Is it illegal to buy a fake ID? 22 Answers as of July 12, 2013

I'm sure you've seen the reports of kids getting busted using IDchief.com to buy fake IDs then getting caught by customs. How are they arrested? Is only buying a fake ID illegal? I was under the impression that possession of a fake ID or using it to misrepresent oneself is illegal, yet if it were intercepted in the mail, technically they never were in possession of it nor did they ever use it, so how did they break the law? What would they be charged with?

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Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Under Minnesota statutes 171.22 it is a gross misdemeanor to make a counterfeit license or ID card or to use another person's identity when questioned by law enforcement. It is a misdemeanor to display, cause or permit to be displayer for to have in possession a fake license or ID. Purchasing an ID in the mail, if proven may also support charges of conspiracy to commit fraud or other more serious offense, though significant defenses may exist to such a charge.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/24/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
You could be charged with attempted possession of fake ID and maybe federal charges if the mail crossed state lines. You should hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/24/2011
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Yes, it is illegal to possess a fake ID. Ordering one via mail, phone, internet violates Mail Fraud Statutes and Wire Fraud Statutes. In fact, getting it into your possession is a lesser crime than simply using the Federal Mail or Wire services to conspire to commit the fraud that forms the basis of the illegality of possession.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/23/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Yes, it is illegal to buy a fake ID and I wouldn't post the name of a site that makes false IDs because you could get charged as well for soliciting to do an illegal act, so I don't suggest you have any part in it in the future if you have a part in it now. While you may make an interesting legal point, what is the point of owning a false ID if you're not interested in using it for some nefarious reason? Moreover, if a person gets caught with a false ID, then it's going to cost a lot in legal fees to try to prove your legal point. What's the point in that either? Both seem to be functions of an overactive mind that has nothing to do but to think of things like this to post on legal web sites to show how smart the writer is. I agree, you are smart. Unfortunately, you may too smart for your own good. Think a little harder about it. There are real practical issues involved that will ultimately defeat smartness, so why not think of something else to do with your time. I say this with all due respect, because it's obvious you are indeed smart, but spending your time to do this is only asking for trouble and legal fees for no good purpose. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/23/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
It is not legal. Don't do it and you don't have to worry about the consequences.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/23/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Interesting question. There are a number of offenses in both the Penal code and Vehicle code forbidding the use, transfer, making etc.of false identification cards, by which I assume you mean DMV type cards. In addition the there is a Business and Professions code section outlawing the mere possession of such cards by anyone under 21. Strictly speaking the mere possession of such a card by anyone else in not a crime, although if it can proven there was the intent to commit a crime with it, then possession of such a card is a crime.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    It is illegal to possess a fake ID. If you purchase a fake ID you would possess it or you would intend to possess it. Possession can be actual possession where it is found on your person or construction possession where it is at a place where you intend to exercise dominion and control over the object. A fake ID mailed to you would be evidence of constructive possession.The laws are pretty tough on possession of fake ID's (obstruction of justice) and even tougher on identity theft.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
    Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
    Maybe attempted possession. There are over ten thousand potential federal crimes, and many of them are extremely vague. Stay well.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    This would largely depend upon the type of ID they were receiving in the mail. Some 'fake' IDs are clearly labeled as fakes and use the recipients actual name, etc. If they ordered IDs that actually attempted to portray them with false identities then it is likely that they may be exposed to some level of criminal liability. On Thu, May 19, 2011 at 6:20 PM, Question From LawQA wrote: > A QUESTION HAS BEEN SENT TO YOU VIA A CRIMINAL DEFENSE WEBSITE ON THE LAW > QA NETWORK > > ID:20623 > Question: Is it illegal to buy a fake ID? > Question Detail: I'm sure you've seen the reports of kids getting busted > using IDchief.com to buy fake IDs then getting caught by customs. How are > they arrested? Is only buying a fake ID illegal? I was under the impression > that possession of a fake ID or using it to misrepresent oneself is illegal, > yet if it were intercepted in the mail, technically they never were in > possession of it nor did they ever use it, so how did they break the law? > What would they be charged with? > > *********************************** > To answer this question, please just reply to this email. The original > content and subject should not be modified, otherwise your answer will not > be valid. Patrick Reagin Bloom Legal LLC 504.460.5479 www.bloomlegal.com This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager. This message contains confidential information and is intended only for the individual named. If you are not the named addressee you should not disseminate, distribute or copy this e-email. Please notify the sender immediately by e-mail if you have received this e-mail by mistake and delete this e-mail from your system. If you are not the intended recipient you are notified that disclosing, copying, distributing or taking any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Let's look at this question from a practical standpoint. Use of a fake id can get you into trouble. So if you can't use it, why would you spend money to buy it? Seems to me that buying a fake id is like playing with fire. Play long enough and you will get burned.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/23/2011
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC
    Law Office of Rankin Johnson IV, LLC | Rankin Johnson IV
    If nothing else, it could be an attempt to commit an offense that requires possession of a fake ID. An attempt is usually a less-serious crime than the completed offense. The state might not decide to prosecute, and they would have a hard time proving that the fake ID was ordered by any specific person. The picture on the ID is evidence, of course, but it might have been ordered by someone else as a prank, for instance. But it's not out of the question that the person who ordered the ID might be convicted of a crime.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    At a minimum, the activity you describe is an attempt. A crime need not be completed to be charged. For example, the crime of attempt to commit bank robbery makes perfect sense, since the police would not have to wait until the crime was completed before making an arrest. In this same way, attempt is one way to charge such an offense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    I guess the real question is "why would you want to take any chance?"
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/12/2013
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    It is a crime to possess, make, buy or sell false government ID or other documents. If arrested, youll learn the actual charge[s] filed against you when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. If that happens, and if serious about hiring counsel to help you in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    The Law Offices of Jason Pollack, Esq.
    The Law Offices of Jason Pollack, Esq. | Jason Pollack
    It is illegal. It is illegal to purchase and posses an illegal ID.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law
    Jules N. Fiani, Attorney at Law | Jules Fiani
    Yes it is illegal to possess a fake ID.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    There are a couple of potential charges. Both are Federal Offenses. One would be using the U.S. mail for transporting fraudulent documents. The other possible charge would be conspiracy to use the U.S. mail for an unlawful purpose, which is far more likely. Two things are mandatory for you or whoever you are referencing. First, do not pick up the package. Secondly do not talk to law enforcement whatsoever. It is best to keep this to yourself and not even discuss the investigation with anyone other than an attorney; because anyone else can testify against you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law
    Howard W. Collins, Attorney at Law | Howard W. Collins
    Assuming this is in Oregon: What crime or statute was this person charged with?
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    It is illegal to attempt to use, or possess a fake ID, to manufacture one, to give it to another to use it, to help another produce one, to use a false name or address, and to use it to get into a bar or any other reason. If you order it and it is mailed to you the police may have a problem proving your guilt, but it is still illegal and you can be charged. Wait until you are legal and don't drive drunk or with a fake license, it is not worth the trouble or the criminal record.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    They can always charge you with attempt. Remember almost any crime can be charged as an attempted act (and not the act itself).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/20/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Buying a fake ID could be prosecuted as attempted ID Theft, even if the fake ID was never received.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/20/2011
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