Advances in technology have made it possible to obtain a fake driver's license that may avoid detection. Anyone considering having one made or receiving one should understand the legal consequences.
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Laws against having fake driver's licenses protect citizens' assets, identity and safety. Criminals often use fake licenses to create fake identities or cash stolen checks. Teenagers and young adults use them to purchase alcohol or gain entry into adult establishments. In any case, having a fake driver's license constitutes possession of a falsified version of an official government document.
Individual states determine the penalty for possession of a fake driver's license. Depending on the state, lawbreakers may face felony or misdemeanour charges for possession of a fake license. Possible penalties include jail time ranging from a week to years, fines into the thousands of dollars and community service.
Part of the burden for enforcing the law falls on a retailer since some states' laws compel him to act if he reasonably thinks a person has presented a fake driver's license. In the state of Iowa the retailer must ask for a second identification to compare photos. If he still suspects a fake license he must confiscate it. Then he must turn the ID over to police and file a written report detailing circumstances of the confiscation. The department of transportation or local police investigate to determine the commission of a crime.
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