IS THE BEND TEST REAL? Technically speaking, yes. Bend tests are taught to some bouncers when they are trained by an institution or a law enforcement official.
WHAT IS THE BEND TEST? The bend test can refer to three specific id-legitimacy tests, each with their own level of effectiveness and backing.
- The teslin bend test. This test is performed on thin teslin ids such as the old New York. In this test, the id is bent from corner to corner. The id is essentially the thickness of card stock, so if it creases or crackles, it is presumed fake.
- The Florida bend test. This test is performed specifically on Florida thick teslin ids, most often by Florida bouncers. It involves bending the id to submission, until the magnetic strip cracks. The id is assumed to be real if there is a clean break in the magstrip.
- The PVC bend test. Contrary to popular belief, this is a real test. It involves bending the id no more than 30 degrees to see if the front lamination creases. This test is supposed to simulate normal wear and tear. It is thought that if done properly, it will separate the ids that are laminated properly, with heat treated glue.
ISSUES WITH THESE TESTS These tests have two main margins for error, both centered around bad training. Bouncers in teslin areas are notorious for over-bending pvc ids and creasing the lamination on real ids.
FACT: REAL PVC IDS CAN CREASE AND PEEL OVER TIME The Florida test relies on destroying an id to test its legitimacy, which is a moral gray area. The main issue is that this is a security feature that destroys another security feature, the magstrip. This makes it a pointless test and only to be used in the most dire circumstances. Florida bouncers are notorious for trying this test on non Florida ids and ruining them. The third test is the most controversial. There is a lot of room for human error, however, if done correctly, it can be effective.
Now, many bouncers, particularly those who are smart and observant enough to spot a fake themselves, have omitted these tests due to their redundancy. However NOBODY should disregard them as “fake tests”, because if you go to enough bars and clubs, you may likely come across a bouncer who will try one. And in certain circumstances, they can not only separate fake ids from real ids, but also separate good quality fakes with bad quality ones.