There are many reasons why one might need to obtain new identity documents. Many people require them for financial reasons or privacy, but even more pressing are safety and political reasons. For some, it is vital to use a new identity if they could be a possible victim of a terrorist attack. As a political refuge, identity documents can provide much needed security. If you are a witness of a crime or situation that the police can’t properly protect you from, a convincing identity document could be a matter of life or death.
It is obvious that your physical appearance distinguishes who you are from others, but how do you really prove to others who you are? Identification, in the form of identity documents, is the quickest, easiest, and most effective way to prove your identity to others. In the U.S., there are many documents that can be used to show who you are and they are vital in many situations. If you need to change your identity and protect your privacy or personal safety, an important first step is securing reliable identity documents. Some are simple to acquire, like credit cards, while others that are used for more official purposes, like birth certificates and social security numbers, require more work to procure.
Lesser, Yet Still Important, Identity Documents
There is a plethora of identity documents, according to your needs, that are used in the United States. Basically, it is just a document used to show another person who you are. Many of these identity documents are really easy to get your hands on and are sufficient enough for a variety of transactions that require proof of identification.
To begin with, a Driver’s license is often sufficient and is readily accessible to almost any identity changer. In the U.S., in order to get a driver’s license, all you need to do is get a learner’s permit for six months, pass a written exam, and then take a road test. As an added bonus, because so much emphasis is put on the tests, little is focused on the verification of the driver’s identity. A more convincing, yet elaborate method is to attend driving school. This is practically fool proof because who would think that someone in driving school would be faking their identity. Just be sure to pretend to be a novice driver. If you smoothly parallel park, for example, suspicion bells may go off.
Credit cards are another identity document that can be acquired with fairly little effort. These are very useful, for say, opening up a checking account. Acquiring a credit card usually requires proper credit; both there are two ways to get a credit card without it. The secure credit card is one way – establish a credit profile as the new you and wait for a secured credit card company to send you a secured card or call a company and ask them to send you, the new you of course, an application to your new address. Make sure in all of these transactions not to sue any thing connected with your past life. Adding a cardholder to an already existing account is another way to get a new credit profile and thereby the ability to get a credit card with your new identity, as desired.
Another valid identity document is utility bills, although they are not typically used as such. Phone, gas, and electric bills can be turned on under your new identity’s name and address, by providing another identity document proving who you “are”. Utility bills come in handy because they are often required when opening up a bank account.
A social security card is another useful identity document used by U.S. residents. It can be acquired easily, once you have a social security number (SSN) – how to obtain a SSN will be explained later on. For a small fee, many companies will print your number on a card. Another option is to photocopy another person’s card and replace the number with your own. Life insurance companies will also send you S.S. cards, when information packets are requested.
There are a few additional documents that aren’t generally referred to for identity, but can prove important as finishing touches on your new identity and can assist you in thoroughly convincing those around you of your identity. What average identity changer would go to the lengths of opening up a library account, for example – well, this card can reduce suspicion, with separates the savvy identity changer from one of average standing. Other less common, but still valuable documents include: baptismal certificates, wallet inserts, tax documents, and engraved jewellery/monogrammed clothes and accessories.
Birth Certificate – The Mother of All Identity Documents
Birth certificates are one of the most important and useful identity documents that you can obtain, along with SSNs. It is definitely more of a challenge to secure and use a birth certificate, but it is possible with a little creativity and effort. Fortunately, birth certificates, in the U.S., are public records and, therefore, any one has the right to access them. It is just about making sure that the one you get work for the new “you”. Once you acquire this document, it can be used to apply for a variety of other identity documents – library cards, voter registration, driver’s licenses, credit cards, and even passports.
One method of getting a birth certificate is ghosting. This means that you use the identity of a dead person, who doesn’t have identity documents, like a child. This method was very popular in the 1960’s, but now, as of 2006, the U.S. has made it increasingly difficult, dangerous and highly illegal. Although still doable today, this method isn’t recommended it is common for birth certificates to be cross checked and, if caught, a long jail sentence could be in order.
Birth certificates can also be obtained by purchasing them from an underworld dealer, who collects them from delinquents and people off the streets. People may also sell you their birth certificate information. For example, it is possible, in the U.S., to find a person, who has no intention of travelling abroad, to let you use their identifying information for a price. This information can then be used to, let’s say, apply for a second passport.
It is easy to get a certified copy of any birth certificate by going to a vital statistics office. Although there are town and county offices, it is best to go to a state agency as they are less likely to know who the person whose birth certificate you are requesting. You wouldn’t want to approach a town or county clerk, who suspiciously may exclaim – “Hey – what do you want with my dead Uncle Bob’s certificate anyway!” So, as the savvy identity changers know: the bigger the agency, the better.
Social Security Numbers: The Benchmark of a Person’s Identity
As every wise identity changer is aware of, a social security number (SSN) is the benchmark of a person’s identity in the U.S. A SSN is required for virtually everything: bank accounts, credit cards, police checks, car rentals, and motel check-ins.
Since 1935, all U.S. citizens have been required to have a SSN. It was originally established to keep track of an individual’s earnings, but it has now become a very identifier in this country. Therefore, it is essential to have a SSN to prove your identity.
Great care must be taken in choosing a number. The SSN was amended in 1981 thereby making it a criminal offence to alter, buy, sell, or counterfeit a SS card. This crime can result n a fine of up to $5,000, up to 5 years in jail, or both.
Constructing a SSN is quite complicated. The number is broken down into three parts. The first three numbers indicate where the number was issued. The second two-number part indicates when the number was issued. The last part is comprised of four numbers that is your own personal code.
In order to understand how SSNs are assigned, it is best to create your own database. This can be made by using the SSN, age, and time of death taken from certificates found at a vital statistics office. These numbers will give you a general idea of what number will be valid for your planned identity, according to the issue date.
In general, when constructing a SSNN, it is important to focus on the following points. First, the area number must be valid, supporting the birth state of your new identity. It needs to have a block number that was not issued before the proposed birth date, and that is not any higher than the highest number issued for the area segment of the SSN. And lastly, it needs to have a valid serial number, as in, not 0000.
In addition to creating a SSN, another option is to apply for one under your identity. One major problem of this approach is age – the average identity changer is too old to get a new SSN. And the Social Security Administration (SSA) verifies all birth certificates for applicants older than 17, making it impossible to use a counterfeit birth certificate. There are a few ways, however, to get around this rule, by applying as a person under 18.
The first way is to apply using an original or certified birth certificate and another identity document (driver’s license, school ID, or medical record, for example). The birth certificate can either be forged or ghosted from a person who died young, never had a SSN, or would currently be 16-17 years old. Then apply to the SSA by sending a letter, along with state required documents, stating a convincing reason for needing a SSN, like a job.
Another way is to go into the SSA, as your new identity, granted that you look young, and apply in person as if you are 17 years old. If not, you can always go in as the “parent”. All you need is a state issued ID to prove your paternity, your own birth certificate, and a birth certificate for your “child”.
United States Public Law 97-398 - December 31, 1982
To amend title 18 of the United States Code
To provide penalties for certain
False identification related crimes
Be it enacted by the senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America congress assembled, that this act may be cited as the ‘’false identification crime Control Act of 1982.’’
Sec.2. Chapter 47 of title 18 of the United States code is amended by adding at the end the following:
Section 1028. Fraud and related activity in connection with Identification documents.
(a) Whoever, in a circumstance described in subsection (c) of this section
1. Knowingly and without lawful authority produces an identification document or a false identification document;
2. Knowingly transfers an identification document or false identification document knowing that such document was stolen or producer without lawful authority;
3. Knowingly possesses whit intent to use unlawfully or transfer unlawfully five or more identification documents (other than those issued lawfully for the use of the possessor) or false identification documents,
4. Knowingly possesses and identification document (other than one issued lawfully for the use of the possessor) or a false identification document, with the intent such document be used to defraud the united States; or
5. Knowingly produces, transfers, or possesses a document–making implement with the intent such document-making implement will be used in the production in the a false identification document or another document-making implement which will be so used;
6. Knowingly possesses and identification document that is or appears to be and identification document that United States which is stolen or produced without lawful authority knowing that such authority, or attempts to do so, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section.
(b) The punishment for an offense under sub section (a) of this section is
1. a fine of not more than $25,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, if the offense is
A. the production or transfer of identification document or false identification document that is or appears to be
i. an identification document issued by or under the authority of the United States; or
ii. a birth certificate, or a driver’s license o personal identification card;
B. the production or transfer of more Thant five identification documents or false identification documents; or
C. an offense under paragraph (5) of such subsection;
2. a fine of not more than $ 15,000 or imprisonment for not more than three years, or both, if the offense is
A. any other production or transfer of an Identification document or false identification document; or
B. an offense under paragraph (3) of such subsection; and
3 a fine of not more than $ 5,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in any other case.
C. the circumstance referred to in subsection (a) of this section is that
1. The identification document or false identification document is or appears to be issued by or under the authority of the United States or the document-Marking implement is designed or suited for making such an identification document;
2. The offense is an offense under subsection (a) (4) of this section; or
3. The production, transfer, or possession prohibited by this section is in or affects interstate or foreign commerce, or the identification document, false identification document or document-marking implement is transported in the mail in the course of the production, transfer, of possession prohibited by this section.
D. As used in this section
1. the term ‘’identification document ‘’ means a document made or issued by or under the authority of the united states government, a state, and political subdivision of a state, a foreign government political subdivision of a foreign government, an international governmental or an international quasi-governmental organization which, when completed with information concerning a particular individual, is o f a type indented or commonly accepted for the purpose of identification of individuals;
2. the term ‘’produce’’ include alter, authenticate, or assemble;
3. the term ‘’document-marking implement ‘’ means any implement or impression specially designed or primarily used for making and identification document, a false identification document, or another document-making implement;
4. the term ‘’personal identification card ‘’ means an identification document issued by a stated or local government solely for the purpose of identification; and
5. the term ‘’state’’ includes any state of the united States, the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any other commonwealth, possession or territory of the United States.
E. This section does not prohibit any lawfully authorized investigative, protective, or intelligence activity of a law enforcement agency of the United States, a state, or a political subdivision of a state, or any activity authorized under title V of the organized crime control act of 1970 (18 U.S.C. note prec. 3481).