What is the definition of a fake ID in Iowa? What are the most common charges associated with a fake ID?

The law creates two separate crimes that are commonly referred to as “fake ID” in Iowa. The first is “Possession of a Fictitious ID”. This is a document that looks like an official ID card, usually a driver’s license, but is actually completely fictitious-It was not made by the state DOT but rather a private individual. Possession of a fictitious ID is a Serious Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $430-$2560 and up to a year in jail.

Unlawful use of an ID is the charge when a person uses someone’s ID other than their own to show the legal drinking age or get into a bar. This is a simple misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $210.25.

If your real driver’s license is from Iowa and you receive either of these charges, your driver’s license may be suspended for 60 days. If your driver’s license is from Illinois and you receive either of these charges, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year.

If I am caught in possession of a fake ID but am not using it to purchase alcohol or get into a bar, can I still receive fake ID charges?

It is illegal to even possess a completely fictitious ID.  You do not have to use it to be charged with a crime.

If I have an old expired ID that belongs to someone else, can I receive fake ID charges?

It is not illegal to simply possess someone else’s state ID or driver’s license, even if it is expired, but if the circumstances suggested that you used the other person’s ID to purchase alcohol, there is the possibility that you could be charged. It is of course illegal to use such an ID to purchase alcohol or get into a bar after 10 PM.

What if the officer confiscates my fake ID but doesn’t charge me with a crime?

This is becoming a common occurrence in Iowa City. In this situation, it is highly likely that the officer will submit the Fake ID to the Department of Transportation/Department of Motor Vehicles and your license will still be suspended.

Will the University find out if I am caught using a fake ID if I am caught off-campus? What are the University’s consequences for being caught with a fake ID?

The Iowa City Police inform the University when a student is caught using a fake ID. If you were caught using a fake ID somewhere other than Iowa City, the University may or may not find out. Possessing a fake ID or using someone else’s ID to drink is a violation of the code of conduct, and students can face sanctions including fines, non-academic probation, suspension, and up to expulsion from the University.  Students accused of violations will receive notice of the violation that includes instructions for how to contest the violation.