Why You Shouldn't Get a Fake ID

Underage drinking isn't the only way to have fun.

One of the craziest stories I've ever heard on the topic of fake IDs was from my best friend from high school. During her sophomore year at her state college, she got so drunk that a cop intervened to make sure she was okay. When he asked for her ID, she gave him her fake. He went back to his car to verify her identity, but came back and told her he could not find her. She told him, "I swear that is my ID, go check it again." He returned with the same response. Recognizing she was incredibly intoxicated, he let her go but kept her ID. While she wasn't thinking and quite drunk, she was also very fortunate that day. But others may not be as lucky.

When all your friends are getting ready to go to college and bulk-ordering their fake IDs, it's easy to think, "Oh, well, maybe I should get one too." After all, in the United States, binge drinking is a part of our college culture. That does not mean it's the only way to have fun. There are more cons and than pros to getting a fake ID.

Your Fake Could Look Fake

Whether you're ordering your ID in a bulk order or getting it from a friend's brother who kind of looks like you, you don't know how it's going to turn out. Unfortunately for one of my friends, hers turned out badly, and her photo looked like an alien (her head was super elongated and partially cut off). It's not like shady fake ID websites give refunds, so you may end up wasting your money

It Will, at Some Point, Get Taken Away

Anytime you go out with a fake ID, you should go in with the expectation that your fake could be taken away. Sometimes you can pay the bouncer to get it back, but that poses the question, "Is it worth the hassle?"

You will probably spend around $40 to $50 to get the fake in the first place, but now you need to spend more money to get it back, so you can then spend more money to drink at an overpriced bar. Paying for an experience can be worth it, but there comes a time when it's not.

You'll Probably Ruin Someone's Night and Your Own

It's possible you could get turned away from a bar or club while your friends get in. If you got in while others did not, do you go back to your friends and try and find another place? If you got turned away, do you go home by yourself or attempt to get your friends to try another place? If you're going out with people who are old enough to drink legally, do you really want to risk ruining their night out by getting caught? The complications could cause anxiety and issues in your relationships.


It's Illegal

Well, duh. In the story I mentioned, my friend got really, really lucky. If a bouncer or cop decides to turn you in, depending on the state, you could potentially be facing a misdemeanor or even a felony charge. The consequences may not seem serious when everyone's doing it, but the legal consequences can be significant.

Enjoy Being Young

You have the rest of your life to drink. Why not enjoy being and feeling young before your bones turn brittle and hangovers last for days? Drinking is not the only way to have a good time. If you're in college and really want to drink, enjoy house parties or drink in the privacy of your dorm with close friend's instead.

Looking back, I only used my fake ID to get wine at Trader Joe's— not really the best investment. Remember to weigh all your options and the consequences of getting a fake ID. Today, it may seem like no big deal to get a fake, but when you're begging a bouncer to not call the cops, you'll realize you would have been better off waiting for your 21st birthday.