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Fake Identification Cards

Fake IDs and under 18s

  • A fake ID is one that doesn’t belong to you, has been illegally made or changed (for example to make you look older).
  •  In most cases, it’s against the law just have a fake ID on you! 


What is a fake ID?

When we talk about “fake IDs”, we mean a couple of things:   

  • has been made illegally;
  • has been scratched or altered in any way (like to make you seem older);
  • doesn’t actually belong to you (like a friend’s or brother’s ID). 

What are the accepted forms of ID in the NSW?

In New South Wales, you can prove your age using:

  • a current driver licence (NSW or interstate);
  • a current passport; or
  • a current NSW Photo Card (or current interstate proof of age card).


What if I use a fake ID?

It’s against the law to use a fake ID to buy alcohol or get into a pub, club or bar.  If you are caught and you’re under 18, the police can:

  • give you a warning;
  • give you a formal caution;
  • fine you $220 on the spot;
  • charge you, and you might have to pay as much as $1,100!

If it’s the first time you’ve used a fake ID, it’s unlikely that the police will charge you.  They will only consider doing this if you have used a fake ID before. 

If you’re over 14, you could also have your provisional driver’s licence extended by 6 months (either P-1 or P-2). This applies to you even if you haven’t even started your P’s or your L’s.  This means that it will take you even longer to get your full licence.  For more information about getting your licence, you can check out our page on Licenses here.

If the fake ID is NSW Photo Card or NSW driver licence, you are also breaking other laws by:

  • having it in the first place; or
  • using it for anything at all, including to buying cigarettes.

 If you’re caught with one and you’re under 18, you could be:

  • given a warning;
  • given a formal caution;
  • fined between $700-$800 on the spot by police; or 
  • fined up to $1,100 if you’re found guilty by a court.

It’s also against the law if you don’t give the police or an employee of a place (e.g. a bouncer) your name, address and date of birth.  You can be fined $220 on the spot.  For more information on your rights when talking to police, please visit our page on police interviews.


Can my ID be confiscated?

Only the police and certain people from Roads & Maritime Services can confiscate a fake ID.  Staff members cannot, but even if they do there will usually be nothing you can do about it.


What if I use someone else’s ID?

If you use someone else’s NSW Photo Card or NSW driver licence, you could be fined between $700-$800 on the spot by police, or up to $1,100 if convicted by a court. 


What if I lend someone my ID?

It is against the law for you to lend your NSW Photo Card or NSW driver licence and you know that they may try and use it as their own.  If that person gets caught, the police may ask both of you how that person got hold of your ID.

If the police find out that you gave your ID to someone else and you knew they were going to pretend it was theirs, you may:

  • be given a warning;
  • be given a formal caution by the police;
  • be fined around $796 on the spot by the police; or
  • be charged and fined up to $5,500 if you are found guilty by a court.

What if I make a fake ID?

It’s against the law to make an ID.  Making an ID includes scratching, changing or forging an ID. If you’re under 18 and you’re caught doing this, you could be:

•    given a warning;

•    given a formal caution;

•    given an on the spot fine of $732;

•    charged with a crime and have to pay up to $1,100 if you’re found guilty by a court.

As long as you haven’t been caught doing the same thing before, and you aren’t making and selling fake IDs, you will probably be cautioned or fined about $732 by the police.  


What if I lie to get an ID?

It’s against the law to give false information to get your ID (like using fake documents or lying to Roads & Maritime Services). If you’re caught lying to get a photo card, you can be fined $732 on the spot.  

If you’re caught lying to get a driver’s licence or photos card and the authorities decide to charge you, you could have to pay up to $1,100 if found guilty by a court.


Additional Information

If you would like more detailed advice or have a specific problem, you can send us a Lawmail.

You are welcome to copy and use this fact sheet.

The content of this page was last updated on 28 November 2014.