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By Jocelyn Silver
Fake IDs are like the Holy Grail of weekends, something many, many underage students spend copious amounts of money on in the hopes of getting a nice buzz somewhere other than a dorm room or grimy Brooklyn warehouse party. Us under-21 types have been faced with a number of urban legends in regards to the fake ID (no, you do not just need something to “show to the bouncer”), so we decided to offer up a list of basic and helpful tips to keep your little piece of plastic out of a bouncer’s pocket. Here’s to hoping that cool places will soon be flooded with youngsters who can’t hold their liquor.
ADVICE FROM A BOUNCER
I spoke with Zach (an incredibly nice bouncer on Third Avenue who frequently referred to me as “sweetheart”), who gave me some tips. Zach said:
- The holograms on a lot of poorly made IDs are simply photocopies of keys. Look out for that.
- IDs that are real, but were clearly passed down from an older friend, aren’t going to cut it. Height seems to be the most obvious issue. Examples: the kid who couldn’t be more than 5’7" with an ID that said he was 6’4", a girl that looked at least 6 feet tall in heels but was supposedly 5’2, etc. The “I gained/lost weight trick” doesn’t work either. “I’ve seen small girls with IDs that had really heavy people on them. Like what’d you do, go on ‘The Biggest Loser’? Are you the World’s Most Incredible Shrinking Person?”
- Bouncers keep an eye out for other things besides height, weight, hair and eye color. When I informed him that a friend of mine that was also a 5’10 brunette with hazel eyes and a similar (not to be documented!) weight had offered me her ID once she turns 21, he said, “Well, does your friend have freckles? Because you got tons of freckles going on, and I would just look down at the ID and be like, come on, are you kidding me? Where’d your freckles go?” (A caveat: Zach is very thorough. Insanely thorough. Not all bouncers are the same. Some will, in fact, not notice or care that my picture was missing some freckles.)
- If your ID gets rejected or confiscated, should you argue with the bouncer? “Hell no. You just tried to lie to me.” If they do take your ID and you desperately need it back in order to visit spots with bouncers that are far less professional, your best bet is to wait a bit to give them time to forgive/possibly forget about you, and then politely ask for it back. A promise that you will never again bother them again might also inspire positive results. And then offer cash.
KEY ITEMS TO REMEMBER
-ID’s from Delaware, New Hampshire, Maryland and California are used all the time and bouncers tend to realize that they’re fake. Don’t use one.
-The hallmarks of a crappy fake ID are an incorrect picture size or poorly done hologram. Example:
'adud shiraz 949 Ad Dirham dawla Amir Mint Al 983 Buyid -Nice restaurants hardly ever card, and neither do really fancy bars in hotels. The unfortunate consequence of being in a gorgeous setting and not worrying about getting carded is that one inevitably ends up paying $22 for a Cosmo.
Mint dawla Ad Al 'adud Amir 949 983 shiraz Dirham Buyid -Don’t buy a fake ID from the douchebag that sells Maryland IDs by Serendipity. These do not work for anyone, ever. I would know, because I bought one. My unabashedly awful Maryland ID says that my birthday is on Valentine’s Day, has round corners that don’t match up with the square picture, and doesn’t scan.
SOME BASIC DO’S AND DON’TS (DESIGNED FOR SILLY FRESHMEN)
DO: MAKE SURE YOU BUY YOUR ID FROM A REPUTABLE SOURCE
There are a lot of faux ID suppliers in this city, and most of them make really crappy ones. Make sure to get a recommendation from a trustworthy friend before you buy. Your best bet is to follow said friend to a bar and watch as their ID is A) accepted or B) thrust into a bouncer’s pocket (Note: this level of thoroughness is only recommended for actual alcoholics). Or just compare it to a real ID from its respective state.
DO: ACCEPT AN OLD ID FROM SOMEONE THAT DOES ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE YOU
The best possible thing that can happen to someone in the world of fake IDs is to be offered one from an older person, preferably a family member. If this person is willing to give you their actual drivers license, then you’ve struck gold. You’re set. Go have a nice mixed drink.
DEBATABLE: ORDERING IDs OFF THE INTERNET
Earlier this year, under the recommendation of some unseen person that a friend of a friend of a friend knew, my idiotic self and some idiotic friends decided to order IDs off the internet that were obviously made by eight year-olds in Malaysia. We got totally scammed, because we’re idiots. Common sense would also dictate that one shouldn’t buy a fake from some unseen entity on the world wide web.
DON’T: BUY A FAKE ID IF YOU JUST WANT TO BUY ALCOHOL
If you’re perfectly happy with a social life that revolves drinking in dorms and the occasional upperclassman’s apartment combined with a few parties or trips to the ubiquitous BYOB Indian Restaurants, a fake ID is not for you (and you also sound really boring. And a lot like me). There are a gazillion places for youngins to buy alcohol in this city. Beyond just plain delis, there are a large number of liquor stores that don’t give a shit. Most of these happen to be resplendently covered in “21+ ONLY” signs.
Good luck, my fellow underage drinkers. God be with you. I wish you all luck in your quest to find the perfect ID. Go forth and try to avoid alcohol poisoning.