Fake ID in North Carolina

by | Oct 15, 2019 | Blog Posts, NC Criminal Defense

Fake identification in North Carolina – We all know that it is common for people under 21 to use fake identification in order to get into bars or buy alcohol. However, underage drinking isn’t the only crime in this circumstance. Possessing a fake ID is illegal under North Carolina law. It is governed by N.C.G.S. 18B-302. Possessing a fake ID doesn’t qualify as identity theft, but it can have serious consequences. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

Fake identification and underage drinking

Typically, fake IDs are used for underage drinking. It’s a Class 1 misdemeanor to do any of the following with fake identification:

  • Enter or attempt to enter a place where alcoholic beverages are sold or consumed,
  • Obtain or attempt to obtain alcoholic beverages, or
  • Obtain or attempt to obtain permission to purchase alcoholic beverages.

What are the consequences?

  • Because the charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor, you could face up to 120 days in jail (depending on your prior record level).
  • If you are convicted, your driver’s license could be suspended for 1 year.

Providing fake identification to a minor

The minor who uses fake identification is not the only one at fault. The person who gave the minor the fake ID may also criminally liable, sometimes with more severe consequences.

  • A person who gives his/her driver’s license to a minor may have his/her driver’s license revoked for one year and may be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor if that minor uses it for any alcohol-related purposes.
  • A person who sells a fake driver’s license can be charged with a Class I felony.

Fake identification charges unrelated to underage drinking

Some cases may arise in which someone used a fake ID in a context unrelated to underage drinking. An example is giving an officer a fake driver’s license at a traffic stop.

  • It is a Class 2 misdemeanor to display or represent a driver’s license that is not issued to you.
  • The punishment may include the DMV suspending your driver’s license for 1 year.


Although fake IDs might seem common and socially accepted, they are still very much illegal in North Carolina. If you have been charged with possessing or providing a fake ID, you will need an experienced defense attorney to help you avoid the serious potential consequences. Contact us.

DISCLAIMER – This forum is intended for general questions and comments about the particular law or topic. Comments are public and are not protected by confidentiality or attorney-client privilege; therefore, they can be used against you in court. Please refrain from revealing your identify or specifics about any actual criminal case. No attorney-client relationship is created in this forum.

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