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California is notorious for ID checks


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26 replies to this topic

#1 ericgunit

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 09:55 AM

I know this topic has been covered a lot on CB but I just moved to San Diego and I cannot believe how many merchants ask for ID here for cc & debit purchases. It's like a normal way of doing business. From the large chains to the mom and pop stores. Everyone wants to see your ID.

If I refused, I would spend my entire day arguing with them. It's like you should just wear it around your neck like a bus pass.



#2 cashnocredit

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:10 AM

Get a passport card. Id's you but doesn't list your address.

#3 JunkBuyersWorstNightmare

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:21 PM

Pretty SOP here in Chicago, too.

#4 core

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:37 PM

Common here in IA for electronics chains and department stores. Which is one of the reasons I don't shop there. Amazon's cheaper anyway 99% of the time and free shipping too. Want me to support local businesses even though prices are higher? Fine, but don't make it _harder_ for me to do so! It's funny, I walk into Best Buy and use a card and they treat me like a crook. But if I go to BestBuy.com and use that _same_ card they'll let me do whatever I want. Including having it shipped to an abandoned house where an accomplice can pick up the item later. Makes no sense.

Grocery stores and Wal-Mart and stuff never hassle me. Sometimes they ask to look at it and then just hand it back to me. Even if that card's not even signed! Heheheh

#5 CreditDespair

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 02:21 PM

I know this topic has been covered a lot on CB but I just moved to San Diego and I cannot believe how many merchants ask for ID here for cc & debit purchases. It's like a normal way of doing business. From the large chains to the mom and pop stores. Everyone wants to see your ID.

If I refused, I would spend my entire day arguing with them. It's like you should just wear it around your neck like a bus pass.



Isn't this a good thing? I live in Orange County and I actually get frustrated when I'm not asked for my ID.

#6 core

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 02:33 PM

Guess it goes both ways. Some folks get furious when say a UPS shipment does not require a signature, where I find that to be a serious pain taking the day off work just to sign for a $20 item. (!!)

Having to show ID for a credit card isn't that extreme of course but I'd rather not have to spend that extra time. If somebody physically steals my card and goes to the mall well I have to spend a couple extra minutes dealing with that with the bank in that unlikely event. Add up all the extra time spent from looking for my drivers license and it probably adds up to more time.

#7 beonthelkout

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:05 PM

I am from Southern California and I don't mind showing my ID when I make a purchase using my CC/DC. It makes me feel somewhat safe. A couple years ago I left my wallet on top of the gas pump after getting gas and someone used my CC/DCs without showing any proof of identity. This was a huge hassle and took a lot of time to get my money back. I would rather be safe than sorry.

#8 Burgerwars

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:36 PM

It's hit and miss for me (I live in the L.A. area). Some areas of town are more suspicious than others. Going to a McDonald's I don't think I have ever been asked. Just swipe the card and that's it. Best Buy they always check.

It's the same when exiting a store. If you look like a shady character, the greeter at WalMart may look through everything. If you look sweet and innocent, even if you have a dozen iPods stuffed in your pants, they might just wave you on out the store.

#9 core

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:47 PM

The way I look at it the theif can just buy gas at pay-at-the-pump (which can be a fortune these days esp. in CA), buy high dollar items using the self checkout at certain stores, or just buy intangibles online and sell them off immediately. All without showing ID. So there seem to be little point in inconvencing only some of the people some of the time.

That would be much like having two security lines at the airport and you can line up at whichever one you want: One where you get shot with xrays and have your junk examined, and the other where you just sail through a magnetometer. That first line seems very pointless.

#10 Mapleton

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 03:53 PM

The way I look at it the theif can just buy gas at pay-at-the-pump (which can be a fortune these days esp. in CA), buy high dollar items using the self checkout at certain stores, or just buy intangibles online and sell them off immediately. All without showing ID. So there seem to be little point in inconvencing only some of the people some of the time.

That would be much like having two security lines at the airport and you can line up at whichever one you want: One where you get shot with xrays and have your junk examined, and the other where you just sail through a magnetometer. That first line seems very pointless.


The honest truth to this is that asking for ID in stores does prevent some people from stealing credit cards simply because most criminals are dumb. Not all criminals are dumb, some are very smart, but many are dumb.

There is no shortage of security measures that to us, seem stupid, but will actually fool the unsavvy criminal and prevent them from committing the crime simply because they would not have thought of ordering online or whatever.

Edited by Mapleton, 21 January 2011 - 03:55 PM.


#11 markca

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 04:39 PM

I know some here don't like being asked for ID, but I actually prefer they do and actually thank them when they do ask. Plus it's no big deal for me anyway. My credit card(s) I carry are right next to my license so it's not a huge deal to just show them real quick.

The way I look at it the theif can just buy gas at pay-at-the-pump (which can be a fortune these days esp. in CA), buy high dollar items using the self checkout at certain stores, or just buy intangibles online and sell them off immediately. All without showing ID. So there seem to be little point in inconvencing only some of the people some of the time.


While I agree with the first part, I don't agree with the last. What you're basically saying is "ok thieves, you win! Steal my card and buy whatever you want!".

Besides, how long does it take you to show your ID to a clerk when you already have your wallet out? An extra 5 - maybe 10 seconds at most?

Edited by markca, 21 January 2011 - 04:43 PM.


#12 nawlins48

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 04:45 PM

I know some here don't like being asked for ID...


I've noticed that. For those of you that oppose it, why is this the case? Just the inconvenience of pulling out the ID? Insulted b/c they ask? Concerned with privacy b/c license lists address and DL#? I'm not judging, just curious.

#13 core

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:06 PM

For me it's because I have 30 cards stuffed into my wallet which is falling apart and when they ask me for an ID i have to go looking for it and the cards spill out everywhere. :o

And I'm shy and don't want any more people looking at my bad DL photo than necessary. ;)

I guess it's just the inconvenience. I hate having to be in a brick and mortar store and want to get the **** out of there as quickly and effortly as possible. I'm trying to hand them money and they are asking me to go through additional steps.

Things were much simpler when they first came out with those POS terminals where you could swipe it yourself and be done. Now you have to swipe it, AND they ask to see the card afterwards AND they ask for ID.

#14 nawlins48

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 05:28 PM

Makes sense! for years, I only carried my ID and my debit card, but now that I have a couple cc's in my wallet and three debit cards, I can see where you're coming from about it being a pain. Can't image having a couple dozen in there.

#15 markca

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 08:56 PM

For me it's because I have 30 cards stuffed into my wallet which is falling apart and when they ask me for an ID i have to go looking for it and the cards spill out everywhere. :o

And I'm shy and don't want any more people looking at my bad DL photo than necessary. ;)

I guess it's just the inconvenience. I hate having to be in a brick and mortar store and want to get the **** out of there as quickly and effortly as possible. I'm trying to hand them money and they are asking me to go through additional steps.

Things were much simpler when they first came out with those POS terminals where you could swipe it yourself and be done. Now you have to swipe it, AND they ask to see the card afterwards AND they ask for ID.


I see where you're coming from as well. If I had 30 cards in my wallet that was falling apart I'd probably feel the same way.

#16 FCB2700

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:03 PM


I know some here don't like being asked for ID...


I've noticed that. For those of you that oppose it, why is this the case? Just the inconvenience of pulling out the ID? Insulted b/c they ask? Concerned with privacy b/c license lists address and DL#? I'm not judging, just curious.


First, I find it offensive to be asked for ID. They are accusing me of being a thief. I also hate to be asked for ID when purchasing alcohol but that is forced by state law.

Second, driver's licenses have a lot of information that is none of their business. My full legal name is none of their business. My address and birthdate are none of their business. That I need or don't need glasses/contacts to drive is none of their business. If I'm an organ donor or not is none of their business. This extra information also exposes me to identity theft. There have been identity theft schemes that involved asking for ID. The crooked cashiers asked for ID, and snapped a picture. So now the crooks not only have my credit card information, but now they have my address, birthdate, height, weight, eye color, driver's license number, etc. I have an old expired driver's license that had my social security number, so in some cases this also exposes the social security number.

Third, it is inconvenient.

Fourth, it does very little to stop crime. It does stop the occasional amateur criminal. But it doesn't stop the professionals that clone credit cards and manufacture fake IDs (and it is the professionals that really account for most of the losses). If ID checks became common, even amateur criminals would smart up and start obtaining fake IDs or would clone cards. The cashiers checking ID have no training on spotting fake IDs; they'll accept all kinds of work IDs that can easily be faked. ID making machines (used by employers to create work badges) are not that expensive and are available for purchase.

So, not only is it offensive, inconvenient, and not only does it do little to stop crime, but it also exposes me to identity theft. I am being asked to endure inconvenience, the implied accusation of being a thief, and expose myself to identity theft for the most marginal reduction in crime. It's not worth it. I saw a cost-benefit analysis that concluded that ID checks are not worth it because the value of the time involved in the check (measured by the cashier's wages) was greater than the value of the losses prevented by the ID checks. The credit card companies know this, and it's probably one of the reasons they forbid ID checks.

If ID checks became common where I live, I would go back to using cash except for big purchases. That's how annoying I find ID checks. Fortunately, ID checks are rare where I live. I recently traveled to another part of the country and encountered a few ID-checking merchants. I promptly reported the violator merchants.

Edited by FCB2700, 21 January 2011 - 11:19 PM.


#17 ericgunit

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:20 PM



I know some here don't like being asked for ID...


I've noticed that. For those of you that oppose it, why is this the case? Just the inconvenience of pulling out the ID? Insulted b/c they ask? Concerned with privacy b/c license lists address and DL#? I'm not judging, just curious.


I find it offensive to be asked for ID.

First, they are accusing me of being a thief.

Second, driver's licenses have a lot of information that is none of their business. My full legal name is none of their business. My address and birthdate are none of their business. That I need or don't need glasses/contacts to drive is none of their business. If I'm an organ donor or not is none of their business. This extra information also exposes me to identity theft. There have been identity theft schemes that involved asking for ID. The crooked cashiers asked for ID, and snapped a picture. So now the crooks not only have my credit card information, but now they have my address, birthdate, height, weight, eye color, driver's license number, etc. I have an old expired driver's license that had my social security number, so in some cases this also exposes the social security number.

Third, it is inconvenient.

Fourth, it does very little to stop crime. It does stop the occasional amateur criminal. But it doesn't stop the professionals that clone credit cards and manufacture fake IDs (and it is the professionals that really account for most of the losses). If ID checks became common, even amateur criminals would smart up and start obtaining fake IDs or would clone cards. The cashiers checking ID have no training on spotting fake IDs; they'll accept all kinds of work IDs that can easily be faked. ID making machines (used by employers to create work badges) are not that expensive and are available for purchase.

So, not only is it offensive, inconvenient, and not only does it do little to stop crime, but it also exposes me to identity theft. I am being asked to endure inconvenience, the implied accusation of being a thief, and expose myself to identity theft for the most marginal reduction in crime. It's not worth it. I saw a cost-benefit analysis that concluded that ID checks are not worth it because the value of the time involved in the check was greater than the value of the losses prevented by the ID checks. The credit card companies know this, and it's probably one of the reasons they forbid ID checks.

If ID checks became common where I live, I would go back to using cash except for big purchases. That's how annoying I find ID checks. Fortunately, ID checks are rare where I live. I recently traveled to another part of the country and was subjected to a few ID checks. I promptly reported the violator merchants.


+1 Exactly. The person behind the cashier is just as capable of stealing your personal information. Also, did you know that asking for photo ID is technically a violation of both Visa and Mastercard's merchant policies (unless the card is unsigned)? You can report those merchants as well. Both Visa and Mastercard encourage their customers to report merchants who require additional identification from a customer using a signed card when making a purchase with their cards.

#18 virtualtreasure

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 03:58 AM



I know some here don't like being asked for ID...


I've noticed that. For those of you that oppose it, why is this the case? Just the inconvenience of pulling out the ID? Insulted b/c they ask? Concerned with privacy b/c license lists address and DL#? I'm not judging, just curious.


First, I find it offensive to be asked for ID. They are accusing me of being a thief. I also hate to be asked for ID when purchasing alcohol but that is forced by state law.

Second, driver's licenses have a lot of information that is none of their business. My full legal name is none of their business. My address and birthdate are none of their business. That I need or don't need glasses/contacts to drive is none of their business. If I'm an organ donor or not is none of their business. This extra information also exposes me to identity theft. There have been identity theft schemes that involved asking for ID. The crooked cashiers asked for ID, and snapped a picture. So now the crooks not only have my credit card information, but now they have my address, birthdate, height, weight, eye color, driver's license number, etc. I have an old expired driver's license that had my social security number, so in some cases this also exposes the social security number.

Third, it is inconvenient.

Fourth, it does very little to stop crime. It does stop the occasional amateur criminal. But it doesn't stop the professionals that clone credit cards and manufacture fake IDs (and it is the professionals that really account for most of the losses). If ID checks became common, even amateur criminals would smart up and start obtaining fake IDs or would clone cards. The cashiers checking ID have no training on spotting fake IDs; they'll accept all kinds of work IDs that can easily be faked. ID making machines (used by employers to create work badges) are not that expensive and are available for purchase.

So, not only is it offensive, inconvenient, and not only does it do little to stop crime, but it also exposes me to identity theft. I am being asked to endure inconvenience, the implied accusation of being a thief, and expose myself to identity theft for the most marginal reduction in crime. It's not worth it. I saw a cost-benefit analysis that concluded that ID checks are not worth it because the value of the time involved in the check (measured by the cashier's wages) was greater than the value of the losses prevented by the ID checks. The credit card companies know this, and it's probably one of the reasons they forbid ID checks.

If ID checks became common where I live, I would go back to using cash except for big purchases. That's how annoying I find ID checks. Fortunately, ID checks are rare where I live. I recently traveled to another part of the country and encountered a few ID-checking merchants. I promptly reported the violator merchants.


Compelling run down.

How would reports of violations be enforced, if vendor remains non compliant?

#19 nawlins48

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 10:13 AM

...it also exposes me to identity theft.


I suspected this was a reason when i asked the question, and the more i learn about this stuff, the more that makes sense. i guess when you spend years cleaning and maintaining your credit report, you more clearly see the value in preventing identity theft in every way possible. I'm only weeks into repair, and i can already appreciate that.

would a US Passport card be more secure in the case where you mus show an ID? It does show your DOB and birthplace... http://www.google.co...lient=firefox-a

Edited by nawlins48, 22 January 2011 - 10:19 AM.


#20 cashnocredit

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 02:05 PM


...it also exposes me to identity theft.


I suspected this was a reason when i asked the question, and the more i learn about this stuff, the more that makes sense. i guess when you spend years cleaning and maintaining your credit report, you more clearly see the value in preventing identity theft in every way possible. I'm only weeks into repair, and i can already appreciate that.

would a US Passport card be more secure in the case where you mus show an ID? It does show your DOB and birthplace... http://www.google.co...lient=firefox-a

It's a tradeoff. Passport cards disclose birthplace, DLs disclose address. I would be most worried about people wanting to know my address when buying high ticket items. CC fraud by impersonation is most common with waiters skimming cards. IDs don't matter there. They just make their own to match the CC mag strip info.

#21 Grizzly Bear

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 06:40 PM

ID checks are wrong for several reasons.

1) The premise that they protect the cardholder at all is false. Since most merchants don't check (and most places never will check because MC and Visa rules prohibit it unless the card is unsigned), anyone with a stolen card can find plenty of places to max out a card.

2) As previously stated, MC and Visa prohibit the practice. Most merchants that check ID are unaware of this. Violators can be reported, fined, or suspended.

3) Much of the fraud can be prevented by people taking responsibility for their own cards and not asking everyone else to look out for them with useless ID checks.

4) Many of us are greatly annoyed with the practice of a merchant trying to assert authority over us when we are spending our money at their stores.

If someone doesn't want to show ID their wishes should be respected, especially since MC and Visa rules are on their side.

Edited by Grizzly Bear, 22 January 2011 - 06:42 PM.


#22 FCB2700

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Posted 30 January 2011 - 09:35 PM


...it also exposes me to identity theft.


would a US Passport card be more secure in the case where you mus show an ID? It does show your DOB and birthplace... http://www.google.co...lient=firefox-a


I've thought of getting that passport card. I tend to use my work ID when some merchant gets insistent on ID. It only discloses my employer. The only exception is alcohol purchases, where the merchant needs to see the birthdate.

Edited by FCB2700, 30 January 2011 - 09:36 PM.


#23 Uncle Leo

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 02:39 AM

Common here in IA for electronics chains and department stores.

I also live in IA and I rarely get asked.

Anyway, I am one who is offended when they ask. For several reasons, not the least of which is that my personal information is none of their business. I don't believe it is intended to protect me, nor do I believe that it actually does anything to protect me. It's a "false safety", if anything.

Having said that, some of the reasons I see for opposing ID checking are specious, at best. For example... "It takes too much time.". That gets a big :rolleyes: from me.

#24 FCB2700

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Posted 05 February 2011 - 03:08 PM

Common here in IA for electronics chains and department stores.

Having said that, some of the reasons I see for opposing ID checking are specious, at best. For example... "It takes too much time.". That gets a big :rolleyes: from me.


That actually is an issue if you have long lines and they check IDs on everyone. The several dozen seconds (or up to a few minutes if something goes wrong) add up and will result in longer lines. Eventually the merchant may have to add an extra cashier, which will cost the merchant money. If the merchant doesn't add cashiers, the customers still lose time waiting in line, and time is valuable. There was a cost-benefit analysis that concluded that ID checks are not worth it because the value of the time lost exceeds the reduction in the value of credit card fraud.

#25 Castleton

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Posted 06 February 2011 - 05:33 AM

There are no "ID checks" allowed with credit cards.

CREDIT CARD SIGNATURE IS ALL THE ID NEEDED

When you pay for merchandise with a Visa card, MasterCard, or American Express any store that accepts these cards should accept yours too, no questions asked. It's part of the deal that merchants agree to when they become participating members.

They must check your signature and the card - electronically or by telephone - to be sure it's valid. Once the answer comes up yes, they can go ahead and charge. They can't ask you for any further identification - not a license plate number, Social Security number, proof of address, phone number or photo ID.

Your personal ID isn't needed because Visa, MasterCard, and American Express all guarantee payment on cards that have been properly checked. If the issuer mistakenly authorizes a sale on a bad card, it should make good. MasterCard says that merchants receive instant settlement. The contract MasterCard merchants sign specifically prevents them from asking for personal ID.

Unfortunately, not all merchants play by the rules. Some, apparently, haven't read them.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

MasterCard wants to hear about merchants who break their rules. Send the name and address and an account of what happened to MasterCard WorldWide 2000 Purchase St. Purchase, NY 10577 or call 1-800-300-3069. The merchant's bank will get a stiff letter, ordering it to investigate and bring the offending store into line - or pay a $2,000 fine. You may also report violations online:

http://www.mastercar...violations.html

Visa enforces the same rules as MasterCard. "When we hear about a violation, we ask the bank that signed the merchant to get together with the merchant and see that the practice is stopped," Visa representative states. Violations of Visa's Operating Regulations result in fines of no less than $5,000. To report a merchant, write to Visa Inc. P.O. Box 8999 San Francisco, CA 94128-8999 or call 1-800-VISA-911.

American Express also prohibits merchants from asking for IDs. "All a merchant is supposed to do is make sure the signature matches and swipe the card through the terminal, to get authorization." Report violations to: American Express P.O. Box 297812 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33329-7812 or call 1-800-528-4800 or report online: http://americanexpress.com/yourchoice




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