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How one bouncer spots fake ID’s in Gainesville

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Skyler Kern has grown rather adept at spotting fake ID’s.

In a college town like Gainesville, it’s an important skill for bouncers like Kern, who works at Fat Daddy’s Bar and Grill.

“You see an ID from out of state, you’re skeptical,” said Kern, who estimates that 90 percent of fakes he sees are non-Florida licenses. “If (the photo) is kind out of focus or bubbly, like a fish eye, you know someone took it on a webcam or some kind of cheap camera.”

There’s one other obvious sign.

“There’s a couple random seals they use… (one is) a key or says like ‘authentic’ — you know those are not real.”

If suspicious, Kern will often ask for additional forms of identification. When they fail to respond, and a fake becomes obvious, he said, “We take the ID, and we hand them over to any police officers walking around Midtown.”

Most students are deterred from using a false form of ID by the fear of police catching them. Many underage students find people their own age to hang out with or go to clubs that allow those under 21.

Those caught with a fake ID in Florida face a third-degree felony and penalties up to $10,000 or 15 years in prison.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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