What is a fake ID?
A fake ID refers to an identification document that has been made illegally, altered in any way (e.g. to make you seem older), or that does not actually belong to you.
What penalties apply to using a fake ID in NSW?
If you’re a minor and use a false ID, you may be fined $2,200 or an on-the-spot penalty of $220. You may also have 6 months added to your provisional driver’s licence. This means that it will take you longer to get your full licence, and this applies even if you have not yet obtained your provisional or learner licence.
If you’re an adult and you allow a minor to use your ID, you may be fined up to $3,300 or given an on-the-spot fine of $330.
Can you go to jail for using a fake ID?
While you can’t go to jail for using a fake ID to purchase alcohol or get into a pub, other potential penalties may apply as per above.
However, if a fake or stolen ID is used in certain ways, such as applying for a credit card or bank account, this can be considered identity fraud, which is a much more serious offence.
The Crimes Amendment (Fraud, Identity and Forgery Offences) Act 2009 introduced new offences concerning identity crime. Pt 4AB contains the identity fraud offences:
|Offence||Max Penalty (Yrs)|
|Deal with identification information with intent to commit or facilitate indictable offence||10|
|Possess identification information with intent to commit or facilitate indictable offence||7|
|Possess equipment to make identification document or thing with intent to commit or facilitate indictable offence||3|
As you can see, even possessing a false identification document could land you in serious trouble with the law if it can be proved you have the intention to commit or facilitate an indictable offence (a more serious offence such as identity fraud, which may be subject to a trial by jury).
What should you do if you have been caught with a fake ID?
If you have been caught using a fake ID card for a purpose such as buying alcohol or to enter a licensed venue, you are required by law to provide your name, address and date of birth to police or to the relevant employee of the establishment (e.g. a bouncer at a club).
If you find yourself in this situation, you should co-operate and provide the requested personal details. You will need to pay any on-the-spot fine issued by police, or fine issued in court, as applicable. Your fake ID may also be confiscated by police.
If you are facing more serious charges relating to identity fraud using a false identification document, the penalties could be severe and you should immediately seek the advice of a skilled criminal defence lawyer.