Is It Illegal to Buy a Fake ID in Australia?

Attempting to put a few myths to bed this article will quickly explain the legal status of a fake ID in Australia. Legally defined as any form of identification which does not belong to you, a bogus ID can be anything from your older sibling’s student card to a false driving license purchased over the internet.

Websites which sell fake IDs in Australia are keen to point out that their products are not to be presented as an actual form of identification, as such an act is a crime. Instead, any ID which you order over the internet is intended for strictly novelty purposes. That might mean using it as part of a fancy dress costume or as a prop for a movie.

In other words, no false identification you buy off the internet should be presented when you’re asked by a shop assistant or bouncer for proof of age.

And the Answer is?

So, to answer the question we set out with: is it not illegal to buy a fake ID in Australia? That is not clear. However, it is unlawful to fraudulently present it when asked for identification by law enforcement, or when attempting to purchase age-restricted products or services. 

What Happens If You’re Caught with a Fake ID in Australia?

Picture the scene: you’re out on the town with your fake ID, and you go up to get some beers from the bar. The barman asks to see your identification and recognizes that it’s not legitimate. Calling over a nearby police officer who’s on patrol, he lands you in some rather hot water.

Indeed, if you are caught trying to use a fabricated ID in Australia, the police have the right to:

  • Issue an on the spot fine of $221
  • Give you a warning or a caution
  • Take the matter to court where fines can reach up to $738.05

While it’s unlikely the offense will be taken to court, it remains a possibility, and the fine is hefty enough for anyone to think twice before trying to pull off a fake ID. What’s more, there are few things more embarrassing than being evicted from a club because you’re underage.

Hopefully, this new found knowledge will have cleared up any of the rumors you may have heard back in high school and has given you a better understanding of the law surrounding fake IDs in Australia.