It may shock you to find out how many companies and even government agencies outsource their identification card needs. Is it only due to the price tag of the equipment and software needed to allow an organization to produce ID cards internally? ID cards are dictated by law in some cases and in others they bring an instant appearance of credibility to the carrier. In any case, many organizations are no longer purchasing expensive software and hardware to meet their requirements or wishes.
Personally, since I’ve been in the identification and tracking industry for over 10 years, I have worked with many different types of organizations in helping them develop solutions for their registration or simply photo identification needs. One thing that has become clear is the providers of these services have either chosen the high road or the low road. Many of these service providers have become self governing to ensure only individuals that should carry identification proving the person is really a police officer, EMT, or whatever the case may be. While others have chosen a more profitable route of selling ID cards to anyone who is willing to pay the price. You can search the internet for “Fake ID Cards” and you will find a plethora of companies that will provide you a card that will cost as much as $ 30. When searching for a legitimate solution the range is commonly in the $ 4 to $ 8 range. Because of the high level of profit, it’s easy to understand why some would choose that more lucrative path.
Simply saying the organizations that are selling ID cards without principles are breaking the law simply isn’t the case in most instances. If you check out their disclaimers, or the “I Agree” clauses on their sites, you will see that they actually only sell “Novelty” ID cards to anyone that is willing to pay their price. Again, checking into the details you may find that other companies providing these services are located overseas and therefore not held to the laws of our country. So accusing these providers of breaking the law or engaging in illegal activity isn’t the case because of the fine lines drawn.
So when you consider how easy it is to produce or purchase a fake id card, I have to ask myself if identification cards mean anything anymore. Well, just look around and you will find that they are simply required for even the simplest of services. Many banks require two forms of photo identification to start an account or cash a check. The airport requires a form of photo identification and just about any type of secure area requires some form of identification.
Recently there was even a law passed that allows retired police officers to carry a firearm anywhere in the country if that officer also carries an identification card stating the officers retired status. Even bounty hunters and private detectives are now required by many states to carry ID cards that indicate their status and organizational affiliations. And guess what; there is not a government agency to supply any of these required cards so these people have to seek out a provider.
Even if we go beyond the requirements of law, I have to admit that when a police officer or fireman comes to my door it give me a feeling of comfort seeing them display some form of identification. So I guess even when the cards are not mandated by law, they are needed in many other areas of our daily lives.
So, as long as our society doesn’t trust someone just upon their word, I’m sure we will be in a culture that requires some form of identification. Future technologies may change what is required for credentials, but in my observation, we will always need some type of photo ID card even if it’s just for the latest book of the month club we joined.