Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC - Manufacturing Counterfeit Identification Cards

If you recently discovered that you received a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation, you might be wanting more information on what exactly it is, and what it means for your record.  Below, we go over some of the most important topics.  These include:

What is Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC?

To get a really good understanding of this kind of violation, let’s start with the formal one and work from there.  The California legislature states this violation as follows: “​​A person shall not manufacture or sell an identification document of a size and form substantially similar to, or that purports to confer the same privileges as, the identification cards issued by the department.

What this means in simpler terms is that it is illegal to make and sell, or just to sell, any kind of ID that is intended to be used in place of a valid form of ID.  In other words, a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation would be making and selling, or even just selling, fake IDs.

What does it mean to have violated Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC?

While this offense is a popular one when it comes to media portrayal, it isn’t always understood in detail entirely by California residents.  To make it a little easier in its several forms, our imaginary California resident, Thomas, is going to run us through a few scenarios.

Thomas’ friend wants to go on a plane to visit his mother across the country.  He needs a valid photo ID in order to pass security.  Since he doesn’t have anything, Thomas makes him an ID that is intended to get him past the checkpoint and into the secure area where he won’t be required to show it.  Because Thomas is making or selling those documents with the intention to trick officials, it is a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation.

A roommate of Thomas wants to buy alcohol, but he is underage.  Thomas knows a guy who makes fake IDs that will pass the inspection of the clerk at the shop.  He decides to get one for his roommate and sells them to him.  Even though Thomas isn’t making the IDs himself, he is selling them knowing that they are counterfeit.  This would count as a violation as well.

Finally, Thomas and his friend, Elise, are really good at photoshop and editing.  They decide to try to make some fake IDs and sell them to some friends to use to get into clubs and other illegal activities.  They sell these fake IDs, and their friends go into the clubs.  At this point, whether they worked or not is not the issue.  The fact that Thomas (and Elise) were intentionally making IDs to trick officials is a violation.

There are a few legal defenses that you can use when receiving a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation, even though it seems straightforward.  

The first example doesn’t seem like it would have any other reason, but it can!  For example, let’s say that Thomas’ friend was threatening him and said that he would hurt him if he didn’t make him the fake ID.  Since Thomas is acting under duress, he’d be innocent of the crime.

In the second example, Thomas wouldn’t be guilty of a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation if he only mentioned that his friend makes and sells IDs.  Since he was not involved in the making or selling process himself, his violation wouldn’t apply.

In the third example, Thomas (and Elise) would be innocent of a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC citation if they were simply, out of curiosity, making the IDs.  For example, they wanted to see how official they would look, so they made them up and just used their friend’s information.  Since there was no criminal intent, there is technically no crime.

What can I do about this violation?

In a courtroom, a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation is charged as a misdemeanor.  The punishment will depend on your record and the situation surrounding it.  In many cases, it is a fine payable to the court, ranging from $250-$1 000.  It often also carries a community service component too.  It can range anywhere below or above 24 hours.  In a heavier sentence, the fine will be closer to $1, 000 and it can carry a county jail sentence of up 6 months.  This can sometimes be downgraded to a probation sentence.

If you know that you are guilty of this citation, you will want to plead guilty in court and accept the punishment as given to you.  If you are innocent, however, you have a right to argue your case with the help of the right legal counsel.

Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections

This one is pretty simple when it comes to any additional charges for similar violations.  It is limited to its “parent” VC, which is:

  • Vehicle Code 13004 VC: This particular violation means you can’t have a fake ID, use some else’s ID, or create a fake ID to use.  The focus in this one is going to be on creating rather than selling and manufacturing specifically to sell.

If you think this is lucky, considering it won’t be a stacked list of offenses, think again!  There are also several penal code violations that will escalate things and worsen the situation, depending on the circumstances of this original Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation.  

This similar code, and the penal code violations, can be added to this one or used in place of it in any combination.  It depends, as mentioned, on the situation surrounding the violation, the record of the accused, and the discretion of both the court and the peace officer or official who is filing the citation.

Is this ticket eligible for traffic school?

Moving citations, referring to those violations that occur as a result of how you drive your vehicle, would be considered eligible for an accredited traffic school, like MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL.  Since this offense is not related to driving technique, however, it is not a violation that is eligible for driving school.

If you’ve got questions or concerns on this and want to know more about the difference between eligibility and not, please contact us and we’ll be happy to give you more information both on the kinds of violations that are eligible, and the details of this particular offense.  If you want a more personalized explanation, the court issuing you the violation would also be familiar with your case!


How can I avoid a citation for a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation?

This can quickly become a serious offense when you look at the penal code additions, so preventing a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation is certainly going to be your best attack.  Here are some tips for doing just that.

A lot of the prevention for this particular kind of ticket is going to come down to being careful with how your approach the idea of an ID card.  Anything that you ever use for some sort of official status should always be legal.  If you know someone who is deliberately selling false IDs to trick that system should be reported.  You also will not want to associate with them since there are only bad things coming from that connection.

The other thing is to really understand how much of a true criminal offense this is.  If you are selling the IDs to underage teens for drinking or to adults to replace their own IDs (even if you aren’t the one who is making them), this is a serious and legal problem.  It can impact all sorts of future things, including insurance, education, and more.  We’ve all been in tight situations where we can use some extra cash to get us through, but selling fake IDs is never going to be the right approach.  No matter how harmless it seems, “since everyone’s doing it,” the harm will always be worse than steering clear.

What it comes down to with this clearly outlined violation is that “if it feels wrong, it is.”  The risks and implications of it will always be worse than steering clear “just in case,” especially when you learn about those details like the penal code violations.  Since this is often a problem with young teens and others just entering adulthood, think extra carefully about whether this is the kind of legal reputation that you want to follow you legally for those years to come!  Please keep this in mind: You are only guilty of a Vehicle Code 13004.1 VC violation if you are knowingly making or selling fake IDs for cash.  If you have no criminal intent, or you do not participate in the sale or production process, you are innocent of the citation.



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