What You Need to Know About CA Fake ID Laws
According to California Penal Code 470b PC, possessing or displaying any fake identification cards with the intent to use it to commit a forgery is considered a criminal offense.
The technical legal definition of a “fake ID” in California is any driver’s license or other identification card issued by a governmental agency that has been altered, falsified, forged, reproduced, duplicated, or counterfeited. An “intent to use that fake ID to commit forgery” means an intent to use the ID to commit fraud.
Commonly altered government identification cards include, but not limited to, the following:
- California or other state driver’s license
- Social Security card
- U.S. passport
- Military ID
- Government employment ID
Possessing a fake ID in California can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The severity of the charge is based on the specific circumstances of each case, the previous criminal record of the accused, and the severity of the offense.
Misdemeanor possession of a fake ID is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $1,000. Felony possession of a fake ID results in a maximum three-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $10,000.
Additionally, you may also have your driver’s license revoked for one year. If you are not yet old enough to possess a driver’s license, or have not yet received it for another reason, you may be required to wait an additional year to obtain it.