How To Make A Police ID Warrant Card  

by Matt Hawkins, 20/02/2005
Categories : Tutorials & Guides

This page describes one technique for making a fake Police ID warrant card for use as a film prop. Please read the warning at the bottom first.

Update - This tutorial has been removed but be sure to check out the new Prop ID Card Creator tool.

Apparently is was about to cause a nationwide crime wave.

I am flattered that my prop warrant card was so realistic resources were diverted from real crime fighting to ask me to remove it.

It is a little strange that a criminal would be unable to create their own warrant card without my help. It wasn't exactly difficult and most of the source material was readily available on the Metropolitan Police Website.

As a side note the same source material is still available on The Sun and BBC websites.

Funny how they are allowed to distribute it? Funny how it resulted in 0 crimes.

It was also funny that despite the internet being populated with millions of criminals, scammers, child molestors, drug dealers, phishers and terrorists it was my tutorial that made it to the top of the priority list.

How is it that someone had enough time on their hands to even write down my web address?

Surely real crimes and real criminals are a higher priority than the hypothetical situation that a criminal might somehow be prompted to create a warrant card and then might commit a crime.

My warrant card had no security features and no metal badge. If it can pass for real I am extremely worried about the quality of genuine warrant cards. Are they really that bad?

But there is nothing nicer than an easy target to help the metrics.

If you still need a warrant card for the lawful purposes of film making or drama performance then the following are the only tips I can provide :

1) Whether for film or drama the ID badge does not need to be an exact copy of a real badge. As long as it looks ok just make up the details. You only need to achieve an effect in your scene not make an exact replica. My prop badges were only visible on screen for a few seconds.

2) On camera it is surprising how much detail your viewers will not be able to see or will not bother reading. The badge just needs to look good in the shot/scene and it doesn't need to look any good under closer inspection.

3) If you want to know what the actual wording says on a real badge get yourself arrested (these days taking a photo of a public building should do the trick).

4) All the detail on the badge can be made up. As long as it looks ok it will work out. You can simply use whatever text, graphics or watermarks you need.

5) In my badge I just used a JPG of the metal badge that was freely available from Google images. It doesn't need to be metal.

Final Tips : It just needs to work as a prop. The exact details don't mater. Make them up. For your own protection it is probably better the badge is obviously a prop when examined.

If you are trying to make an exact replica and are more interested in the badge rather than film making or a legitimate performance then I can't help you. You will need to look elsewhere.

If you have a legitimate need to know the exact details of a police id card then pop down your local police station (if you can find one that is actually open and manned).

I will not provide any other info via email but I may update this article to answer any queries.

This was the original warning that appeared in the tutorial :

WARNING - Impersonating a Police officer is a criminal offence in most normal countries. Please use Police related props in a responsible manner. Getting arrested can seriously hamper the making of your film! Under no circumstances will I make or supply any of the above. Please do not email me asking for details. As far as I am aware you will not be able to buy a metal crest so you will have to make do with a colour print out. For obvious reasons its a good thing that this final level of detail should be difficult to copy.

Author : Matt Hawkins  Last Edit By : Matt Hawkins
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