Can Airport Scanners See Fake IDs?

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Should you be in possession of a fake ID and want to take it with you on a flight, you should be mindful of airport scanners. Although most common airport scanners will not detect counterfeit IDs when they are placed in your wallet or luggage, there is new technology being implemented that can outright detect fake IDs.

Most airport scanners, such as metal detectors, full-body, and x-ray scanners, cannot detect fake IDs as they do not have the technology to authenticate IDs. However, a newly implemented technology known as CAT (Credential Authentication Technology) will be able to detect a fake ID instantly.

Are Airport Scanners Able To See Fake IDs?

No airport scanner can see your fake ID, should it be tucked away in your wallet or luggage. However, suppose you have any other suspicious goods which may subject you to be searched by the TSA. In that case, you may get caught in possession of your fake ID through a physical examination of the ID by a trained TSA officer.

Most types of airport scanners are not manufactured with technology that can authenticate IDs. This means that they are unable to detect whether an ID is fake or not, as they have no means to authenticate the ID. However, a certain type of new scanner is being implemented in many airports around the US and internationally that has been specifically designed to detect fake IDs.

This new technology, known as Credential Authentication Technology or CAT, will be able to immediately detect a fake ID. In addition, CAT can authenticate thousands of different forms of ID. These forms of identification include passports, various types of military IDs, visas, driver’s licenses, and uniformed services IDs.

The CAT unit is made up of a monitor and stands with a UV light, as well as a personal verification ID reader and a passport reader. A traveler is required to use CAT when flying to identify themselves for check-in and verify their flight details by placing their ID into an ID scanner. 

Once the ID has been placed inside the scanner, the CAT will be able to authenticate the ID. However, should the ID that you put into the scanner be fake, the system will flag the ID, and a message will appear on the monitor of the CAT system stating that either the ID is not authentic or it is no longer valid.

Why Has CAT Been Introduced In Airports?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and an increase in the number of fake IDs in the US, the TSA needed to look for a means of checking your ID before boarding a flight without physically touching it to reduce the spread of the virus. 

TSA officials not being able to physically examine your ID meant a higher chance of you getting away with having a fake ID. To eliminate the possibility of getting away with using a fake ID, the TSA employed the new CAT technology, which uses ID scanners to authenticate IDs. 

The CAT boarding pass scanner system can also verify your boarding pass and flight details without using a boarding pass, as your identification is linked to your boarding pass on the airport boarding pass database system.

What Happens If One Is Caught With A Fake ID?

Being in possession of a fake ID is considered a felony in the US. Should you try to use a fake ID to board a flight and get caught using it, you will be unable to catch your flight, and you will be immediately apprehended. 

You will then be placed in the custody of the immigration department until they are handed over to the police, who will formally arrest you for possessing the fake ID and put you in a local prison while the case is investigated. 

Once the investigations have been completed, you will be able to stand trial and be sentenced to a term in prison, which may vary according to the severity of the offense. You will also be subject to a cash penalty fine.

For misdemeanor possession of a fake ID, you may be subjected to a penalty of up to a year in prison, summary probation and community service, and potential fines of up to $1,000. 

For felony possession of a fake ID, you may be sentenced to up to three years in prison, formal probation and community service, and potential fines of up to $10,000.

Other potential penalties can include suspension of your driver’s license for up to three years and possible study bans, including dismissal from the university, not being allowed to study overseas, and potential removal from your university accommodation.

Which Airport Scanners Can’t See Fake IDs?

There are a variety of different scanners used at airports for security measures. Some of the scanners used in airports include metal detectors, x-ray scanners, and full-body scanners. Unfortunately, none of these scanners can detect fake IDs because they are designed to detect objects which may endanger or threaten other passengers.

Why Won’t Metal Detectors See Fake IDs?

Metal detectors are used to detect metal items that may be considered a potential threat to passengers. However, metal detectors are designed only to detect metal items that you are trying to conceal on your person. In addition, they don’t have the technological capabilities to detect fake IDs, as they have no means of authenticating them.

Why Won’t X-Ray Scanners See Fake IDs?

X-ray scanners cannot detect fake IDs, as they are not designed with the technology to be able to authenticate IDs. X-ray scanners are primarily used to see through your luggage to see if you are carrying any suspicious items with you that may require you to be searched by the TSA should they find anything they deem suspicious in your luggage.

Should you be searched for possibly carrying a suspicious object, the TSA will ask for your identification. Should that identification be fake, they can tell through physical examination. If you have a fake ID in your luggage that is being searched, the TSA will more than likely find the ID and be able to tell that it is fake upon inspection.

Why Won’t Full-Body Scanners See Fake IDs?

Full-body scanners cannot detect fake IDs, as they are designed using x-ray imaging technology to see the amount of radiation from an individual who walks through the scanner. However, x-ray imaging technology does not have the means to authenticate an ID; therefore, it cannot detect a fake ID.

What Classifies As A Fake ID?

An ID is classified as fake if it has been altered in any way other than the way it was given to someone by the governmental agency. This includes any change in information made to the ID, such as name or date of birth, as well as if the ID has been duplicated, counterfeited, or falsified in any way.