Counterfeit Crackdown

drivers license drivers' license driver's license identification ID card
Authorities said it was easy to do, so CBS News went undercover and obtained a fake driver's license for about $150, reports Correspondent Sandra Hughes.

It was used to buy tickets on three major airlines, testing the security of five airports. No one detected our license was a fake.

California Senator Barbara Boxer said she was stunned that Congress seemed unaware of this gaping hole in airport security, and Monday proposed legislation targeting the problem of document fraud.

"As a result of seeing this exposé, I've come up with some approaches," she said. "I call it the three T's: It's technology, training and tougher penalties."

Boxer is introducing two bills to train airport and airline employees and implement existing technology to detect fake documents. She also wants to increase jail time for counterfeiters, who right now face five years if convicted.

"We said, if in fact you give someone a false ID and they use that in a terrorist act, you're going away for 25 years," she said.

Just this week, the California Highway Patrol moved into the Southern California neighborhood where the fake driver's license was purchased. Officers seized almost $1 million of counterfeit driver's licenses, Social Security cards and computers, but fraud experts say that's a drop in the bucket.

"These types of operations are popping up all over California, really all over the country," said Chris Bonzor of the Huntington Park Police Department.

For its part, the city of Los Angeles, along with state and federal authorities, is launching a counterfeit document task force.

"I would say this: We're making it a priority now," City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo told CBS News. "If that means it should have been a higher priority in the past, I'm sure someone could make a case."

Many hope the new priority will go a long way to prevent terrorists from assuming false identities and carrying out another attack on America.