Virginia Fake ID Laws
regarding the possession and use of fake IDs or licenses
in Virginia. This is straight from the Virginia government's
False identification is used
for many types of fraudulent activities, including illegal
purchase of alcohol and cigarettes, check fraud, bank fraud,
social security fraud and immigration fraud. Advanced computer
graphics technology and color copiers have made it easier to
produce fake IDs and harder for law enforcers or retailers to
The following summaries explain the law regarding the use,
possession and production of falsified identification documents
and the penalties for such actions.
COV 18.2-204.1. Fraudulent use of birth
certificates, driver's licenses, etc.
- It is illegal to use another's identification as one's
- It is illegal to possess or sell an ID for the purpose
of establishing a false identification.
- Persons who possess, use or distribute fake IDs are
charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the document is used
to purchase a firearm, the charges increase to a Class 6
COV 18.2-204.2. Facsimile or manufacture,
sale, etc., or possession of fictitious, simulated official
license or identification.
- It is illegal to possess, produce or distribute a
falsified document that can be mistaken as an official
- Violators face Class 1 misdemeanor charges for the sale
or production of such ID and Class 2 misdemeanor charges
for possession of such ID.
COV 46.2-347. Fraudulent use of driver's
license or Department of Motor Vehicles identification card to
obtain alcoholic beverages.
- Any underage person found using a falsified DMV
driver's license or military or university identification
card to purchase alcoholic beverages faces conviction of a
Class 3 misdemeanor.
- Convicted individuals may lose their driver's license
for thirty days to one year.
COV 4.1-305. Purchasing or possessing
alcoholic beverages unlawful in certain cases.
- It is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess any
- 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 of this section are guilty of a Class 1
misdemeanor and, upon conviction, face a fine of at least
$500 or fifty hours of community service, and can lose
their driver's license for up to a year.
Retailers' Rights and Responsibilities
Store clerks and sellers and servers of alcoholic beverages
or tobacco products must carefully read identification
presented for proof of age. According to the Virginia
Administrative Code (5-50-20), a licensee or its employees can
use the following factors to determine whether or not to make a
- Whether an ordinary person would doubt the purchaser is
of legal age based on appearance
- Whether the purchaser presents identification upon
request and appears to be the individual pictured on the
document and of the legal age (21 for alcohol; 18 for
- Whether the identification is in proper order, has not
been altered and has not expired.
If a clerk or server suspects an imposter, an altered ID, or
a fake ID, he or she can request to see a second form of
identification. Some signs that an ID has been altered include
photos that are cut out and glued over the original one, cut
marks, bumps or tears in the lamination and lettering that
doesn't match the rest of the card. ABC offers training to
retailers regarding fake IDs, among other topics.
The holder of the fake ID, and not the retailer, is held
fully responsible when the ID appears to be legitimate and
meets the minimum standards imposed by the regulations. For a
copy of the ID Checking Guide, contact the Drivers License
Guide Company at 1-800-227-8827.