How hard was it to completely change your identity in the 60’s ?

I looked it up and could not find anything! If anyone knows how the process worked or could list any sources i could read that would be great! It’s for research on a book

8 Answers

  • Speed
    Lv 7
    9 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    All I know is what I've read in novels.

    Say John Jameson needs to disappear but doesn't want to run or hide all his life. He wants to live in the open, just not as John Jameson. That's your situation, right?

    First he needs to find a person who was born about when he was and who died in childhood. It helps if they're the same race and religion. Ideally, the name is no more unique than his real name. He would write to the county clerk's office (in the US, anyway) seeking a replacement birth certificate for the dead child, Bob Robertson. On receipt, he leaves the address where it was sent, leaving no forwarding address.

    Now he needs to do a few things at once. One, change his appearance in a way that he can maintain. He grows a bushy beard, or shaves his head, or gains eighty pounds. He starts wearing contacts instead of glasses. He gets tattoos over distinguishing marks or scars.

    Two, he establishes himself as Robertson. Once he looks different, he gets a drivers license and a credit card, which he uses and pays off, establishing a decent credit history and higher limit. He uses that card seldom after that--it's for emergencies.

    Three, he gets work that's completely unrelated to his skills, education, and interests. If he used to be a truck mechanic, maybe he becomes a janitor or a short order cook. He's likely to be severely underemployed and poor as a result. He's got to live very simply, in rented room, traveling by hitchhiking or bus.

    Four, he makes zero contact with people from his past, not ever. No phone call or post card saying he's okay, nothing. He will never see them again.

    Five, he moves often, maybe every six months or so. He pays his rent and buys his necessities in cash, which is untraceable.

    Six, he's a law-abiding citizen. He never steals, gets in fights, is publicly intoxicated, nothing.

    Seven, if he's smart he'll get a new identity or three, ready to be used if someone recognizes him.

    Eight, he never again pursues any of his former hobbies or interests. If he was into model trains or football, he isn’t now. He’s a homebody, going out very little, since that increases the opportunity for someone to recognize him.

  • 9 months ago

    Anyone could acquire someone else's birth certificate just by marching in and paying the fee. Death records were also open to the public. All you needed to get a driver's license was to pass the road test, and back then licenses didn't have photo ID.

  • 9 months ago

    I know a guy who changed his identity and the important thing is to have fake addresses on your documents like drivers license. He has more than one license and none of have his real address. He uses his real identity and address for things that do not involve driving but he could dispense with that if he didn't want to be found at all but he just wants to be able to drive. students used to create fake ID's in the 60's. Now they have all sorts of iridescent images that you need special technology to replicate. for fake ID's. In the past you could just take a picture and put in a different face and information.

  • Fairly easy.

    There was no national data base of driver's licenses. Social Security wasn't mandatory for a job. You could still pull the scam of using dead people to get a birth certificate. If someone was searching for finger matches, they had to look at each one in person to match them.

    Quite frankly, the toughest part would have been faking a draft card.

    A lot of sixties radicals went underground for years.

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 9 months ago

    I don't know how they did it in the 60's. However, there is a book called, "How to Disappear".

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    As hard as I was the other day

  • 9 months ago

    its probably hard to do that at any tirne

  • Razer
    Lv 4
    9 months ago

    not as hard as it is now what with all the paper trails and such. the lead singer of led zep basically did this every night

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.