Personal Safety Tip #6. Checking Driver’s Licenses

Safety Tips for Checking Driver’s Licenses

It is a good idea to ask an ID.

A document with a photo issued by government agencies and approved by a certain authority can serve as an identity card. Whether you are renting an apartment, hiring a cleaner, a nanny, a nurse, or a driver, it’s essential to ensure that they are not only trustworthy but also have a spotless reputation. You have every right to request and carefully examine an identity document, such as a driver’s license.

Some elements on the driver’s license can only be checked by the police or officials from various departments. For instance, UV ink is used in the production of a driver’s license to enhance the protective layer and display specific images, like the Ontario logo on the front and the trillium flower on the back. These images appear bright only under ultraviolet (black) light.

This image below explains how to interpret an Ontario License, a valuable skill for professionals like bouncers, waitstaff, and tavern owners in determining a person’s age. Additionally, it aids in detecting counterfeit IDs, as numerous fake IDs often lack these essential details:


Some features you can check yourself

However, there are features you can check yourself to verify the authenticity of the document. Driver’s licenses issued by the Ontario Department of Transportation include several elements to look out for:

  • The photograph must correspond to the individual presenting it, naturally.
  • The final six digits of a driver’s license represent the birthdate in the format of yymmdd.
  • For female licenses, the month (mm) is 50 higher than that of males. For example, a man born on January 1st is 0101, while a woman’s code would be 5101.
  • The initial letter of a driver’s license matches the initial letter of the individual’s last name.
  • Under the photo, you’ll find the year, month, and date of birth.

Look at the bottom of the card.

Driving licenses issued to individuals aged 16 to 18 will clearly indicate when the cardholders turn nineteen. The card will display the inscription “AGE 19,” followed by the exact date when the cardholder reaches nineteen years old. This information is placed at the bottom of the card, next to the date of birth.

Additionally, there are other important features for document authentication:

  • Laser-engraved secondary photo, signature, and personal information in the lower right corner of the card.
  • A thin background of continuous Ontario logos that partially covers the borders of the photo.
  • A machine-readable barcode containing data about the certificate owner, located on the back of the card.
  • Micro and iridescent printing.

It’s essential to pay particular attention to the address indicated on the driver’s license.

The cardholder must specify their current residential address, and you can easily verify this by conducting a few checks. For example, you can search for the house on Google Maps or use the Canada Post website to check if the address corresponds to a valid postal code. If the address is not found, it could indicate that the owner of the certificate is a scammer. It’s crucial to remember that forging or using someone else’s document is a criminal offense that could lead to imprisonment, depending on the situation. Unfortunately, scammers, especially dishonest tenants, take advantage of people’s lack of knowledge and may attempt to present false driver’s licenses. Always be vigilant and thorough when verifying identity documents to ensure your safety and security.

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