Published: Sept. 19, 2022

pearl streetHaving a fake ID could impact your education here at CU Boulder. In more serious cases, it could potentially affect your future too. Here are three things you need to know about fake IDs.

Consequences for using a fake ID

It is against state and local law, as well as university policy, to use or possess a fake ID, and enforcement is extremely strict. A CU Boulder student who has a fake ID confiscated may be required to appear in Municipal Court, which has jurisdiction over city ordinance violations. Municipal Court penalties can range from an opportunity to earn a dismissal to a conviction with a fine and potentially jail time. Jail time is unlikely absent very aggravated circumstances.

The judge will likely require students to pay fees and participate in CU Boulder programs, including Student Conduct & Conflict Resolutions’ Restorative Justice Program (CURJ) and Off-Campus Housing and Neighborhood Relations’ Community Living class, both of which have fees separate from those imposed by the court. 

Manufacturing, using or possessing a fake ID is also a violation of the Student Code of Conduct. A first time violation of the fake ID policy could result in a referral to CURJ. After second time violations, or if a student violated policies in addition to the fake ID policy, SCCR may send the student a resolution meeting notice. 

Resolution meetings follow due process and  students have the opportunity to speak about what happened. If a student is found responsible, SCCR may assign educational and administrative outcomes, which could impact your ability to participate in Education Abroad, serve in leadership positions or attend class.

Impact on the community

Using a fake ID is not a victimless crime. It can have a big impact on local businesses and their reputations. Business owners will do their due diligence to ensure that they are complying with local and state laws, which are in effect to help keep people under 21 safe.

Business owners at bars, liquor stores, restaurants and dispensaries are required to carefully check IDs. They must confiscate fake IDs and turn them over to the police or else risk serious penalties. 

Risks when purchasing a fake ID

There is also personal risk when purchasing a fake ID because the information shared when buying one can be stolen. This includes your name, address, photo and other identifying information like eye color and height. Scammers can use this information to make fake travel documents, open financial accounts and commit other types of fraud using your name.


If you receive a ticket for possessing or using a fake ID, Student Legal Services (SLS) can help. Consultations and representation are available for a fraction of the cost of a private attorney to all CU Boulder students paying student activity fees.

Questions about the student conduct or restorative justice processes? SCCR focuses on supporting community safety, student growth and student success. The Restorative Justice Program plays a role in that mission by addressing the relationship between victims, offenders and the community in a way that repairs the impacts of an incident, holds the offender accountable for their actions and builds community. Visit Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution’s website to learn more or email questions to or