It must be stated that forging identification for any malicious purpose such as identity theft is a crime. The instructions for making a fake ID discussed below are given in the assumption that the reader is mature enough to know and understand this and will not use the information to commit anything illegal.
- Prepare the materials. You will need a good inkjet or laser printer - something capable of printing at least 1,200 dpi (dots per inch) resolution. You will also need quality photo paper that's compatible with your printer and its ink. The ink to be used should be original printer manufacturer cartridges. The fake ink cartridges could be cheaper but they usually result in poor color printing especially when it comes to photo paper. You may also need either a scanner or a digital camera to create a digital photo image of your face. Finally you will need a graphics editing software that you're already familiar with. Adobe Photoshop is one of the most common. There are also free open-source graphics applications such as GIMP.
- Make a digital ID picture. You can either scan an existing photo with a scanner or shoot one with digital camera. The important thing is to have one solid color in the background - white usually, as this is the standard in official IDs.
- Download a fake ID template. You can build one from scratch using graphics editing software but why go through all that trouble. There are actually image template files for fake IDs available on the Internet and some are usually easy to download. The advantage of using a template is that the basic layout for text and other elements are already in place, you just need to fill in the blanks.
- Start creating the fake ID. Open both template and photo in the graphics software. Copy and then paste your photo into the template. Use the image editing tools of the software you're using to rescale the photo so that it fits well into the space provided by the template. Next, start putting in information and details using the text tools. Put down something believable to make the fake ID seem as valid as possible.
- Print the fake ID. After you put everything together on the template, set the final image to print at a high resolution. You can first print out a draft on conventional paper to inspect any errors. Once you're completely satisfied, you can put in the photo paper and print at the set resolution. Make sure to print both back and front images.
- Cut, paste and laminate. Cut out the back and front images and paste them together. Cut and clean the edges again afterwards. IDs are usually laminated so have it done in a nearby photocopying shop - they usually have laminating machines there too.
The US government cooperates with major printer manufacturers to put tracers on high-end quality printers. Anything printed from their sophisticated models will contain very fine and unnoticeable yellow-white numbers and letters which are the specific printer's serial number and manufacturer's name. Owners of such printing machines can then be easily traced through the purchase records.