If you own a business and check IDs as part of your hiring process, or you are in another job that requires checking IDs or passports, you may want to know how to detect if they are fake.

This is actually quite a bit easier than you may think. Especially with some of today’s superb technology, coupled with simply looking for specific visual clues.


Visual clues — One of the easiest ways to check if an ID or passport is fake is by looking for basic clues.

Has the laminated covering been tampered with? Does the photograph look like the original one, or as if it has been replaced? Can you see the hologram strip when you hold it up to the light? Are the lettering and numbers clear, or do they look as if they have been altered?

All of these things can be a quick and easy way to detect a fake ID.


ID numbers — There are usually two places where the same numbers appear, both on a passport and on a state ID.

Check both places to make sure the number is the same on both of them, as sometimes forgers will change one number but forget about the other.


The barcode — Most IDs now have a barcode. If you scan the code, it should give you the same information as is printed on the ID and sometimes a little extra.

Make sure the barcode information is identical to the printed information. Most forgers do not have access to barcode technology, or do not have the expertise to use it. That is why a barcode scan can quickly identify a fake ID.


Feel the lettering — Sometimes lettering on specific state IDs is raised and flat on a fake ID.

By running your fingers along the lettering, knowing that is should be raised, you can easily detect a fake ID.


Purchase state ID guides — You can buy guides that list all the information needed about each states’s official IDs in order to help you detect fakes.

Purchase an ID Guide, and be sure to consult it every time you check a new ID.


Fake ID APIs — There are various protocols available that allow you to scan an ID or a passport through their system.

These protocols or APIs can detect fake IDs from over 130 countries, including passports and most forms of official ID.

One of the most popular is a passport verification tool called Idanalyzer. It allows you to screen every ID given to you, and gives you positive or negative results in just seconds.

If you want to ensure you are protecting your business and your employees from fraud, using an API like Idanalyzer can help you do that.