Between spending Thursday nights downtown, drinking one too many Copa double margs, losing your toe at Pool Party, almost getting arrested at Brunch, or screaming along to “Heroin” on Tuesdays at Smokes', there are some social traditions at Penn that require a fake ID. There are few words more heartbreaking to anyone that hasn’t yet reached their 21st birthday than, “Yeah sorry this isn’t going to work… it’s fake.”

Street talked to some of the most qualified people on and around campus—the bouncers (who preferred to remain anonymous)—on the do’s and dont’s of fake ID–ing. Here are some of the best tips we could find to avoid having all of your hopes and dreams (your Wednesday night Sink or Swim plans) dashed.

DON’T: Use a Connecticut, Rhode Island, Ohio, Florida, Arizona or Illinois ID. Same to you, international IDs—legally, you need something state issued or a passport.

DO: Have a secondary form of ID. At most on campus bars, bouncers will specifically ask for a Penn card. Almost all of the bouncers at Smokes' are Penn students, so they know exactly what year you are based on the “expires in” line. If you’re a freshman, get ready to make up two gap years and year in the Israeli army…

DO: Know if your ID scans. If you aren’t sure, there’s an app for that (try Bar and Club Stats ID Scanner).

DON’T: Go to a bar that scans IDs if your ID doesn’t scan (duh).

DO: Make sure the little details on your ID look real. Even with scanners, many bouncers still rely primarily on physical techniques like feeling for indents and keystones and looking at holograms. Modern technology has made holograms easier for producers to fake, but keystones (no, not the beer) are slightly raised circles present on states including PA that are very hard to replicate.

DON’T: Throw a fit if your ID gets pulled.

DO: Ask nicely and politely for the bouncer to return it.

DO: Offer a cash ~tip~ for all of their hard work if your polite requests are cutting it.

And lucky for all you lost, young souls, you’ll always have Rumor.


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