New Report Examines Challenges & Solutions for Fake IDs in Evolving Retail Environment

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Center for Alcohol Policy has released a new report, “Fake IDs in America: Challenges of Identification and the Critical Need for Training,” authored by Susan Dworak, CEO of Real Identities, LLC. The report outlines current challenges posed by fake IDs, identifies best practices for verifying identification on alcohol sales, and proactive measures policymakers, regulators and licensees can take to protect against alcohol purchases with fake IDs. Dworak explains that as new technologies and consumer patterns evolve, age verification for purchasing alcohol and other regulated products becomes more challenging – and this is a serious problem for alcohol retailers and their employees as well as for communities and general public health.

“Less than 20 of the 50 states mandate a responsible vendor program and nearly half of those states do not mention ID checking as part of the required curriculum,” explains Dworak, highlighting the need for robust server and gatekeeper training as the number one defense against the fraudulent purchase of alcohol with a fake ID. On the issue of reliance on ID scanners, Dworak points out that scanners cannot detect fraudulent behavior with borrowed or stolen real IDs and that magnetic strips on licenses are easily manipulated. Dworak urges, “[w]e must consider the extent to which we allow convenience to play a role in regulation or enforcement in the protection of society.”

The report also discusses the evolving retail landscape, where online ordering, third-party deliveries and shipments, self-checkout and cashier-less checkout can make ID verification for the purchase of alcohol even more of a challenge. “Regulations need to address all parties involved in the ordering, selling, purchase, and delivery of alcohol,” Dworak continues, “regulations can be drafted to withstand change with universal principles.”

Dworak will share her report in a panel, “Brave New World of Age Verification,” at the 11th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference taking place Oct. 9 – 11 in St. Paul, Minn. See the Conference’s webpage to learn more about the annual conference.

You can find the full report here.


The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501c(3) organization whose mission is to educate policymakers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation. By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption. For more information, visit the Center’s website or follow the Center on Twitter.


Subscribe to the RSS Feed
Center for Alcohol Policy
277 S. Washington Street Suite 500-A Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 519-3090