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The phenomenon known as "Chalking" IDs is quite popular among the under-drinking-age crowd. Most college students and some high school students use this method to get into bars or clubs. Chalking is practically free and is a cheaper, and also much less effective than having a Fake ID made.

The term "chalking" refers to using colored pencils (yes, that's right! Colored pencils!) to alter the birthdate on a Driver's License. This is not possible on all states, but is especially popular (and easy to do) with New York State IDs. While a chalked ID is usually obvious, and easily identifiable to a Police Officer, it will almost always get under-age kids into clubs. Liquor and grocery stores, and normal, "old-people" bars will usually turn down an obviously chalked ID.

The technique is something that needs to be practiced and worked on. This is why most often people will go to a person they know who does it well, and not attempt it themselves. Selecting the correct colored pencil brand is important, as certain brands are too hard and will not come off properly on the ID surface. As my experience is with New York IDs, Crayola work exceptionally well.

To give you an idea of how chalking actually changes the birthdate, I will explain the process on New York IDs. Three colors are needed - red, white, and black - sharpened to a very nice point. The white is applied to the last digit or two of the year to blend most of the red numbers with the background. The red is used to rewrite new numbers over the white.

The black pencil is then used to change the code number in the lower-right hand corner of the ID. The number starts out with the ID holders birthdate year, ex: 82XXXXXX. That also must be chalked in the same fasion, using white to cover up parts and black to recreate a new number.

Usually the entire number is not hidden and changed. Conveniently changed numbers are selected. People born in 1983 can be made 21 simply by changing the 3 to a 0. It is easy to change a 3 into a 0, just use white to cover up the middle part and connect it with the red. However, it is extremely difficult to make a 1 into a 0, or the like.

Contrary to what people might think, if done correctly a chalked ID can look extremely convincing to a bouncer or bartender - especially in the dark or through a plastic holder in a wallet.

In most states, chalking an ID is a felony (elsewhere it is a misdemeanor) - Tampering with an official document. In New York it is a larger offense to tamper with an official document (chalking) than it is to create a fake official document (fake-ID). However, people who use these can simply rub hard with their thumb and the evidence dissappears.

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