Terrorist threats and illegal immigration have spurred the advent of hologram- and bar code-adorned forms of identification, but getting fake IDs good enough to fool the system has never been easier, reports the Washington Post. The main customers of the fake ID merchants are underage drinkers—who also often drive, with deadly results. But with driver's licenses today used for getting onto airplanes or into buildings, this new age of fake IDs creates even deadlier security risks.
Many of the fake IDs come out of China. One prominent merchant, known as “the Chinese guy,” charges $300 for one license, $200 each for two, or just $75 each for bulk orders bigger than 20, sending the fake IDs hidden in the soles of cheap shoes. His IDs are almost too perfect: Real driver's licenses have flaws, and his are sometimes spotted because they do not. “He’s like some sort of genius in China,” said one 19-year-old. “Every kid in Annapolis has one of his licenses.”