen, waiters, waitresses, notaries, bank tellers, retail clerks, and any other individuals who must verify ID in some sort of professional capacity, the recent surge in fake ID production and possession is troubling to say the least. Often times the party responsible for failing to spot (ore even ignoring) a fake ID assumes just as much, or even more, liability than the party that presented the ID. Therefore, it is imperative that businesses needing to regular verify the identification of their patrons use the I.D. Checking Guide.
What the I.D. Checking Guide Includes:
- A full page or more for each U.S. state and Canadian province identity card sample, showing driver’s licenses and ID cards, plus U.S. and Canadian territories.
- Guidelines on standard Illinois driver's license terms, term length, etc.
- An explanation of where ghost images, guilloche background designs, holograms, color-shifting features, and microprinting should be found on valid Illinois ID
- An explanation of what the proper alphanumeric sequencing of a Illinois ID or Driver's license should be (i.e how many letters, numbers, etc.)
- Full details for pre-2015 driver's licenses and the current Illinois driver's licenses.
- "How to check driver’s licenses" techniques for training use.