2022 Georgia Code
Title 16 - Crimes and Offenses
Chapter 9 - Forgery and Fraudulent Practices
Article 1 - Forgery and Related Offenses
§ 16-9-4. Manufacturing, Selling, or Distributing False Identification Document; Civil Forfeiture; Penalty

Universal Citation: GA Code § 16-9-4 (2022)
  1. As used in this Code section, the term:
    1. “Access device” means a unique electronic identification number, address, description, or routing code or a device containing a unique electronic identification number, address, description, or routing code issued to an individual which permits or facilitates entry into a facility or computer or provides access to the financial resources, including, but not limited, to the credit resources of the individual to whom the device or card is issued.
    2. “Description” means any identifying information about a person, including, but not limited to, date of birth, place of birth, address, social security number, height, weight, hair or eye color, or unique biometric data such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image, DNA profile, or other unique physical representation.
    3. “Government agency” means any agency of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of government or political subdivision or authority thereof of this state, any other state, the United States, or any foreign government or international governmental or quasi-governmental agency recognized by the United States or by any of the several states.
    4. “Identification document” means:
      1. Any document or card issued to an individual by a government agency or by the authority of a government agency containing the name of a person and a description of the person or such person’s photograph, or both, and includes, without being limited to, a passport, visa, military identification card, driver’s license, or an identification card;
      2. Any document issued to an individual for the purpose of identification by or with the authority of the holder of a trademark or trade name of another, as these terms are defined in Code Section 10-1-371, that contains the trademark or trade name and the name of the person to whom the document is issued and a description of the person or the person’s photograph, or both; or
      3. Any access device.
    1. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, display, or use any false, fictitious, fraudulent, or altered identification document.
    2. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly manufacture, alter, sell, distribute, deliver, possess with intent to sell, deliver, or distribute, or offer for sale, delivery, or distribution a false, fraudulent, or fictitious identification document or any identification document which contains any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry.
    3. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly manufacture, alter, sell, distribute, deliver, possess with the intent to sell, deliver, or distribute, or offer for sale, delivery, or distribution any identification document containing the trademark or trade name of another without the written consent of the owner of the trademark or trade name.
    4. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, display, or use any false, fictitious, fraudulent, or altered identification document containing the logo or legal or official seal of a government agency or any colorable imitation thereof in furtherance of a conspiracy or attempt to commit a violation of the criminal laws of this state or of the United States or any of the several states which is punishable by imprisonment for one year or more.
    5. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly manufacture, alter, sell, distribute, deliver, possess with the intent to sell, deliver, or distribute, or offer for sale or distribution any other identification document containing the logo or legal or official seal of a government agency or any colorable imitation thereof without the written consent of the government agency.
    6. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, display, or use an identification document issued to or on behalf of another person without the permission or consent of the other person for a lawful purpose, unless the identification document is possessed, displayed, or used with the intent to restore it to the other person or government agency or other entity that issued the identification document to the person.
    1. Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3) of this subsection, any person who violates the provisions of paragraph (1), (3), or (6) of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
    2. Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, any person who violates the provisions of paragraph (1), (3), or (6) of subsection (b) of this Code section for the second or any subsequent offense shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $25,000.00 or by imprisonment for not more than three years, or both.
    3. Except as provided in paragraph (5) of this subsection, any person who manufactures, alters, sells, distributes, delivers, receives, possesses, or offers for sale or distribution three or more identification documents in violation of the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than three nor more than ten years, a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both.
    4. Except as provided in paragraph (3) or (5) of this subsection, any person who violates the provisions of paragraph (2), (4), or (5) of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years, a fine not to exceed $100,000.00, or both.
    5. Any person who is under 21 years of age and violates the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section for the purpose of the identification being used to obtain entry into an age restricted facility or being used to purchase a consumable good that is age restricted, shall, upon a first conviction thereof, be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon a second or subsequent conviction shall be punished as for a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.
    6. Any person convicted of an attempt or conspiracy to violate the provisions of subsection (b) of this Code section shall be punished by imprisonment, by a fine, or by both such punishments not to exceed the maximum punishment prescribed for the offense the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.
  2. Each violation of this Code section shall constitute a separate offense.
  3. Any violation of this Code section shall be considered to have been committed in any county of this state in which the evidence shows that the identification document was manufactured, altered, sold, displayed, distributed, delivered, received, offered for sale or distribution, or possessed.
  4. The provisions of this Code section shall not apply to any lawfully authorized investigative, protective, or intelligence activity of an agency of the United States, this state, or any of the several states or their political subdivisions or any activity authorized under Chapter 224 of Title 18 of the United States Code or any similar such law relating to witness protection.
  5. It shall not be a defense to a violation of this Code section that a false, fictitious, fraudulent, or altered identification document contained words indicating that it is not an identification document.
    1. As used in this subsection, the terms “proceeds” and “property” shall have the same meanings as set forth in Code Section 9-16-2.
    2. Any property which is, directly or indirectly, used or intended for use in any manner to facilitate a violation of this Code section and any proceeds are declared to be contraband and no person shall have a property right in them.
    3. Any property subject to forfeiture pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be forfeited in accordance with the procedures set forth in Chapter 16 of Title 9.
  6. It shall be an affirmative defense to the manufacturing, selling, or distributing of identification documents that contain false, fictitious, or altered information that the person manufacturing, selling, or distributing the documents used due diligence to ascertain the truth of the information contained in the identification document.

History. Code 1981, § 16-9-4 , enacted by Ga. L. 1988, p. 760, § 1; Ga. L. 2002, p. 551, § 1; Ga. L. 2008, p. 808, § 1/SB 421; Ga. L. 2009, p. 299, § 1/HB 71; Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 2-10/HB 233.

Editor’s notes.

Ga. L. 2008, p. 808, § 2, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendment to this Code section shall apply to all offenses committed on or after July 1, 2008.

Ga. L. 2009, p. 299, § 2, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that the amendment to this Code section by this Act shall apply to offenses committed on or after October 1, 2009.

Ga. L. 2015, p. 693, § 4-1/HB 233, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: “This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2015, and shall apply to seizures of property for forfeiture that occur on or after that date. Any such seizure that occurs before July 1, 2015, shall be governed by the statute in effect at the time of such seizure.”

Law reviews.

For note on the 2002 amendment of this Code section, see 19 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 81 (2002).

For article on the 2015 amendment of this Code section, see 32 Ga. St. U.L. Rev. 1 (2015).

Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.