Fake IDs on the rise, say police


Young forgery artists have been busy, with Nelson police reporting an increase in the number of under-age drinkers trying to get into bars with altered driver’s licences.

Sergeant Mal Drummond estimates that in the last month, bar door staff around Nelson caught “about a dozen” young people who had altered the birth date on their licence to gain access into bars.

Mal says it has always been “an ongoing problem” but it has been worse this year, possibly because teenagers born in 1998 are changing their birth year to 1996 to try and pass as 18.

“It could be that bar door staff are getting better at spotting the changes, but it’s also possibly because an eight can be easily changed to a six on the birth year. It’s an obvious opportunity for anyone aged 16.”

However, Mal is warning young forgers that the consequences of being caught could be far more serious that just being fined.

“At the moment, we are just using infringement notices and sending out fines of $250. The bar staff are uplifting the altered licences and handing them to us and we are issuing instant fines.

“But they could also be convicted with obtaining services by deception. That’s a criminal offence and will go on their record, and be disclosed to employers and affect their opportunities to travel – it could have a profound effect on their lives.”

Mal says people who tamper with their driver’s licence can also be fined $500 under the Land Transport Act.

He would like parents with teenaged children to warn them about the serious consequences of altering their driver’s licence.

Mal says that bar staff caught serving an under-age drinker, who has gained access to the bar with an altered driver’s licence, are generally not liable to be fined for serving under-agers.