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Merchants can not require ID for credit cards and other thin


9nines
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Just in case you are having a bad day and want to argue with a merchant for fun or seriously, if you do not want to show ID because of ID theft concerns:

 

 

 

Merchants can ask for ID but they can not require it for acceptance of the card. The only way they can refuse a card is if it is not signed.

 

 

 

Mastercard (maybe the others too but I only checked for Mastercard) actually has a web site where you can easily report merchants that do:

 

 

 

http://www.mastercard.com/us/personal/en/contactus/merchantviolations.html

 

 

 

Also, merchants can not requirement a minimum or maximum to accept credit cards. So, those restaurants that claim you must charge at least $10 (or some other amount) to use a credit card are in violation of their merchant agreements also. You can easily report that above also.

 

 

 

Also, merchants can not add a fee for using a credit card (they can give cash discount which is basically the same thing but they can not add a fee.)

 

 

 

Here is a a PDF of Visa merchant agreement. http://usa.visa.com/download/business/accepting_visa/ops_risk_management/rules_for_visa_merchants.pdf

 

 

 

The only recourse a merchant can take, if suspicious, is to call the issuing bank and state it request a code 10 (this is code to mean: I think my customer is committing fraud, is this card good, what do I do.)

 

 

 

On requiring ID though, page 29 it states:

 

 

 

Requesting

 

Cardholder

 

ID

 

When should you ask a cardholder for an official government ID? Although Visa rules do not preclude merchants from asking for cardholder ID, merchants cannot make an ID a condition of acceptance. Therefore, merchants cannot refuse to complete a purchase transaction because a cardholder refuses to provide ID. Visa believes merchants should not ask for ID as part of their regular card acceptance procedures. Laws in several states also make it illegal for merchants to write a cardholder’s personal information, such as an address or phone number, on a sales receipt.

Edited by 9nines
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It's good practice not to give any other identification with a major credit card, and I've challenged several merchants on this. Usually, I just state "my signature is on the back of the card, that's the only identification required" and they don't push further.

 

Handing over your driver's license puts you at risk for identity fraud, especially if your state puts your social security number on the ID. (Do any states do this anymore?) Then you end up with the cashier having your credit card number, and if they can memorize it quickly, your address and driver's license number too. That's a bad combination, in the hands of an identity thief.

 

Some people say to write "SEE ID" on the back of the card, so the cashier is supposed to ask for ID. Totally bad advice for several reasons... don't listen to it!

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Some people say to write "SEE ID" on the back of the card, so the cashier is supposed to ask for ID. Totally bad advice for several reasons... don't listen to it!

 

The VISA PDF, link above, states that if a cardholder writes "See ID" and the card is not signed, the merchant CAN refuse to accept the card - or if the card is just not signed.

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The VISA PDF, link above, states that if a cardholder writes "See ID" and the card is not signed, the merchant CAN refuse to accept the card - or if the card is just not signed.

Exactly.

 

It's stupid for merchants to accept it, too, because in the event of a fraudulent transaction with an unsigned card, VISA can choose not to pay them.

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I think its highly unlikely a cashier would remember your number. As a former cashier I can say i really dont care what you show me as long as you dont hassle me, and if you dont want to thats fine too. After seeing like 60+ ID's a day you really dont notice any details. But as a privacy advocate this new info is great, thanks. I look forward to causing some trouble.

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It's good practice not to give any other identification with a major credit card, and I've challenged several merchants on this. Usually, I just state "my signature is on the back of the card, that's the only identification required" and they don't push further.

 

Handing over your driver's license puts you at risk for identity fraud, especially if your state puts your social security number on the ID. (Do any states do this anymore?) Then you end up with the cashier having your credit card number, and if they can memorize it quickly, your address and driver's license number too. That's a bad combination, in the hands of an identity thief.

 

Some people say to write "SEE ID" on the back of the card, so the cashier is supposed to ask for ID. Totally bad advice for several reasons... don't listen to it!

 

Pennsylvania doesn't.

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