Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Identification Process




Ø If the patron hands security their entire wallet, politely ask persons to remove the ID from the wallet. If a patron refuses or gives excuse why it won't come out, DENY ENTRY. Altered or fraudulent ID's are disguised within a covered holder much easier than when presented alone. While the patron with the ID in their wallet is removing ID, announce to the patrons that are waiting in line to have ID's outside of wallets and purses so they may be viewed freely by the door security. This process of identification removal speeds up the entering process, while eliminating congestion. Also, this deters patrons who possess and who might attempt to use a fraudulent ID.

· Lighting should be very good. If lighting is bad, supplemental lighting should be provided (6 inch flashlight). This will make it easier for the door person to discover any alterations to an ID.



First, always look at the person presenting an ID before viewing their ID. A good trait for security to establish is to look at the name on the ID. After inspecting the ID for validity, recognize the first name and then wish that person a “good night.” Example: Security sees the ID and confirms that it is valid, recognizes that her name is Jamie. While handing the ID back to the patron security says: "Enjoy your evening, Jamie."


NOTE: Intentional impersonation (someone using another person's ID), as opposed to an altered ID, is the most common form of attempting access to an establishment. This technique is often hard to detect because the identification itself is valid and legal. The security personnel must be vigilant and make sure the person presenting the ID is actually the person on the ID and the ID itself is valid. (See below)

Things to look for:

2. ID MUST BE VALID ACCEPTABLE ID (state issued drivers’ license or state issued identification, military ID, passport)
3. ID MUST be a photo picture ID.

Common Traits when looking for a fraudulent ID:

1. Look for an altered Date of Birth (each state will dictate different styles of alteration).
2. Altered with a foreign substance (coloring device or drawing devices)
3. Altered with a computer printout of a new number to replace the underage number. Look for formality with the other numbers on the identification.
4. Lamination over the newly altered number. Feel the texture and the edge of the identification to make sure it has the original feel of that type of identification.
5. Look for the State Seal on any ID issued by a state. The door security must be knowledgeable of certain State Seals of authentication.
6. If security believes the ID picture is different from the patron presenting the ID, there are certain ways to distinguish a difference:

Certain features that can NOT be altered:

1. Space between the eyes

2. Placement of cheekbones

3. Ear placement (height of ears in location with other facial structures). Be careful because they may be masked by hair.

4. Jaw structure

Features that CAN be easily altered:

1. eye color (changed by color contacts)

2. eye wear (glasses)

3. hair color

4. facial hair

5. style of hair

6. weight (loss or gain can affect facial features but not their placement)

7. height may often be misrepresented on the ID (within boundaries)

8. minor changes in skin color due to sun exposure before the time of their entry into the establishment.

The "Approach" or "Tricks" on questioning someone attempting to use a fraudulent ID:

The most widely used form of verifying an ID, if the ID is in question, is having the patron sign their name on the ID verification form (this is included in your form set of Security: Behind Bars). While the patron is signing their name, ask the patron simple questions such as:

Ø their address

Ø the year they graduated from high school

Ø their date of birth

Ø their astrology sign

Ø their middle initial and what it stands for (DO NOT say, "what does the T stand for?" Instead ask, "what does your middle initial stand for?" Therefore, if they reply Christopher and the letter on the license is a T, you know they are acting fraudulent by using an ID that is not their own).
** All of this should be asked while the patron signs their alleged name. If the patron is forging the name, this requires a concentrated effort, and the signing will not result in a fluid motion of the proper signature. A forging patron will often stop writing while trying to retrieve information of a fraudulent ID. This takes training to become proficient but is a very beneficial technique to eliminating patrons using a fraudulent ID.

The questions stated above can be asked individually. They do not require a signature every time.

If the doorperson is NOT 100% sure that the identification/s is fraudulent, simply deny them entrance or make the patron produce another picture ID, or see below techniques.

· The Door Security is NOT to announce their reason for refusing the ID. Simply ask the patron for an alternative form of ID.

· If Security believes the ID is fraudulent and the patron persists, ask for second opinion from the SM or GM.

· If the security still believes the ID is fraudulent, and the patron persists that the ID belongs to them, security has the option to "hold" the ID while the PATRON, NOT SECURITY, summons the police to verify the ID or the patron returns with a police officer to verify the ID. Do NOT tell the patron that you are "TAKING" their ID. Advise them that the establishment will "HOLD" the ID until the rightful owner, accompanied with police officer, comes forth and claims/verifies the ID. If the ID is held, document the incident in fine detail. If police are called, build rapport with the attending police officer and distinguish the details of the events and reasons the patron's admission was not allowed. Sometimes police are not very accomplished at determining fraudulent ID's. DO NOT tell them why it is fraudulent (this becomes a conclusive statement); simply state why you believe it is fraudulent. If an officer believes that the ID is legitimate they may return the ID to the patron. However, it is still security’s discretion to deny the patron entrance into the place of business. The security personnel’s decision is more important to the establishment then the police officer’s. Rely on experience and instincts. It is your place of business and your insurance policy. Always check with your local law enforcement and an experienced attorney about the process of holding an ID.

* If a situation escalates, call a supporting managerial staff and have them speak privately with the patron.

(c) 2005 Excelsior Entertainment

To learn more about Nightclub Security, go to


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Anonymous Mvcgonzales said...

I was recently turned away from a night club because the bouncer and the attending police officer could not verify my ID was me. Are there any complaints I can file because I wasn't asked to sign anything, the only questions I was asked was height, weight (since the picture in 2004, the weight has changed) and my DOB. I wasn't carrying another form of ID because this was an 18+ club, I'm 6 months shy of 21 and currently do not attend college. I believe I have been discriminated against, if you want to discuss this privately my email is


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