Published: Jan. 19, 2023

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

Consequences for using a fake ID

It is against local and state law 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 or State Court, which have jurisdiction over these types of violations. The court outcomes can range from an opportunity to earn a dismissal to penalties such as a conviction with a fine and potentially jail time in very aggravated circumstances.

Another potential outcome from a court proceeding is that the judge will likely require students to pay fees and participate in CU Boulder programs to help them reflect on any harm caused and learn to make better decisions in the future. These programs can include 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. 

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 or SCCR, depending on the situation. After a second violation, 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. Because of this, business owners will do their due diligence to ensure that they are complying with local and state laws, which ultimately are in effect to help keep people under 21 safe.

Business owners and employees at bars, liquor stores, restaurants and dispensaries are all required to carefully check IDs. They must confiscate fake IDs and turn them over to the police or else risk serious penalties. Employee’s jobs are often on the line as well. They may lose their job if they accept a fake ID, even if it was unintentional.

Risks when purchasing a fake ID

There is also personal risk when purchasing a fake ID because the information people share 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.

You can also visit Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution’s website to learn more about the student conduct and restorative justice processes or email questions to or