1. Malisky
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    Malisky Fuzz Overdriver Contributor

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    Identity question

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Malisky, Jun 7, 2016.

    1) Would anybody benefit of never having a real ID?

    2) Let's say that for some reason (I hope you come to stumble upon one, because I thought about it and have no clue) he has an ID but it's fake. Meaning it's not official. Would it make sense? Only having a fake ID and not an official?

    I have already found real instances where people have never had an ID or birth certificate for that matter. What troubles me is why. How can one benefit out of it?

    I'm writing a story where it's very important that one of my characters is a "ghost". Never had an authentic ID. He is a thief and a con. Would it be believable? I don't care if it's implausible. Just as long as it's not impossible we're good.

    Enlighten me, please.
     
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  2. A man called Valance
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    A man called Valance Active Member

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    A nefarious person of nefarious intent having a fake ID sounds plausible to me.
     
  3. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It may not be because of some perceived benefit but just because of circumstance. If the authorities don't know a baby exists and nobody registers it for a birth certificate, it won't get a birth certificate. Think of people living on the edges of society where a pregnancy could slip through the net: homeless women, women in cults, women living in slavery. Even women living in the middle of society, especially in busy inner cities where lack of education and poverty are also challenges.

    There are also some delusional people out there who believe that if you don't have an ID you aren't culpable for any debt and don't have to pay taxes and other such nonsense. People gullible enough to fall for it might deliberately not register their babies in the belief that it'll give them an easier life: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freemen_on_the_land

    Anyway, in your circumstance the character could have faked their own death or sold their identity or any number of methods to get rid of their birth certificate/ID. The world is your oyster.
     
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  4. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Illegal immigrant?

    I've heard that if you don't have a passport, the authorities don't know where to deport you to, so immigrants have taken to destroying their passport...
     
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  5. agasfer
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    agasfer Member

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    There is the negative side for women who are smuggled into a country with the promise of work, where the smuggler keeps the passport on the pretense that he needs it to clear the visa. Arriving in that country, the smuggler sells the women to a pimp, and the passports are destroyed or at least kept from the women, so the women are forced into prostitution and/or forced labor, and have nowhere to turn. This is unfortunately quite common.
     
  6. Malisky
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    Malisky Fuzz Overdriver Contributor

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    Thanks for your insight, but maybe I haven't been clear upon my question. I know why my character has no ID. I know his circumstances. The question is how he would benefit out of having a fake one or fake ones, while not having an official ID. He could have had one if he wanted, but because of initially being introduced to underworld syndicates at a young age as an aspiring thief and con, not having an official ID seemed like a good idea to his mentor. Actually, that's what I'm asking: Is it indeed a good idea?

    I'll explain my thinking. This individual has never been caught. He is totally clean. His mentor on the other hand is a renounced mastermind burglar and conman and has been caught a couple of times when he was younger. Now, he is old and takes this kid under his protection the best way he can think of. So he teaches him all his tricks and initiates him into the thief society as his secret partner. What do I mean when I say secret? The mentor is too old in order to be part of a burglary himself. So, he - as an experienced and presumably retired veteran - sees talent in the boy and teams up with him. He is the brains, the youngster is the muscle. He's got the connections, the kid has anonymity. In case a job turned sour, wouldn't it be more difficult for the police investigators to track down a person that has never had real ID? I thought it would, only because they wouldn't be able to find out any real information about the kid, so they wouldn't know where to start searching. No relatives, no photos, no real data about him anywhere. Only fake, misleading ID's that send them off track each time. In the end, an investigator will track him down eventually (only because she is very charismatic of course :p) but her investigation journey will seem like a Russian doll-hunt.

    So, is this logical or not?
     
  7. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think you have to worry too much about it being realistic - it's one of those premises that readers will probably readily accept. Take the character Jack Reacher, for example, the MC of a highly successful action thriller bestselling series by Lee Child. The whole idea behind Reacher is that he's a nomad and a ghost, no strings, no known address, no job. Sure he has official records somewhere, since he used to be in the military, but unless you have access to the military database, he might as well not exist.

    As for IRL stuff, well...

    1. myself, until recently! Technically I was supposed to have got a temporary residency in the Czech Republic once I've been here for more than 3 months. But being that I'm British and the Czechs are part of the EU, I just sorta came and stayed and that was that. So for the past 5 years or so, I've technically be officially only a tourist. Reason? I just couldn't be bothered to deal with the foreign police, who are notorious for being racist, hostile and unhelpful, and you're advised to always bring a Czech friend with you for translation if you actually want to get anything done rather than have wasted 3 hours waiting just to be turned away!

    2. my granddad - he's never been outside of China/Hong Kong. He escaped from China into HK and has been there ever since. He has no birth cert and therefore no passport. Apparently it would be too complicated to get one and he's nearly 90, so there isn't much point anyway.

    3. my friend's baby daughter - since both of her parents are British, even though the baby was born in the Czech Republic, she cannot get Czech citizenship. She can, however, get British citizenship. However, as yet her parents have not sorted that out. She apparently has a UK passport but not citizenship just yet - what the difference is eludes me. Either way, she's kinda neither here nor there, in this sense.

    4. some poor Korean woman who changed her maiden name to a Czech surname, just to find the Koreans don't allow for a change of name. But since her name is indeed legally changed on the marriage certificate, this means Korea officially cannot issue her a new passport :D But she doesn't have Czech passport either because she's not a Czech citizen :D oh joy, right? :D

    So anyway, this ID stuff - it does happen.
     
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