For many Texas A&M students, it can seem like getting a fake ID is something you're expected to do.

After all, it seems like everybody has them; a 2007 University of Missouri study found that 32 percent of college students polled had a fake ID by their second year, and think about how much higher that percentage would be if everyone who responded was honest.

We feel an obligation to inform all Bryan and College Station readers, though, that the sheer pervasiveness of fake IDs does not mean it is okay to have and use them.

If police catch you using a fake ID to purchase alcohol or get into a bar and you are not 21, they will, of course, confiscate the fake ID. They will also follow up with a citation, however, and that will probably get you a fine that you do not have money to afford. It may also net you unforeseen consequences, such as compromising your ability to pursue and accept scholarships, volunteer or find employment.

In most states, people who possess fake IDs might face a jail sentence of up to six months, while in Texas, those manufacture fake drivers' license could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. After all, drivers' licenses are government documents, so forging them or possessing known forgeries is not taken lightly.

We respectfully and politely ask you to understand that if you choose to use a fake ID, you are taking a risk. Help is available if you find yourself in trouble, of course. We just want you to know what you are getting into.

Source: BBC News, "Why fake ID is an American rite of passage," Jon Kelly, April 7, 2013

  • Our Underage Drinking page was built with an eye toward being informative and interesting, so you might take a look if you are interested in gathering more information.