Forged Identity Cards Rise In Popularity Among Dutch Youth

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More and more underage persons are being punished with jail time for using a false identity card when they go out. Halt’s figures show that hundreds of young people get in trouble every year.

In 2015, 350 young people were affected, 428 last year. After the first three months of 2017, the number of young people already stands at 147. According to Halt, the increase can largely be explained by better cooperation between drinking establishments, police, municipalities and Halt. This is happening in Breda, Tilburg, Rotterdam and Haarlem, among others.

The organization emphasizes that only a small percentage of young people still end up in Halt. Most young people get away with a warning.

Approximately 20 percent of young people use an identity card when they go out, which is borrowed or fake, say about 2000 youngsters from youth panel. In the same survey in 2014, an almost equal number of young people said they did so. They showed how this was going to be falsified.

In 2014, the minimum age for buying alcohol was raised from 16 to 18 years of age. In contrast to the schoolchildren of 16 and 17 who participated in 2014 survey, the current 18 year old people grew up with the new drinking rules.


It is still easy to use a false ID card, school children say to the NOS. Showing a photo of an identity card on your mobile is sometimes enough. Young people then change the date of birth on that photo, to look 18 years old. They do this in order to be able to buy alcohol, for example, or to gain access to clubs, parties or pubs that have a minimum age policy.

Approximately half of the pupils pay money for forgery. Some 17 percent of young people say they borrow a card from someone else. “I borrow a card from a girlfriend to come in at 16+ parties. That is normal in my group of friends,” says a 15 y.o girl.

Anyone who is caught with a false identity card receives a warning, a referral to Halt or a fine. The police and the judiciary often send young people to Halt for the first time. This gives minors the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and does not later have any consequences for the issuing of a Statement on Behaviour (VOG).

At Halt, the youngsters have 8 to 12 hours of interviews, whatever their parents agree with. They also have to do teaching assignments on subjects such as alcohol, peer pressure and ID fraud. They also have to apologize, for example to someone from the catering industry association, so that they can see what ID fraud has to do with the consequences for the hotel and catering industry.

Those who are caught more often are less likely to get rid of it. A fine of EUR 370 will be imposed on them. They may not be able to get a VOG afterwards, and that may have consequences for future internships or a job.

This does not scare off all young people. Everyone is doing it, says a 17-year-old student who wants to remain anonymous. He has already been caught four times. “One time I didn’t get in at a drinking establishment and twice the porter had to laugh and I was admitted”.

The fourth time he had to go to the desk. His parents, who knew nothing, also had to be interviewed. “I was shocked and then for a while I didn’t use a false ID card. But then the nice 18+ parties arrived again. Now I use it almost every weekend.”