Can I see some ID?

It’s a day 20 years and 364 days in the making (that’s 183,936 hours, but who’s counting) – your 21st birthday.

Your last few birthdays were downhill since you got your driver’s license. With 18 years under your belt you could vote, join the army, even purchase tobacco and pornography. This is a sensible combination, since new recruits need to smoke while reading Playboy (for the articles only) as to be well informed for the next election, in case Miss January decides to challenge Arnold Schwarzenegger. And 19 and 20 passed by without any milestones.

But this is your 21st birthday, a joyous celebration when you get your first taste of alcohol.

But what if you can’t wait for the day when you can legitimately walk into your DMV and have your hideous license photograph taken, not looking forlornly to the side, but facing your new and exciting future head on?

Well, you didn’t hear it from me, but there is a black market for fake ID’s.

We all have our reasons. Perhaps you have being dying to try the slots at Caesar’s, or purchase rapid-fire automatic weapons.

But most people want fake ID’s so they can purchase alcohol. They want to buy it and they want to be let into clubs that sell it.

One anonymous junior economics major has had lots of success with his fake N.J. ID. His friend had the template for the driver’s license in his computer. Once they were printed out, he laminated them and used tinfoil to obtain the correct thickness.

He bought his during his junior year of high school. He was only denied with it once and it was given back, but he stopped using it because of the risk. His friend has perfected his technique, and his ID’s have worked at several casinos in Atlantic City.

One junior information systems major got his fake ID at a souvenir and card shop in New York City. He was 18 and paid $50 for a Pennsylvania driver’s license. That shop, like many on the block, was small in the front had back rooms full of scanners, computers and printers where the ID’s are made.

His ID was perfect, except for the hologram. Real Pennsylvania licenses have a hologram of different counties, while his simply had a hologram of “authentic,” which ran the length of the card. The back was a swipe card with writing. Even though the writing was wrong, it was correctly placed, and the license worked in bars in New York City, Rhode Island, New Jersey and in a Florida liquor store.

He was finally caught two years after purchasing the license in Seaside, trying to buy alcohol at a bar/liquor store called The Sandpiper. They took the ID but did not call the police.

Other students aren’t so lucky. One sophomore English major obtained her fake ID from her friend who went to school in South Carolina, and when he was caught, the police confiscated the hard drive of his computer.

The clubs and liquor stores near the College have policies about IDs ranging from lackadaisical to strict about how to handle license fraud.

Kat Man Du, a popular Trenton club, is known for being strict concerning fake ID’s. Every member of its staff is trained to spot fake ID’s, after attending a class. If someone tries to use a fake ID, it is taken and turned into the state. The club plans to get a scanner to check ID’s once the state implements this code, according to a General Manager.

Deli Delight Liquors, on Ewingville Road, also has a stricter policy. They require two forms of identification, one a photo ID. If they suspect one or more is fake, they will hold the identification in question and call the police.

Deli Delight reports no incidents this year but have called the police on several occasions in the past, some incidents even occured last year. The people caught were believed to be were students from the College. Being located near a college, Deli Delight tries to have strict security and tries rigorously scrutinize ID’s.

H and K Liquors on Olden Avenue has a similar policy. When one senior finance major tried to use his fake ID there, the clerk handed it back to him saying it wasn’t real, and would not let him purchase alcohol.

Whether lenient or strict, creating fake ID’s is a serious crime. Most students would rather wait out the time until their 21st birthday. For a 20 year old, that’s only 8,760 hours away – not that anyone’s counting.