Your year abroad or your first vacation in the USA is coming up, so far so good! However, you are not yet 21 years old and cannot legally drink alcohol or go to nightclubs in the USA. Unless you have a fake ID card for America, as thousands of young people do to buy alcohol and cigarettes in the USA, or to gain access to night clubs. Only the fewest adhere to the alcohol law in USA and the falsified identity card becomes a must for many young people. Here we will explain why so many young people in the USA forge their identity card and what consequences are to be expected. Because even in the USA, possession and use of a forged ID card is punishable by law.

Germans and Austrians visiting USA are usually accustomed to obtaining and legally buying light alcohol such as beer from the age of 16. In the USA, however, people under the age of 21 are still considered as minors and their age quickly thwarts their plans if they want to get into the nightlife. You are not yet allowed to drink in bars, pubs or night clubs or to enter them at all according to American law.

In many parts of the USA, especially among college students, it is therefore a well established practice to buy a fake ID card to bypass age limits. Black-market traders offer these for the price ranging between 50 to 200USD and demand remains high. American youths do not drink more often than Germans, but they often drink more excessively, especially at major events such as the Spring break. Even a college party, as we know it from television, quickly degenerates in the USA, especially since minors are not yet accustomed to alcohol use.

German tourists often take precautions and already obtain a fake ID card in Germany. They bet on the fact that American bouncers rarely get to see a German identity card, and thus may fail to recognize it as a fake. The date of birth on American identity cards also has a different format, which creates additional confusion. But even if it is indeed so and the American bouncers may not recognize a German forgery so quickly, it is and remains a crime to possess and use a forged identity card and we strongly advise you against it. The laws in the USA are different from those in Germany and may also vary from state to state. Fortunately, however, hardly any case is known in which German tourists were detained and punished for the possession of a fake identity card, because usually it ends with denied access to the venue and confiscation of fake identity card, in the worst case scenario.

German bouncers also often have problems distinguishing a fake ID from the original, even though they see countless ID cards every day. Now you can imagine that their colleagues from the USA have a much harder time with it, especially with German IDs which look completely different and have different security features. Because the Americans don’t see German ID cards as often, this makes it much harder for them to recognize them as forgeries. Many young people take advantage of this fact when they go to a holiday in the USA, often without being aware of the seriousness of a criminal offense and its consequences.