How to Spot Massachusetts IDs

If you are a bouncer or bartender in downtown Arizona, your responsibility is to verify people’s IDs for validity. Now, let’s discuss some key features that will help you distinguish genuine Massachusetts licenses from fake ones.

Unless you’re using a fake ID for fun like McLovin, getting caught using a counterfeit ID is embarrassing. Whether through visual inspection or tactile examination, you can easily identify these features using our guidelines.

This article is inspired by a friend who works at a bar in Boston. A friend of mine in Boston works as a bouncer at a busy bar. From his job, he has become adept at identifying fake IDs.

It’s not a skill many people think about. Even bars don’t often dwell on it. Most bars just perform fairly rudimentary checks on fake IDs: bending the ID to ensure it’s made of the proper card material, attempting to peel the edges, scrutinizing the photo against the person, and perhaps asking for the person’s address. If capable, the bar might also try to scan the ID and see if the scan matches.

All these measures help detect poorly made 724ID. They are not useful for discovering well-crafted scannable IDs.

Well-crafted scannable IDs will use the same cardstock as genuine IDs. Their laminate layers will be indistinguishable. The photo will be a self-taken picture of the person. The data will be actual information provided by the person, and the ID will be scannable, displaying identical data.

To identify well-made fake IDs, you need to be smarter than this.

Step 1 Check the edges

Feel the edge of your actual driver’s license. You’ll find it smooth, with rounded corners. This is because your ID is laser cut. 

The edges of a genuine ID feel smooth. The edges of a poorly made fake ID may be rough or have minimal threading. This is a sign of manual or machine-cut IDs. If the ID in your hand exhibits these characteristics, we can conclude that it is a counterfeit driver’s license.

The edges of a fake ID feel rough, as the small protrusions and edges can catch onto your fingertips.

Step 2 Check the Laminate

Achieving proper lamination on hard plastic is challenging. Fake IDs have been around since the era of laminated cards, but that doesn’t mean laminates are flawless.

On your genuine identification, the laminate is almost imperceptible, except for a slight sheen. It terminates at the end of the card, but if you closely examine the edges of the card, you may see two or three layers: the laminate, the cardstock, and possibly another layer of laminate.

A genuine Massachusetts ID has a laminate that sandwiches the cardstock in the middle but is almost imperceptible.

On a fake ID, the laminate is often poorly adhered to. There may be wrinkles or dirt beneath the laminate, especially around the edges. It also tends to extend slightly beyond the edges, which becomes apparent when directly shining light on the edges.

There is also a scenario where dirt might have entered beneath this cheap laminate.

Even if the lamination technique is well-executed, counterfeit ID manufacturers find it challenging to obtain the same type of laminate as genuine ID manufacturers. These forgers use substitutes, but the quality of these substitutes is often uncontrollable. This extreme case is frequently observable on fake passports as well.

Step 3 Check Raised and Indented Characters

Certain sections of your ID have fonts that are either raised or indented. In my Massachusetts ID, my date of birth at the bottom right is raised, and the first letter of my name and birth year below the photo are indented.

When we run our fingers over the indented fonts, we can feel the indentation. Achieving this is both difficult and expensive. Cheaper ID manufacturers might try to deceive this, especially with indented letters. They may skip the indentation, aligning the letters with the rest of the cardstock. You can feel it with your fingers.

Creating colored, raised fonts is particularly challenging. Fake ID manufacturers struggle to fully color the letters, leaving spots or blotches on the characters.

Note the strange “3D” effect to the right of each raised number, caused by incomplete coloring of the digits.

4. Check the Hologram

Holograms were once an advanced security feature on identification cards. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Most fake ID manufacturers can now print holograms.

However, many manufacturers overlook the details of the hologram.

On the Massachusetts driver’s license, there is a hologram featuring a bird. It has some features that are challenging for many fake ID manufacturers to replicate: a small eye, a small text “Massachusetts,” and my initials and birth year embedded within it.

You should be able to tell that this is an applied 3D hologram. Upon close inspection, we will notice that the bird has no eyes.

Instances, where counterfeit ID manufacturers can directly replicate this quality of hologram, are rare. Many manufacturers might simply print the hologram directly on the cardstock, and people may not realize that it is not raised at all, or even forget that it is a bird without eyes.

The hologram is only printed, not applied. Nevertheless, if you are familiar with the correct appearance of a hologram, especially how it is raised and separate from the card itself, you will have no problem spotting it when counterfeit ID manufacturers forego using it.

5. Check the Back

The business of counterfeit ID manufacturers revolves around producing fake IDs that are good enough to exhaust overworked bouncers or satisfy college students who have just spent their last $100.

What do these two groups have in common? They indeed check the front of the ID and then glance at the back.

Counterfeit ID manufacturers are well aware of this. So, they often relax their vigilance when it comes to the letters on the back. Unlike the letters on the front of the card, the letters on the back might be misaligned, have spots, or be connected. Manufacturers may think that most people focus on the front, so they invest more effort in its production.

If you are familiar with the appearance of the correct ID, especially the way the letters on the back are printed, separate from the card itself, you will easily spot when counterfeit ID manufacturers cut corners on the back.

6. Check the Laser Perforation Design

Another very common security feature is laser perforation. It’s easier to observe if you look at the back of the identification card. You will notice some small holes, possibly in the shape of your state or featuring state symbols.

This is the shape of a laser hole on a 724ID. The holes are very small and closely packed together.

To produce clean and neatly arranged perforations, manufacturers require expensive laser equipment. As you may have noticed by now, this is not something that fake ID manufacturers often possess.

Therefore, they tend to resort to using machine punching to the best of their abilities. This can result in poorly arranged holes, appearing messy or somewhat scarred.

So, we can examine whether the laser perforations are smooth and arranged in an orderly manner.

7. Check the photo

If you find that the photo on the ID is very blurry and the facial contours are unclear, then this driver’s license is a card forged by a roadside convenience store.


According to reports, more than 30 million 724ID enter the US market every year, meaning that among ten students walking on campus, there may be only one who has not bought a US driver’s license. If you want to better identify these driver’s licenses, you must be familiar with the design details of the card. These fake ID cards are not perfect. Even if you are not familiar with the appearance of personal ID cards or national passports, we can carefully observe, and there are always loopholes.

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