Signing people with only one form of ID?

Richard Hartmann richih.mailinglist at
Fri Feb 29 10:20:10 CET 2008

On Thu, Feb 28, 2008 at 3:36 AM, Robert J. Hansen <rjh at> wrote:

>  It may be helpful for you to think about things in terms of not just how
>  many identity documents are present, but the relative difficulty in
>  forging identity documents, as well as your ability to spot forgeries.

Living in the EU, the only forms of ID I got to see were government-issued.
Of course, not all of them are officially an ID card, like the German dirver's
licence, but a German driver's licence has more security features than a
few passports I have seen.

>  E.g., a university ID card is pretty easy to forge.  You also probably
>  don't know what Wayne State University's ID card looks like, so if
>  someone presents it to you, you have no way of knowing whether it's on
>  the up and up or not.

I noted which IDs are of the laminated, bazillion-checks kind of type and
which were mere paper. Of the two paper IDs, one was an old German
passport of a person I have known for quite some time, the other was
a German passport for children under 16. I know and remeber these, but
while I will sign the first, I did not yet decide on the second.

Of course, I did not have a full list of reference ID cards for all major
countries with me, but I _did_ try and remember if a Greek passport from
guy one matches the Greek passport of gal two.

>  Compare that to a passport.  You might already have a passport.  Even if
>  you don't, it's pretty easy to find out what a passport looks like, what
>  sort of paper is used in it, what security features are present.  You
>  can thus have a lot more confidence in someone's identity if they
>  present you with a passport than if they present you with, say, a
>  university ID card.

I would never sign anyone with only a university ID unless I knew them for


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