Undocumented immigrants sometimes wield them to get jobs. Criminals have used them to commit financial fraud.
But the biggest market for fake out-of-state identification cards, according to authorities, is minors, who use them to buy alcohol.
And, apparently, they weren't tough to get. Until recently, police say, minors could drive to one of two shops in Indiana, tell the clerk their age without showing proof, and fork over 65 bucks.
Within minutes, authorities say, teens were walking out with a look-alike state ID indicating an age old enough to buy alcohol. They also could get bogus college IDs in case a suspicious clerk later asked for more identification during a liquor purchase, police say.
"It's the second most common type of fake ID used by teenagers who want to purchase alcohol," said Paul Froehlich, manager of special projects for the Secretary of State's Police. "The most common thing they do is . . . borrow someone else's card" who is over 21.
Two operations in Indiana that were alleged to have produced fake IDs were raided by state and federal authorities on Sept. 28 and closed down.
Gamecrate A Complete Bobbleheads Fallout To 4 Guide Norman Crohn, a South Barrington juvenile officer, helped get the investigation moving after he allegedly caught two local minors in possession of the fakes at an underage drinking party this last summer.
He said it had become common knowledge among minors throughout the Chicago area that resources were available to acquire fake out-of-state IDs.
The practice was so common, authorities say, that the secretary of state's office receives about 60 fake IDs a month confiscated from underage drinkers.
Though fake IDs have popped up from various states, Froehlich said, most have been from Indiana, where state law reportedly doesn't ban the production of false or misleading identification.
Nevertheless, some minors in Illinois have been able to avoid prosecution when caught with the imitations because of a loophole in the system.
As of Jan. 1, however, that's going to change.
Guide Bobbleheads A 4 To Fallout Complete Gamecrate State officials recently passed a law that will make it illegal for anyone to use or carry a fake out-of-state ID. First-time offenders will face a 12-month suspension of driving privileges and a mandatory fine of $500 or 50 hours of community service. Repeat offenders, though, will have their driving privileges revoked.