I can order a copy of my drivers license and change the address to "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC" and they'll ship it to me quick as can be. If you happen to find somebody who looks a lot like you (or you can modify your face to look like them) you can just get their social or drivers license # and order a copy to a different mailing address. The original owner is never notified.
If you want to just make yourself a brand new ID under someone else's identity you can get a new driver's license under someone else's name. Bring two forms of ID (a birth certificate which you can order with a SSN or a faked certificate of US citizenship along with a faked insurance card), a faked telephone or utility bill, and a proof of social security number (a faked payroll statement and a faked insurance or IRS statement with name and SSN). Then make an appointment at the DMV and get a fully valid new government ID with your picture and someone else's name.
That's something a terrorist could do without much trouble once they had someone to target. You don't even need Photoshop to fake those documents; just a Kinkos, MS Word, Paint and some scissors. Just get the guy's name and SSN (which thanks to LulzSec there are plenty of leaked to the internets) and go to town. Should take about a week, maybe two if the fake birth certificate takes a while to ship. You can also do without the birth certificate if you just order a copy of the person's drivers license.
So yeah. The fact that the TSA doesn't check your ID past glancing at it and putting a mark on your ticket isn't that scary to me, since anyone who really wants to can get a valid ID which will pass all checks in a couple weeks.
>I can order a copy of my drivers license and change the address to "1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC" and they'll ship it to me quick as can be.
some states (e.g. New Jersey) mark the new license as a duplicate copy, which causes increased scrutiny by police officers and other ID checkers. And most states do send something to the old address, if only a simple notice stating the change of address.
Likewise, USPS sends a notice to both addresses if you activate their mail forwarding service, so you can't forward somebody's mail to your address and reorder their license. (Unless they are on vacation...) All of that is mail fraud which is a federal offense and probably a felony.
That all gets you a license with somebody else's picture, so you need to be a very close match with them to be able to use it--LulzSec isn't dumping pictures of their targets yet, so that means for a lot of facebooking.
Nys Post Investigative - As for a brand new ID, I wouldn't say it's impossible to jump through all the hoops you have described in para 3, but you'd have to pick somebody that does not already have an ID in the state you are getting a license from, and somebody that you are sure will not be contactable as a result of all your shenanigans (i.e. missing without a death certificate), or your fake license is bound to be useful for only a short period until the IRS and credit agencies catch up with the real person and that victim files a report of identity theft, freezing/suspending it. The next time you get pulled over with that license, it's lights out. Additionally, you can't just walk out the door of a DMV with a new license, you have to wait for it to be shipped a real address and if your forgeries are detected before then, police may be waiting to see who picks it up. That risk probably serves as a sufficient deterrent, no?
Nys Post Investigative -
Neither send notice after changing the address on the license. There's no USPS address change required here, so no notification.
Honestly, it's not hard to find somebody with a beard with kinda-close skin color, and go to a party store and buy some makeup. Again we're talking about somebody who just wants a quick fake and not, say, a terrorist or drug dealer who can pay for a really good counterfit.
Nys Post Investigative - Why would they not already have an ID? You just get a reissue, or yes, go to the state next door and get a replacement (which may void out the other state's ID, but maybe you don't care if they find out after? I dunno).
As long as you don't use the stolen identity for anything but travel I don't see how anybody would find out.
Also, i'm preeeeeety sure they do make new IDs at the DMV so you don't have to wait for it to be mailed. I think I got one handed to me, but that was a while back. Anyway, just specify a different mailing address for them to mail it to ("i'm moving and i don't live there yet"). Nys Post Investigative - edit And seeing as Arizona will hand you one as below commenter says, i'm 85% sure Florida does too.
Every 3.8 seconds someone has his or her identity stolen. This indicates to me that there is not enough deterrent. Perhaps there are even easier ways than what I outlined but I am not a criminal so I have no idea.