Veteran doormen have seen thousands of real and fake IDs. The worst fakes, they say, reflect basic amateurism, mindless mistakes or simple stupidity.
One evening, for instance, a woman approached Father Too's Kelly and handed him a Catholic baptismal certificate. She was obviously 21 years old, she claimed, because good Catholics don't lie. She was turned away. Another example: a young Black patron tried to get past Mark at Nine Lansdowne by presenting a photo identification of an middle-aged white male.
The poor quality of some attempted forgeries often irritates the experienced bouncer. "I touched one ID and the ink came off. He probably made it in the cellar five minutes ago," recalls the Boathouse's Carey.
The average underage college student's ID collection can get the holder into trouble. A women entering the Bow and Arrow opened her wallet to the bouncer to show a University of Connecticut photo ID--complete with birthdate--next to a current Harvard ID. At the Cask and Flagon, a woman presented an ID with a 1966 birthday, realized her mistake, and quickly showed her sister's ID with the proper age.
The people who have to check IDs say they have a number of ways of telling what' legit and what's not. Here are some of the telltale signs of a fake ID:
1. The underage people with fake IDs usually go first in a crowd of customers.
2. Some bouncers are certain that an ID is fake if the student doesn't look directly at the doorman or refuses to argue.
3. Doormen are suspicious of students presenting an ID with their finger over the photo.
4. A crowd of underage drinkers may gather together before meeting the bouncer to discuss strategy.
5. Doormen never accept the fake IDs found in the back pages of magazines.
6. In Massachusetts, the drivers license expires on the holder's birthday. Some fake IDs change the birthday without altering the expiration date.
7. Nervous hands or laughter can alert the bouncer.
8. Bouncers usually do not accept state IDs without the state seals printed on them.
With these few pointers, students might avoid some of the sillier and more embarassing mistakes of fake IDs. Few bouncers are or want to be the Terminator. Most enjoy their work and don't verbally or physically harass the patrons. But just to be on the safe side, make sure you're not carrying anything out of Fathers Too when Sky's on duty.