Let’s Be Serious: Did You Have A Fake I.D. Before You Turned 21 Years Old?

When I stumbled across the above photo yesterday I laughed out loud. Because seriously, scoring one fake I.D. is hard enough, so having two to prove you’re of age to buy alcohol is nearly impossible. You’d have to have a fake a license, and what? A passport? And from what I’ve gathered from movies, faking a passport is only easy if you’re Jason Bourne and you don’t live in the real world.

The day I turned 21 my sister, who’s roughly a year and a half younger than me, waltzed on down to the DMV. With my social security number memorized and nothing but a library card and a credit card (both lacking photos), she claimed that she, “Amanda Chatel,” had lost her driver’s license and needed one stat. Without asking any questions, they sat her down to take a new photo of her that would be placed on an I.D. with all my information. I gave her my blessing, but told her if she got caught, I’d just tell the authorities that she stole it.

The most disturbing part of it was that my sister and I look NOTHING alike. I’m light skinned with blue eyes; I’m curvy and a couple inches shorter than my sister. She, on the other hand, is rail-thin with darker skin, dark eyes and dark hair — at that time, I was sporting a bleached pixie cut, so our resemblance was non-existent. As she sat there waiting for the photo to be taken, she noticed that they were pulling up the last photo of me they had on record to confirm that she was indeed Amanda Chatel. My sister began to get sick to her stomach and terrified that she was about to spend the next few months in jail, but no! Despite our more than obvious physical differences that were as plain as day, they took her photo and handed over “her” new license. And people say I’m a conniving little shit; she’s just way more stealth about it.

Although I did have friends who went out of their way and actually paid good money for a fake I.D.,when it came to creativity and something that was actually a state-issued identification, my sister takes the cake. I, out of fear of being arrested, never even bothered to try to score one. I always figured if someone was to get caught, it would be me. Such an anti-climatic youth I led.

Did you have a fake I.D. before you turned 21? If so, how did you go about it? You know, just in case I turn 20 years old tomorrow and need tips.


Photo: Reddit via HuffPo

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    • Cate

      I never had a fake ID, but I started going to bars when I was seventeen. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that I am a) a pretty girl, b) very tall, c) good at giving the impression of extreme confidence.
      I’ve found that about nine times out of ten you will be able to successfully purchase alcohol if you project an air of great aplomb and general belonging when you waltz up to the counter with your bottles/into the bar without an ID. I actually get carded more now that I am twenty two than I ever did when I was underage.

    • Fabel

      My friends & I usually just went to this one bar in NYC that NEVER asked for ID, or else we’d ask our older-looking dude friends (who, mind you, also were not 21) to walk into a liquor store for us.

      Anyone I knew who DID have a “fake” ID has a similiar story to yours– it was actually a real license, obtained through deceit by a sibling or similiar-looking friend.

    • Maria

      I think it’s crazy Americans forbid themselves to drink under 21. You may drive, you may vote, but you cannot have a glass of wine. WTF?

      I’d totally use a fake ID If I was an 18 year old US citizen.

      • Lindsey


        I think it’s because in America the big thing for young people is getting their licence to drive. So, the right to drink comes five years after most kids get their licence. It’s better that young drivers aren’t drinking. I understand that in many places of Europe youths do very little driving, so it’s ok for them to be learning how to drink.

        And, in most states in the US, it’s legal for a person under the age of 21 to drink at home. I think it’s the experience of most people I know to get that glass of wine you mentioned, or a beer, or a holiday drink. In my state it’s legal for a minor to drink anywhere so long as the parent is present.

    • Eileen

      Nope. There was only one bar I really cared about going to before I turned 21, and they were well known for being so strict about carding that no one with a fake even bothered…plus how would I do the amazing midnight 21st birthday celebration if I’d been using a fake? I drank, sure, but at house parties hosted by my overage friends. It helps that while I grew up in a small town in suburbia, I went to college in a big, lively city that had lots of things to do, even for the underage.

    • kjon

      Yeah, I got a fake immediately after arriving at college. I got to use my real picture, weight, height and birthday. It was a really FAKE fake, too. The plastic was so stiff that if a bouncer dared to try and touch two corners together it would have definitely snapped. The backside was, no joke, completely blank. Can’t say where exactly I got it but I do remember the guy only spoke Spanish.

      • kjon

        Forgot to say about the birthday thing: real month/day, year was pushed back to 1986 to make me 22.

    • Sam

      A friend of mine gave me her expired one. Like your sister’s case, the ID looked NOTHING like me. My friend is (1)tan (2)5’4″ (3)125 lbs. (4)brown eyes–although her ID says “blue” for some reason. I, as you know, am 5’7″, 150 lbs., blue eyed, blue haired. And yet it worked the times I used it; once, the doorgirl just laughed and didn’t even look at it. Being a girl makes it easy to get into places without ID, I think. But I would never have bought a fake.

    • Sugar

      I got married really young… I never had a reason. ha!

    • lucygoosey74

      Nope, I was 18 in 1993 and we were into underground raves and were way to “cool” to go to clubs or bars.

    • len132

      I’ve never had a fake ID (even though in my town it would be pretty easy to get one). It is not because I am a pretty girl, it is because I am boring.

    • Ella Jane

      oh yeah, I had two. One DL from Texas, one from Louisiana. There was a shop in my town called Mr. ID where all the kids went to get fake IDs – technically they were novelties. You’d fill out a form with what you wanted yours to say, take a picture, and he’d print the ID, put cellophane strips on top that said NOVELTY ID, ran it through a laminator, and you were on your way. Get in your car, cut open one side of the laminate, and shake out your ID and you’re ready to go.

      And you couldn’t buy just one; it was $80 for two, $100 for two that swiped (a lot of liquor stores and gas stations don’t even look at your ID down here, they just swipe it). I got a LA one and a TX one because I spent a lot of time in both states. When I’d get carded in TX I’d hand over the LA one and vice versa – less scrutiny that way.

    • G

      No, because my older sister who looks EXACTLY like me was afraid she’d get in trouble. Fast forward to my 21st birthday, and my mom said to us that she was so excited that I could finally drink with them in public. I, like a shitty younger sibling should, called out my sister for not letting me use her id when she turned 21. My mom turned to my sister and said (I remember this so vividly like it was yesterday) “You do realize we wasted two full years where G could’ve gone out with us?” Thank you mom, for having your priorities in order!

      • Lacy

        I loved this story so much. lol

    • Kj

      God bless the Canadas, where I only had to spend 2 or so years begging others to buy me alcohol before being able to buy it at 19 (or 18, in Quebec, where the drinking age is mostly “a suggestion.”)

      I think it’s ridiculous that you have to be 21 to drink. Seriously. 20 isn’t even good enough?!

      Although the States has waaaaaay better liquor selection and availability once you are of age. Here it’s regulated out the wazoo.

      • Maggie

        Yay Canada! My friends and I would take a few trips a year to Quebec before we were 19 just so we could drink legally. And they sold booze at convenience stores! Amazing.

        I only ever had one fake ID, and it was terrible. I was 17, it said I was 25. The girl whose ID it was had short, bleach blonde hair and dark brown eyes and was 5’2″. I’m 5’8″ with long blonde hair and blue eyes. Miraculously, the thing worked! Could be because I wore a shirt that showed a LOT of cleavage.

    • MR

      No. A neighborhood down, we could walk into a grocery store and buy beer when we were 15. If you bought a can or a bottle, they’d put it in a little brown paper bag so it concealed what you were drinking. They’d even remove the cap for you if it was foreign. Drinking age was 18 in Nyc then. In fact, it was so wide open we’d rollerskate up to roller hockey matches in Park Slope to save the subway fare for a case of beer after the game. It was a different time. And then Reagan changed everything. :)

    • k

      I got my fake when I was 19 through a friend of a friend (isn’t it always how it goes?) BUT my fake looked legit. I sent a random email a dmv-like photo of me, and all my info (all true, so there was no fake name or birthday..in case I would have to recite any info that would be on the card, after a few drinks.)

      Living in Vegas, you MUST be 21. If you want to go to the movies, you have to walk through a casino and having a fake helped me from getting stopped or kicked out of places. I never really used it for fear of getting caught. It was just nice to have one just in case.

    • Lacy

      When I was 19 I wanted to go see a band that I liked, but the venue was 21 and up. One of my coworkers who I barely knew overheard me and offered me a license that one of her former friends left in her car. It didn’t resemble me at all, aside from the red hair. It also put me at age 26, and I wasn’t even close to looking that old. I could have passed for a young high school student at that age. Can’t believe it got me in to the bars.