Fake IDs are a rite of passage for many high school and college students, and they might be getting more popular.

Infographic by AJ Frankson

Every year since 2013, the number of fake ID confiscations that have been reported to Student Conduct Services has increased markedly, according to Mike Katz of SCS.

The possibility of getting caught and the fake ID having low quality despite being expensive are risks that every owner of a fake ID faces. Students who do not have a fake ID might know someone who does, and those over the age of 21 might have underage friends who use fake IDs.

In the 2013-14 school year, just 12 fake IDs were reported. In the following year, 63 fake IDs were reported. In 2015-16, 201 were reported, and 233 fake IDs were reported to Student Conduct Services last year.


As of Sept. 18, 13 fake IDs have been reported to Student Conduct Services so far this school year. Most of the fake IDs were confiscated at bars and liquor stores that are in Old Town or are around campus, but those numbers are the ones that have been reported by bars and liquor stores to Fort Collins Police Services.

The National Institute of Health published a study in 2009 with much higher numbers than that, estimating that 12.5 percent of college students had fake IDs before college, and 32.2 percent had fake IDs by their fourth semester. 

One anonymous student said that when he is in Fort Collins, he uses his fake ID much less than when he is home in Kansas, partly because of the culture and accessibility.

He also avoids using his fake while in unfamiliar places, or with people who he does not trust well. For example, when his mom came up for Homecoming and Family Weekend, he bought some alcohol with her while out for dinner.

“Me and my mom went out to dinner on Thursday and I bought a pitcher, and the next night we went (out) and split a bottle of wine,” he said.

He also has not had his ID taken away yet, but he has been turned away.

“I’ve only been turned down one time, and that’s because I botched the address,” he said. 

“But, the woman just handed (the ID) right back to me.”

Another student who wished to remain anonymous has had her fake ID taken away while she was under 21. She then obtained a real Colorado driver’s license that looked similar enough to her, so she was able to use the ID without incident until her 21st birthday, which is illegal and can result in worse consequences than using a fake ID.

The student said that other than having her fake ID taken away, she has only had one other incident when a dispensary questioned the legitimacy of her fake ID.

“I said the wrong birth year,” she said. “I said my actual birth year, and he goes, ‘you sure about that?’And then I go ‘94?’ and he said to try again. I go ‘’93,’ and he let me in.”

Collegian reporter Stuart Smith can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @notstuartsmith

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Stuart is a second year Journalism and Media Communicatons major at Colorado State University. He enjoys long walks on the beach, and goes on the occasional run.