ISU students share why they use fake IDs


Students, sporting few masks and no social distancing, lined up to enter AJ’s Ultra Lounge on Oct. 9 during the first weekend of reopened bars in Story County.

Hannah Scott

Drinking and the party scene are activities that have become synonymous with the college experience. Oftentimes, taking part in these pastimes can be one of the many ways that students stay social with each other, but being under the legal drinking age can sometimes put individuals in a sticky situation.

“Originally, I didn’t really want to get a fake ID,” said a student who wishes to remain anonymous. “But a bunch of my friends started getting them, and it’s hard when you feel like you are missing out on something that you could be doing with all of your friends.”

It’s a well-known fact that on many college campuses, fake IDs run rampant.

For many students, it’s a way to skirt around the law and either acquire alcohol before they are of the legal age or get into bars without being 21 years old. While it can be quite risky for individuals to buy and have a fake ID, some college students are willing to take the chance.

“For me, a lot of times I don’t really worry about getting caught,” said a second student who wishes to remain anonymous. “I probably should, but I think it’s kind of commonly known that if you do get caught with a fake, they’ll probably just take it from you and tell you to leave. I think to a lot of students, the risk just doesn’t seem that bad compared to the reward.”

Students have found many ways of acquiring a fake ID. Some use websites where you have to pay with certain forms of currency while others may take an older friend, family member or sibling’s ID if they feel they look enough like the individual in the picture.

When it comes to the process of ordering IDs online, it can often be somewhat difficult and even sketchy if students are not careful.

“I ordered mine through this random website that my friends found, and we did it in bulk,” the first student said. “We had to use a gift card, and it honestly was really sketchy, but they work.”

Fake IDs can also be quite expensive, which generally leads to many individuals ordering them in bulk with other people due to the prices being reduced. However, for some individuals, buying the IDs has not necessarily been worth the price they paid.

“Honestly, I don’t even use my fake that much because it is still kind of stressful to worry about getting caught,” the second student said. “I paid $90 for it, and sometimes it does feel like it was a waste of money because I’ve only used it a handful of times.”

While for some it may seem odd that individuals are willing to try and cross the law in order to buy alcohol or go to bars underage, the truth is that a lot of students simply just want to have fun with their friends and can sometimes find having a fake ID to be one of the only ways to go out with others, especially if their friends are over the age of 21.

For many, it can be frustrating to watch people they know be able to take part in an activity when they themselves cannot.

“I think I mainly got a fake because I just wanted to be able to go out and have fun without having to go to frat parties or anything like that,” the first student said. “I also wanted to be able to go out with my friends who were over 21 and didn’t really want to go to those parties anymore either. It kind of just seemed like the easiest thing to do.”

Ultimately, having a fake ID, whether or not you are a student, is a risky move. It is against the law and you could get into a lot of trouble if you do happen to be in a situation where it is found. However, for many students, it is up to their own discretion.

“I do think it’s up to everybody’s own discretion,” the second student said. “It’s obviously risky, but I think for some people, the risks are just more worth it than for others.”