Skip to Content
Agencies | Governor
Search Virginia.Gov

Fake IDs

Download Truth about Fake Ids brochure.

The Truth about Using False Identification to Buy Alcohol

It may seem tempting to have a fake ID until you get caught with it…. Don't try to be someone else. Just be yourself.

Download the Fake IDs Brochure (PDF file size 261 KB) Help with Downloads

Order the Fake IDs brochure in bulk from ABC's Education section. Foreign Language Editions are also available.

Help promote Virginia's Zero Tolerance policy for underage consumption and possession. Report ABC violations anonymously by using our Violation Complaint Form or call the ABC Crimeline at (800) 552-3200.

A fake ID is any document that establishes a false identity.

  • Fake IDs are illegal to possess, manufacture, sell or use.
  • Penalties could result in paying a fine or even going to jail.
  • A conviction for possessing or using a fake IDs could appear on your permanent criminal record; impact college or graduate admission; and limit job opportunities.
  • The penalties are just as severe for loaning your ID to another person as for using a fake ID.
  • It is illegal to assist another person to obtain a fake ID.
  • Virginia ABC trains alcohol sellers and servers to recognize fake IDs—not only from Virginia but from other states as well.
  • In 2009, Virginia began issuing newly designed driver's licenses and ID cards made of laser-engraved polycarbonate, with enhanced security features to prevent identity theft, falsification and underage purchase of alcohol.

Twenty-one is the minimum age to purchase or drink alcohol.

  • All states and the District of Columbia now have laws stating age 21 is the minimum age to purchase or drink alcohol.
  • Underage possession of alcohol means you could lose your driver's license for up to a year.
  • As part of Virginia's Zero Tolerance law, drivers under 21 caught under the influence of ANY amount of alcohol face serious penalties.
  • Promote Virginia's Zero Tolerance policy for underage consumption and possession. Report ABC violations anonymously at or call (866) 437-3155.

The Code of Virginia

Fraudulent use of a driver's license, ID card or other identification materials:

  • It is illegal to use another's ID as one's own.
  • It is illegal to possess or sell an ID for the purpose of establishing false identification.
  • It is illegal to make or alter an ID.
  • Persons who possess, use or distribute false forms of ID are charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. (Code of Virginia 18.2-204.1, 204.2)
Seized fraudulent IDs.
Fraudulent identifications seized during just one month by
ABC special agents at popular night spots in Richmond.
Seized fraudulent IDs.

Underage purchase or possession of alcoholic beverages:

  • It is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess any alcoholic beverage.
  • No one under 21 may use an altered or fake ID such as a driver's license, birth certificate or student identification card to establish a false identification or false age to purchase an alcoholic beverage.
  • Violators shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and, upon conviction, can lose their driver's license for up to one year and face a minimum fine of $500 or a mandatory minimum of 50 hours of community service and a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. (Code of Virginia 4.1-305)

Download the Fake IDs Brochure (PDF file size 261 KB).

Help with Downloads

Please contact the Virginia ABC's Bureau of Law Enforcement at (804) 213-4565 or e-mail with questions about fake IDs or underage possession and consumption of alcohol.

This brochure was developed and produced by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) with assistance from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and funded through a federal grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

Start of Page | Start of Content