CHECKING CALIFORNIA IDS A brief manual on checking the authenticity of Californian IDs 2008 Writting120TW By Stefan Kovalik
-Checking California IDs -Page 2 T ABLE OF CONTENTSTable of Contents 2 About this Manual 3 Text to look for 3 Disclaimer 3 Chapter 1 4 Reasons to Check IDs 4 Fraud 4 The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control 4 Chapter 2 5 Parts to a California ID 5 Chapter 3 6 How to Check California IDs 6 Required Materials 6 Step 1—Observe 6 Common outward behaviors to look for 6 Non-verbal and involuntary cues 7 Step 2—Ask “how old are you?” 8 Step 3—Really Look at the Person Presenting ID 8 Features you should always check 8 Step 4—Feel 9 Step 5—Look 9 Step 6—Ask Questions 11 Step 7—Give back 11 Chapter 4 12 What to do when an ID is Invalid 12 Final Thoughts 12 List of Tables Table 1-1 The ABC in Detail 4 Table 2-1 California ID Features 5 Table 3-1 Non-Verbal Cues 7 Table 3-2 What to Feel for 9 Table 3-3 What to Look for 10 Table 4-1 What to do When the ID is Invalid 12 List of Figures Figure 2-1 ID Breakdown 5
-Checking California IDs -Page 3CHECKING CALIFORNIA IDS A brief manual on checking the authenticity of Californian IDs A BOUT THIS M ANUAL This manual explains, step by step, how to thoroughly check the validity California identification cards. There are 4 chapters in this manual. Below, briefly describes each chapter: Chapter 1—Reasons to Check IDs This chapter is a brief overview of why it is necessary to check IDs. This chapter includes a small overview of the California Alcoholic Beverage Control agency. Chapter 2—Parts to a California ID This chapter displays each part of a California ID, and provides a reference diagram for each step within chapter 3. Chapter 3—How to Check California IDs This chapter provides a comprehensive method of checking IDs using the F-L-A-G system (Feel, look, ask questions, give back). Chapter 4—What to do When an ID is Invalid This chapter provides a brief overview on what to do when an ID is found to be invalid. T EXT TO LOOK FOR The following are examples of text formats used to emphasize content within this manual: Important Notice: These orange comments provide important information regarding a related topic. TABLE/FIGURE REFERENCE STEP INDICATOR—TELLS YOU WHEN TO GO TO THE NEXT STEP HELPFUL TIP: RELATED TOPIC INFORMATION D ISCLAIMER The following material is based on the opinion, and experiences of the writer. The content of this manual is not endorsed by the state of California, or California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control, and therefore cannot be used as a credible source. This manual was created for a class assignment, and cannot be used as a reference for checking IDs. This manual’s purpose is to demonstrate the writer’s technical writing ability. Credible ID checking manuals do exist and are available for purchase—please consult your state’s department of motor vehicles for more information.
-Checking California IDs -Page 4 C HAPTER 1 R EASONS TO C HECK ID S The two major reasons to check IDs are fraud, and California’s 1995 amendment to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. The following information explains each reason. F RAUD Fraud can be eliminated, along with its monetary ramifications, if proper verification techniques are used when presented with an ID. If a person is able to use fraudulent ID to purchase goods or register for services, liability problems occur when the fraud is detected. To avoid monetary losses, or property losses, have a person’s ID verified before using their credit card or registering for any service or product. T HE D EPARTMENT OF A LCOHOLIC B EVERAGE C ONTROL Every state, within the United States of America, requires that alcohol is only served to people of twenty-one years of age or older. The rules are no different in California, but the way the rules are enforced are. California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Act has provisions enforced by California’s department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). If any provisions under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act are not adhered to, within the context of an establishment’s liquor license, a liquor license can be suspended or revoked. The following table, table 1-1 describes the three elements within California’s ABC. TABLE 1-1 THE ABC IN DETAIL ABC Element Element Description Administration 24 offices staffed by Investigators, Licensing Representatives and clerical/technical support personnel. Investigators and/or Licensing Representatives investigate applications for liquor licenses and where the Licensing liquor license will be used. ABC investigators are able to investigate and make arrests for violations that occur on or about a licensed Compliance establishment. Important Notice: ABC Investigators are peace officers under Section 830.2 of the California Penal Code HELPFUL TIP: LIQUOR LICENSE POINT SYSTEM Each liquor license operates under a three point system: A license is issued with no points on it When an infraction is committed, one point is added to the license and a fine is given When a second infraction is committed, a second point is added, a larger fine is given, and the license is suspended for a short period of time When a third infraction is committed, the license is removed.
-Checking California IDs -Page 5 C HAPTER 2 P ARTS TO A C ALIFORNIA ID The following table and figure are intended to be used as a reference for steps discussed in chapter 3. Use this page as a reference. TABLE 2-1 CALIFORNIA ID FEATURES California ID Features Used in Step On Page 1. Microprint The letters DMV are micro printed on the top line of DMV 5 10 2. ID Type Identification card or drivers license label 3 8 3. Address The postal address of the ID owner 3 8 4. Logo Safety Feature Intentional logo print error 5 10 5. Physical Description The physical description of the ID owner 5 10 6. Birth Date The birth date of the ID owner 5 10 7. Hologram and Age Reference California’s flag printed in ultra violet ink and quick age reference 5 10 8. Signature Signature of the ID owner 5 10 9. Manufacture Date Manufacture date of the ID 5 1010. Verification Feature Numbers that correspond with the expiration date 5 1011. Second Photo A resized image of the original portrait picture 5 1012. Person Portrait Portrait picture of the ID owner 5 1013. Expiration Date Expiration date of the card 5 1014. Card Shape Unique shape of the ID 4 915. Magnetic Strip Digital data storage, magnetic strip 4 916. Magnetic Strip Shape Magnetic strip shape 4 917. Intentional Errors Intentionally printed text errors 5 1018. Barcode Verification Barcode pattern verification 5 1019. Course Texture Area to write an address change 4 9 FIGURE 2-1 ID BREAKDOWN HELPFUL TIP: LEGALLY ACCEPTABLE IDENTIFICATION According to the ABC, acceptable ID must adhere to the following list: Be issued by a government agency Have the name, date of birth, a psychical description, and a photograph of the person presenting it Cannot be expired
-Checking California IDs -Page 6C HAPTER 3 H OW TO C HECK C ALIFORNIA ID S The following steps offer a comprehensive method of checking IDs. Steps 1 through 3 describe fraud detection methods used before checking an ID. Steps 4 through # are based off the F-L-A-G system (Feel, look ask questions, give back), and instruct on various ID verification methods. The “Give back” portion of the F-L-A-G system is discussed in chapter 4. Important Notice: If an ID is found to be fake, invalid, or fraudulent during any step listed below, proceed to chapter 4 for instructions on what to do. R EQUIRED M ATERIALS The following are required to properly verify a California ID: A flash light A ultra violet light Optional materials: A magnetic card strip reader An ID checking manual for reference CONTINUE TO STEP 1 S TEP 1—O BSERVE Make sure you observe the person who is presenting you the ID—the majority of invalid IDs, presented by people, are real IDs that belong to someone else. Before checking the ID itself, it is important to observe behaviors people perform while attempting to use an invalid ID. Below are two guidelines on observing a person’s behavior in regards to validating IDs. The first list is a quick reference, and the second list is an elaborated description of non-verbal cues to observe. Use these guidelines to observe behavior, because they are good signs to determine weather a person is lying or not. C OMMON OUTWARD BEHAVI ORS TO LOOK FOR People who are trying to use an invalid ID often perform the following behaviors: Will attempt to not make eye contact Will attempt to engage in conversation Will seem uncaring when their ID is carefully inspected Will repeat questions asked before responding Will take longer to respond to personal questions (When did you Graduate?) Will become hostile about being questioned YOU MAY CONTINUE TO STEP 2 OR CONTINUE TO THE SECOND TOPIC IN STEP 1
-Checking California IDs -Page 7 N ON - VERBAL AND I NVOLUNTARY CUES Observe body language throughout each step in this manual—Non-verbal cues can be a good indicator of a person’s intention, and more importantly, these cues can also indicate dishonesty. Most people are unaware of the non-verbal cues they perform while lying, fortunately, these non-verbal cues are observable. Table 3-1, below, is a list of non-verbal cues that should be observed, and considered, throughout every step in this manual. Important Notice: The cues, and indications, listed below are not definitive tests; they are only observational guidelines to consider before, and during ID checking. TABLE 3-1 NON-VERBAL CUES Non-Verbal Cue Cue to Observe Indications Voice Frequency Increasing pitch (frequency), while talking An increasing pitch is indicative of someone telling a lie Voice Amplitude Increasing volume, (amplitude), while talking An increasing volume is indicative of someone telling a lie Duration Contrasting syllabic duration (time between Longer syllabic durations is indicative of someone telling a lie Between Syllables syllables and words spoken). Looking up and to the right is a cue many law enforcement Looking up and to the right agencies consider to be indicative of someone telling a lie A person actively not making eye contact, while speaking with you, Eye Movement Not making Eye contact is indicative of someone telling a lie A person making constant eye contact is indicative of someone Too much Eye contact telling a lie A person making repetitive hand gestures, or repetitive habitual Hand Gestures Repetitive, and habitual-like hand gestures gestures (such as nail biting or knuckle cracking), are indicative of someone telling a lie A person with a slouching posture is indicative of someone who Slouching posture might not be confident about a lie Repetitive motions, such as foot tapping or massaging arms, can Repetitive motions be indicative of someone who is nervous and possible lying Body Movements Reluctance, and concealment of personal A person who is reluctant, in regards to body movement or while effects (wallet, purse), while retrieving presenting an ID, is indicative of someone who might be lying identification A person who is overconfident, when presenting their ID, might be Overconfidence indicative of someone who might be lying A person who genuinely smiles is unable to prevent muscles Smiling without the proper facial muscles around the eyes from contracting, a person who is not genuinely corresponding Facial Movements smiling does not usually contract these eye muscles Concern or anxiety while the ID presented is A person who appears overly concerned or anxious ,while there being checked presented ID is checked, is indicative of someone who is lying If a person’s breathing rate increases, it can be indicative of Breathing Rate An increase in breathing rate someone who is lying Consider the above list before, during, and after checking a person’s ID. CONTINUE TO STEP 2
-Checking California IDs -Page 8 S TEP 2—A SK “ HOW OLD ARE YOU ?” Before taking the ID, ask how old the person is—the ABC and local law enforcement agencies run undercover programs designed to catch establishments, with liquor licenses, serving alcoholic beverages to minors. The undercover program recruits must be under 20 years old, look under 21 years old, and must carry their real identification with them. Undercover officers are legally required to state their real age. When undercover recruits attempt to purchase alcohol with an invalid ID and succeed, the establishment’s liquor license is suspended or revoked. HELPFUL TIP: UNDERCOVER OFFICERS Some actions undercover officers perform when enforcing liquor laws: Recruits, under the age of 21, present fake or false ID to be verified Officers look for minors, within the establishment, drinking alcoholic beverages Officers look for patrons who are over-intoxicated that are still served alcohol CONTINUE TO STEP 3 S TEP 3—R EALLY L OOK AT THE P ERSON P RESENTING ID Look at the person, then look at their ID—try to keep a mental representation of the person in your head before you check this ID. When this is done, the ID is not used as a reference point when comparing photos and physical attributes—the person is. You want to make sure the person presenting you the ID is the same person described on the ID. F EATURES YOU SHOU LD A LWAYS CHECK Below is a short list of features to carefully observe and later compare to an ID: Hairline and Forehead Eyebrows Eyes size, color (look for contacts), and shape Ear height in relation to eye location Nose and nostril shape Lips and smile Height and weight TABLE REFERENCE 2-1: CALIFORNIA ID FEATURE NUMBER 2—ID TYPE California ID feature number 2, respectively displayed in table 2-1 and figure 2-1, refers to the card type. There are three types of California IDs: Identification cards—“IDENTIFICATION CARD” is displayed in green letters Drivers Licenses—“DRIVERS LICENSE” is displayed in blue letters Commercial Drivers License—“COMMERICAL DRIVERS LICENSE” is printed in dark red letters CONTINUE TO STEP 4
-Checking California IDs -Page 9 S TEP 4—F EEL The F in F-L-A-G stands for feel. A fake ID is easy to catch if you know what to feel for. California IDs have a very unique manufacture process that is nearly impossible to precisely duplicate. For this reason, many fake IDs feel different because they are made with different materials and methods. The following table is a list of steps to take when verifying the feel of an ID. Perform each verification method listed in table 3-2. TABLE 3-2 WHAT TO FEEL FOR What to feel for How to verify Feel for information cut or pasted on, especially near the photo and birth date. Minors will often modify real, or fake, IDs by placing their photo and information on the card then laminating over it. Lumps and Bumps Cards with unofficial laminations or altered laminations are not valid. An area on the back, R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 1 9 , is slightly course. Fake IDs do not usually have this course texture on the back. Real California IDs are made in three layers. The layers are bonded with heat so they will not come Layers apart without destroying the card. Insert your fingernail, or a sharp object, into the corner of the ID card. If the layers of the card separate, then it is not a valid ID. A real California ID has a unique “punched” shape to it. This means that the edges of the card are uniform. Run your finger over the top edge of the card and feel the top side of the card (the side containing the photograph). It should feel sharp and flat, while the underside edge should feel rounded Edge Shape and smooth. Most fake IDs do not reproduce this texture. If the card texture does not feel like this, then it might be invalid. Use further verification steps. R E F E R T O T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 14AND 16. If you have a magnetic card strip reader, swiping the card is a good way to verify if the ID is fake or Magnetic Strip real. Some fake IDs reproduce California’s magnetic strip information, so never rely solely on a card strip reader for verification .R E F E R T O T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 1 5 , CONTINUE TO STEP 5 S TEP 5—L OOK The L in F-L-A-G stand stands for Look. This step involves the most verification procedures. It is very important to pay careful attention to each validation method. Be sure to use a flashlight during each verification step. The following table details each step to take when visually verifying an ID. Perform each verification method, in order, listed in table 3-3. HELPFUL TIP: OBSERVE BODY LANGUAGE THROUGHOUT EACH STEP Observe the behavior of people while you check their IDs, and observe their friends. It is possible that friends, of the person presenting an ID, know that the ID is invalid Friends will refer to the person presenting an ID by a false name more often than usual Friends often say contradicting information about the person presenting an ID, and the ID itself Friends will display many of the same non-verbal and involuntary behaviors listed in step 1
-Checking California IDs -Page 10 TABLE 3-3 WHAT TO LOOK FOR What to Look for How to verify Look at this first. R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 1 3 . If an ID is expired, do not accept it because it is invalid. Many minors use expired IDs from family members, or friends, and try to Expiration Date impersonate them. A secondary verification, R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 1 0 , is formatted as “FD/##.” The two ##s should be the same as the last two numbers on the expiration date. The birth date, R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 6 , is not the only indicator if a person is a minor or not. The position of the portrait picture will be on the left if the ID is registered after the age Birth Date of 21, and the position of the portrait picture will be on the right if registered before the age of 21. Do the math, and be correct when determining if a person is 21 years old or older. Laminate Look at the laminate. There are for different official California DMV laminates now in use. Each laminate style is dependent on the manufacturing date, R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R And 9 . Newer IDs tend to be more glossy and thicker, while IDs made before 2004 are thinner and less Manufacture Date glossy. An easy way to catch a fake ID is by checking the barcode located on the back, R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 1 8 . The last three barcode lines are identical on every California ID. The line Barcode thickness should be, from left to right: thick line, medium line, thin line. You can check the barcode from the front by shinning a flashlight through the backside of the card. Minors who use IDs that are real, but not theirs, cannot usually account for discrepancies between Height and Weight their height and weight, and the height and weight listed on a presented ID. If the numbers do not reasonably match the person, do not accept the ID. R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 5 . Eye color listed on the ID, R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 5 , may not match the eye color of the ID presenter. Make sure the person is not wearing contacts. On rare occasions, the DMV makes Eye Color mistakes when recording personal information. An example of this is listing eyes as hazel, when they might be a shade of green or a dark brown. A mismatch in eye color is a good indication of fraud. When comparing the IDs photograph to the person presenting it, R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , Photograph N U M B E R 1 2 A N D 1 1 , focus on the nose and chin. Minors can alter their hair styles, eye makeup, and eye color. The nose and chin do not change. California IDs have microprint (text printed so small that a special printer is required to print it) on the Microprint top blue line of the blue DMV letters, R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 1 . California IDs have a unique print of the state’s flag printed in ultra violet (UV) responsive ink, R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R 7 . When using an UV light on the ID, an image of the Black Light state’s flag should appear with a red border and green bear icon. Many fake IDs attempt to reproduce this effect, but manage to do so very poorly; as a result, many fake IDs glow bright purple when tested. There are two intentional errors printed on California IDs; R E F E R E N C E T A B L E 2 - 1 , N U M B E R S 5 A N D 1 7 . The first error, ID feature number 17, is the intentional capitalization of L in Intentional Errors license or an extra “i” in eligibility. The second error, ID feature number 4, is a very small image of a boat within the seal of California. This boat has a gap in the hull; where the boat meets the water; there is a gap in the line. Fake IDs usually don’t have this level of detail reproduced. Look for alterations. If there are any air bubbles in the laminate, or odd colorations or defects, do not Alterations accept the ID. Many minors attempt to alter real IDs, to reflect older birth dates and expiration dates, by scratching out or altering letters. Real California IDs have a unique computer-generated typeface. Counterfeits may have typeface errors, positional errors, and misspellings. An easy way to verify if a typeface is authentic is by looking Typeface closely at the A letters on the ID. The A, using California ID typeface, should look like a house; two 45 straight angled lines should form a peak at the top of the letter. A signature on a real California ID is printed smaller than normal size. The signature on fake IDs are normal sized, and in blue or black ink. A further verification step for signatures is asking a person to Signature sign a blank paper with their signature. If the signatures do not match, do not accept the ID; REFERENCE TABLE 2-1,NUMBER 8. A person presenting an ID must look like they could be 21 years old. If not, do not accept the ID, no Apparent Age matter how good it looks. CONTINUE TO STEP 6
-Checking California IDs -Page 11S TEP 6—A SK Q UESTIONSThe A in F-L-A-G stands for Ask Questions. Asking certain questions during, or after,checking an ID is a good way to find out if someone is lying to you about their ID. Belowis a list of questions to ask, and the verification associated with each question. Ask thefollowing questions: What is your driver license number? Zip Code? A person with a false ID will have difficulties answering these questions. What month were your Born? If the person responds with a number instead of the name of the month, they are probably lying. May I see another piece of ID with your name on it? People who carry false IDs will rarely carry secondary identification that supports the false ID. CONTINUE TO STEP 7S TEP 7—G IVE B ACKThe G in F-L-A-G stands for Give Back. If the ID passes the feel, look, and ask tests, give itback to the person and complete the relevant transaction. If it is still questionable, afterusing the above methods, do not accept it. Continue to chapter 4 to learn what to dowhen an ID is invalid. CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 4
-Checking California IDs -Page 12 C HAPTER 4 W HAT TO DO W HEN AN ID IS I NVALID Depending on your establishment’s policy, you may have the option to seize an ID, give it back, or have it verified by local police. Choose one of the below options if you have determined that an ID is invalid. Each option is described in detail below: TABLE 4-1 WHAT TO DO WHEN THE ID IS INVALID Option to take Result If your establishment has procedures in place for seizing IDs, then this is an option. If you seize an ID, a receipt must be issued to the person that presented the invalid ID. A receipt must be attached to the Seize the ID ID as well. Produce a copy of the receipt for records, along with any notes. The ID is required, by law, to be given to the local police or sheriff’s department within 24 hours. Giving back an invalid ID is not uncommon, but the person with the invalid ID might attempt to use it Give it back at another location or time. Have it verified by There are many law enforcement agencies that have “night life” officers that patrol bar and club areas during peak hours. If an officer is contacted, and available, they will show up and verify the ID through local law state record databases. If the ID is found to be invalid, the individual that presented the ID is cited an enforcement expensive fine. Citations vary depending on the nature of the fraud. F INAL T HOUGHTS Checking IDs is an extremely important part of operating any business, and I hope this guide has provided the user with enough information on California ID validation. Creditable resources are available online or at various book stores. For further information on ID checking, ID instruction, and the California Alcoholic Beverage Act, please visit the websites for the state of California, and California’s department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Please contact the author of this manual with any comments or suggestions by e-mailing KovaliK@gmail.com