TABC Certification: False ID Quick Reference Guide

One of the best skills for a Texas TABC Certified Seller-Server to have is how to keep an eye out for fake IDs. While you can’t legally confiscate an ID that you believe is fake, you can (and should) certainly refuse to sell or serve alcohol to the person trying to use it.

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Retailers:  Back to School can be a busy time. Don’t take shortcuts – check IDs.

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False ID Quick Reference Guide

Remember: F – L – A – G  (Feel – Look – Ask – Grab)
Download the PDF Reference Card:


  • Flex ID several times
  • FEEL the front
  • Know the characteristics and anti-counterfeiting items on a valid Texas ID.
  • You can’t spot a fake until you know what a real one looks like!


  • Look at the ID, the typeface, holograms; non-ink signature; quality of stock; signs of tampering.
  • Look at the person and the ID’s picture
  • Look at facial features that don’t change with age, weight changes Look at the physical description, eye color, height and weight

Ask Questions

  • How old are you?
  • What’s your address?
  • What’s your DOB?
  • What’s your zip code?
  • When did you get this ID?

Grab and Give back

  • Only law enforcement can seize an ID.

Ask for person’s signature

  • Have them sign three times. Watch for hesitation.
  • Watch for excuses.
  • “Oh! My signature has changed!”
  • Should be confident.
  • Should match the ID.
  • Should be spelled correctly!

Texas License ID Check Law

Prior to June 2009, a person who sold a minor an alcoholic beverage had a defense available if the minor provided a fake Texas driver’s license or ID card that showed the minor was 21 years old. Effective June 19, 2009, the defense was extended to any photo ID issued by a state or the federal government. Also, in April 2009, Texas DPS began issuing newly designed driver’s licenses and ID cards.