A 16-YEAR-OLD Secondary 4 student is in a club on a Wednesday night, while her friend, also 16, buys them drinks from the bar.
Her 'identification card' says she is 22 and from Brown University in the United States, while the other has a Norwegian 'driver's licence' which lists him as 25. The pair paid about $30 each for their fake IDs from a printing shop in Bencoolen Street.
Owning - and using - fake IDs has become common practice among teens, a Straits Times survey of 80 teens between 14 and 17 found. Half admitted to having fake IDs which they would use to get around age-restriction rules at clubs, and shops that hawk alcohol and cigarettes.
Even those without such IDs said they want one, and know how to get one. What none of them knew: the penalties for being caught owning or using one.
When The Straits Times reported on the use of fake IDs in 2006, the cards were mostly real IDs with an extra layer bearing a fake age laminated over them. Each cost between $40 and $70.
Now, checks and interviews with teens have turned up more sophisticated, yet cheaper cards. At least two printing shops in Bencoolen Street offer customers a menu of over 20 templates from mostly American and Australian universities, and even international drivers' licences. They can enter any name and date of birth they want, and the ID is theirs in 20 minutes - for just $30.