Penalties for Fake IDs May Be Severe

It may seem like something that everyone is doing. Your friend says he knows a guy who can get you the perfect fake ID. You will be able to get into the cool clubs or buy beer—nothing too crazy. You are not going to drink too much or get into trouble or anything. You just deserve to have a good time, right?


Possession of a fraudulent identification card, or fake ID, in Illinois is a crime, regardless of how it may be utilized. In addition, fake IDs are often used to facilitate underage drinking , which can also result in serious legal and criminal consequences.

Under Illinois law , a fraudulent identification card refers to an ID card of any type purporting to be official identification, “for which a computerized number and file have not been created by the Secretary of State, the United States Government or any state or political subdivision thereof or any other governmental or quasi-governmental organization.” Additionally, any such card which resembles an official ID card in size, color, print, or design is considered, for purposes of the law, to be a fake ID.

The authority for enforcing the state’s laws regarding fraudulent identification cards is statutorily granted to the Illinois Secretary of State. Current Secretary of State Jesse White has taken the responsibility very seriously, establishing the Safe ID Task in 2009. In addition, his office regularly oversees educational efforts and reminders for citizens of all ages, including those looking to obtain fake IDs for underage drinking purposes.

Last fall, Secretary White published an open letter in a number of regional newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune highlighting the potential penalties for using a fake ID. An individual who is convicted of possessing a false driver’s license or ID is subject to one year suspension of driving privileges, a minimum $500 fine or 50 hours of community service and up to three years in prison. Unlawful possession or use of a fake ID is prosecutable as a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense. Subsequent offenses may be charged as Class 4 felonies.

If you have been charged with possession of a fake ID, underage drinking, or any other related crime, you need the help of a lawyer who is committed to your case. Contact an experienced criminal defense in Joliet today to schedule a free consultation. At the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, we have worked with many clients facing similar situations and are prepared to help you.

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