Walmart Demands My ID On Credit Card Purchase Over $100

A reader named Michael wrote in to tell us about a recent trip to his local Walmart, where he and his wife picked up a pile of groceries totaling over $100. When his wife attempted to pay with her MasterCard at the register, she was asked for a photo ID.

The cashier said that it was store policy to require ID for all credit card purchases over $100. But if, as Michael says, the card was signed on the back, then the store was in violation of MasterCard’s merchant’s agreement by demanding to see ID before completing the transaction.

Alas, Michael’s wife relented and pulled out her license just to get out of there before the food went bad. But, regardless of what a cashier ever tells you, if a credit card is signed on the back, the merchant can not demand photo ID in order to complete the transaction. There are situations where a merchant may require additional information, such as a zip code, for verifying phone/online/mail orders or for shipping purposes. But they don’t need to see your ID in those situations either.

Here is some pretty good information about credit card facts and fictions.

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  1. somedaysomehow says:

    Um, isn’t this no longer true given the new legislation? I thought that was explicitly part of it – that they CAN ask for this now. Pretty sure I’ve already read numerous Consumerist posts on this very topic. Am I mistaken?

    • fs2k2isfun says:

      You are thinking of minimum purchases.

    • mischlep says:

      The store is welcome to ask for it, but it cannot be required to complete the transaction for the credit card purchase.

      • ShadowFalls says:

        Personally I don’t mind as long as they aren’t trying to scan it or copy stuff down. I mean if you used a check they would be writing your driver license number on the actual check.

        I would personally like to see more verification in the process of accepting credit card transactions. The security now is just pitiful and the credit card companies seem to be fine with that. What good is signing if your signature isn’t matched to anything and the cashier doesn’t even bother to compare?

      • pf3 says:

        I would refuse the sale for anyone who didn’t want to show their ID. I don’t give a shit, fuck you, go somewhere else, no one is asking much from you.

        • JohnDeere says:

          your obviously an id theif then. in this era of electronic information anyone who asks for anything more than is required is an instant suspect. your probably a decent person but i dont give a sh*t, f**k you, ill just go somewhere else to shop…

          • Dallas_shopper says:

            Me too. My card’s signed, fuck you, you’re not getting my I.D.

            • justdragit says:

              Don’t be naive.. do you think they really care? No. If I was a business owner I would set a limit as well, not sure whether it be a $100 or $20, but if you didn’t show me that you’re you when I ask, then go somewhere else so I’m not on the hook if you’re indeed an ID thief.

        • justdragit says:

          My thoughts exactly. It’s not that much of an inconvenience. It’s not like you have bags in hand at that point and it’s a major pain for you.

          People are getting ridiculous and are just looking for ways to stir up trouble.

    • Krang Krabowski says:

      unless the guy has a pen and is gonna write it down i don’t care. again i agree it’s not an inconvenient and it is more secure. They are taking the extra effort to confirm you are who you say you are. don’t be so quick to assume they are trying to steal your id, more along the lines of making sure you didn’t steal someone’s ID

  2. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    What a story. 1 – I’d prefer they ask for my ID on Credit Card transactions. 2 – Who’s Policy outweighs whose, here?

    I don’t use WalMart anymore–But this would’ve been a lovely time to Walk Out and let them Restock everything I had planned on purchasing.

    Yes, I’m a mean person that way.

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      I also get a little “Paranoia” creep up when they do NOT ask me for ID.

      Just…it’s ….So…easy….

      • trentblase says:

        You’re paranoid that you may have accidentally used someone else’s card?

        I’m beginning to think that people who want their IDs checked have some sort of authority complex. Do you get a thrill when you go through metal detectors? Do you get worried when you go to the theater and nobody checks your bag for gummy bears?

    • trentblase says:

      I did the walk-out think on Walmart for this reason. I haven’t been back (for this and other reasons). Yes, I did write a letter letting them know why.

      I don’t prefer they ask for my ID:

      1) The combination of ID+credit card has everything you need to rip me off.

      2) Why should I have to prove the credit card is mine if the signature matches? They don’t make me bring in a paystub to prove the source of my cash is legit. “For your own protection” is complete bullshit.

      3) It does take more time and IS a hassle. Yeah I know, it only takes a few seconds. That adds up, especially if there is a line. And they never tell you ahead of time that you need your ID, probably because if they had a sign up the CC companies would have no choice but to act.

      • Griking says:

        So out of all of Walmart’s shitty practices, between running the mom and pop shops out of town, paying minimum wage to their employees and only hiring part time help to keep from having to provide benefits it the fact that they asked to see your ID that convinced you to no longer shop there any more?

        • coren says:

          I haven’t been back (for this and other reasons).

          Read fail?

        • leprechaunshawn says:

          Sounds like Walmart has a pretty good business model going there. Drive out the competition and pay out as little as possible to employees. This is how a smart business owner makes what many liberals consider to be a 4 letter word, profit.

          • kmw2 says:

            Well, sure. That, and the massive negative externalities caused by the environmental damage from shipping marginally-produced goods halfway around the world, the excessive social safety net costs caused by cutting employee pay to the bone, and the loss of economic efficiency caused by monopolistic markets. Those are great profit generators, I agree.

          • Kitten Mittens says:

            Which is why in the last 5 years Wal-Mart has had to backtrack almost unilaterally on those practices? “Great” theoretical business model + horrible PR = not so great great business model after all.

      • homehome says:

        I don’t understand why so many ppl are like “If they look at my ID they have all they need to steal my info.” Dude if I wanted to steal your info, I wouldn’t need to be face to face with you. I could do it half way across the world and by the time you realized it, my trial would be gone.

        If you don’t wanna show your ID then don’t shop there. If MasterCard has to choose between you and Wal-Mart, that’s a damn easy decision. Plus, the service people are required to look at ID. Of course some bypass it, but I would never do that. If I have to choose between pissing you off and pissing my company off, I’d piss you off every time. You could state the credit card policy til you’re blue in the face I wouldn’t care unless the manager approved it.

    • SJPadbury says:

      If you prefer it, you can write see id, which most places would ignore anyway, if they even bother to look at your card.
      But the point is, WalMart’s agreement with the credit card companies agrees to follow the rules which the card companies set, which state that they can’t do that.

      • fs2k2isfun says:

        See ID alone is not a valid signature. You can write “see ID”, but it must be accompanied by your signature as well.

      • SabreDC says:

        That’s a tricky situation. Walmart’s agreement with the credit card companies may allow it. Not all companies use the default agreement; many companies have agreements that have been specifically tailored to their company and they are not easily available (if they are available at all).

        Unless you have a copy of the Walmart agreement with Visa/MC, you can’t say for sure that it does not allow this. It may very well allow it.

      • Sammich says:

        I’ve got “Ask for ID” written on mine (along with my signature), and you’re right – it’s mostly ignored (though so is the signature check in my experience). It’s so often ignored that the last time I actually DID get asked for my ID when using my credit card it took me a few seconds to remember that it was written there.

      • Gulliver says:

        So how far do you think Mastercard is willing to go to fight this with Wal Mart? Wally World says, ok Mr Master Card. I will go with Visa and Amex and Discover. Trust me, Mastercard, Visa and all the credit sellers in the world will not walk away from the business. Remember they get paid PER TRANSACTION. Imagine losing the millions of transactions that Wal Mart could pull from them. The contract is between MC and Wal Mart.

        • DigTheFunk says:

          I don’t think Wal*Mart would give up the potential millions of dollars of business I’m sure they do via MasterCard. If those people only have MC, and no other method of paying, I’m sure Wally World is MORE than happy to take it. I think its too mutually beneficial for either of them to want to walk away…but the Credit Card companies tend to have the upper hand when it comes to enforcing their policies it seems, and if it were to open MC up to a suit for not enforcing rules which then caused discrimination against someone with no photo ID on them but completely within their legal rights of using the card, I think MC would be pretty serious about enforcing it.

      • kujospam says:

        So Mastercard charges every business the same usage and contract fees? Thats stupid, I would charge more for people who can pay more.

      • Diebesbeute says:

        That whole “See ID” can turn around and bite you. My dad was visiting me in Germany and bought something with his credit card at a local department store and the woman would not accept his card unless he signed the receipt “See ID” just like it was on the back of the card. I am fluent in German and explained this to her and he showed her his ID, but she was adamant that the signature had to match what was on the card. So, that’s what he did. I know, someone is going to leap on this and say we could chargeback because the signature is not his signature, but we’re honest folks, we’d never think of doing something like that…. or we’re stupid and didn’t think of that in time :-)

    • VOIDMunashii says:

      Yes, walking out will show them, if by “them” you mean the poor schlub earning $8.00 an hour who has to clean up after you.

  3. BettyCrocker says:

    So – you say “you can’t ask for that under your merchant agreement” and the person there shrugs and says – I have to ask – my boss says so you then you what? either show ID or leave your purchases behind (and time wasted.)

    What is the harm in showing ID anyway?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      What’s the harm in giving up our personal freedoms?

      Fixed that for you.

      • BettyCrocker says:

        My showing that I’m the actual person who should be using the card is not a personal freedom and is far different then walking down the street and having a government employee demand to see my papers.

        • Doncosmic says:

          An ID doesn’t show that at all unless your credit card has a picture on it, in which case an ID wouldn’t be needed anyway.

      • TuxthePenguin says:

        Really? You’re going to pull the personal freedom card on this?

        Nevermind that card you use keep record of every place you use it, time of day, etc, etc. Or the fact that Walmart could easily keep track of what you purchased and cross-reference that to other purchases paid for by your card…

        If you want to keep your personal freedoms, use cash. Because any other method of purchase, you’re playing by other’s rules.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          “Every journey begins with a single step.”

          That includes the journey to lost freedoms.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          “Every journey begins with a single step.”

          That includes the journey to lost freedoms.

        • not-gonna-tell-ya says:

          Yes, you are playing by others rules. The rules of the Card you signed up for and the rules governing the transaction as perscribed to the merchant, by the card issuer. In this case, you expect the customer to now play by a completely arbitrary set of rules not defined in any previous agreement set forth by Wally???

          What if they started examining your cash for the presence of drug residue? It may seem off the wall, but after all, the rules set in place for cash transactions by the fed don’t require that either…

    • Guppy06 says:

      Problem for you: asking for your ID is an excuse to swipe it through the magnetic reader. The merchant now knows your address and any other information about you that ID may have stored on it.

      Problem for the merchant: It’s security theater that accomplishes no real benefits and opens real liabilities Time spent looking at a photo ID is time that isn’t spent verifying the true security features on the credit card itself. And it is far easier and more cost-effective to train your register personnel to look for and identify security features on credit cards, which are consistent throughout brands, than to know what to look for in all possible items that might be presented as “photo ID.”

      Even if you limit it to government-issued ID, would you recognize a Guam driver’s license if you saw one? Likely, you’d be too distracted by the novelty of (what I claim is) a Guam license to notice that the numbers printed on the card and the numbers read by the card reader don’t match, and you’d be more likely to overlook glaring differences between a signature on the back of the card and a signature produced in front of you if (what you believed to be) a valid photo ID showed the cardholder’s name next to my face.

      Checking for ID aids credit card theft.

    • mischlep says:

      Increased risk of identity theft for the card holder. The cashier now knows your address and your likely billing zip code. It makes ID theft a bit easier.

    • Foxtrot-Yankee says:

      The “harm” is identity theft. There is a lot of information on a license that I don’t want to give to the Wal-Mart cashier. I don’t trust them.

      This is specifically why the credit card companies explicitly bar this practice.

      They have no right to insist on it. They are violating their contract with the credit card companies if they do.

      • alaron says:

        I refuse to show my DL. I’ll gladly show my student ID card. If they refuse the student ID and require the DL, I leave.

      • AnonymousCoward says:

        You’ve already given them the credit card. The ID theft damage is already done. If you’re really that worried about ID theft, use cash.

        • trentblase says:

          No, if they have your CC, then they have your name and CC#. That is it. With those two things, they might be able to charge something to your card, but you’ll be responsible for $50 of that max. That is not real identity theft.

          With your DL and CC, they have your:

          Name
          Address – helps for online or gas purchases with your CC, signing up for new credit, generally pretending to be you and also lets them know where you are taking that new plasma screen
          DOB – many places use this as part of identity verification
          DL# – many places use this for identity verification
          CC# – may be more of a problem after they use the above information to stalk you online, figure out your mothers maiden name and change your CC billing address so you don’t notice the fraudulent charges

          Plus, I’m too lazy to get it out.

          • Fett101 says:

            These cashiers must have amazing photographic memories.

            • trentblase says:

              That’s right, criminals don’t have access to pinhole cameras. Just like they haven’t figured out how to skim credit cards with tiny recorders. Plus, a non-ignorable percentage of the population has an eidetic memory. And you don’t even need that to memorize an address and write it down after the customer leaves.

              • nex says:

                Name me one person, in the history of history, who’s been demonstrated to have an eidetic memory.

                There aren’t any. Photographic memory is a myth, that has never been backed up by any experiments.

                • trentblase says:

                  Whether you want to argue the exact definition of “eidetic” or not, there are plenty of people who have extraordinary capacity for recall, including savants and those who use mnemonic devices. And that doesn’t change the fact that your recall can actually be quite ORDINARY when memorizing a street address for a few seconds. Do you really write down every address you hear? What about phone numbers?

          • Michaela says:

            So, for the two seconds they spend making sure the name on the card and the name on the license match up, they also memorize all your personal info?

            I never have had my license scanned or anything (that would cause alarm) and have never seen someone else get that sort of treatment (it may just be my region though). The only time they ever give my license a real look is to write the DL number on a check (if I use that instead of a cc).

          • Pax says:

            Whatever happened to the trend of putting the proper owner’s photograph right on the CC itself?

            Back in the late 80’s, I got an afterschool-and-weekends job working as a cashier in a discount department store, and I loved when people had those. Saved me time comparing the signatures (which, yes, I actually did do … every bloody time), and seemed like an excellent security measure to protect the cardholder from unauthorised use.

            • damageddude says:

              I tried that with one of my bank debit cards. Because I had opened the account back when I lived in NY (I now live in NJ) I had to go back to NY to get my photo on my card. Sadly this was only a few years ago at a major, American wide bank

    • fs2k2isfun says:

      In my experience, they are typically dumbfounded and either ring the sale or call a supervisor. Depending on how much the supervisor knows either they will allow the sale or say I must provide ID. I provide it, file a report with Visa/MC, and the next time I come in I am not asked for my ID.

    • Putaro says:

      Not everybody has ID’s all the time, or ID’s that everyone will accept.

      I’m a US citizen but I live outside the US (in Japan). When visiting the US, what should I be using as ID to make my credit card purchases with? My US driver’s license is expired and I doubt anyone will take my Japanese driver’s license as ID. I don’t like taking my passport everywhere with me since that could get lost or stolen easily. My wife is a Japanese citizen and the only photo ID she has is her passport.

  4. Rocket says:

    What’s the big deal? Show the cashier ID, pay, then go home. Who cares if you have to show ID?

    • BuyerOfGoods3 says:

      People worry about their Drivers License numbers, Dates of Birth, Addresses and such being used for Identity Theft.

      Possible. But likely?

      • Kryndar says:

        Also not everyone has a drivers license, I don`t. I don’t carry around my passport either. I do have a photo health card that has all the information needed to work as an ID but for places are not technically allowed to accept them as ID. I, frankly, am surprised people don`t bring this point up more often.

        • trentblase says:

          This is probably one of the main reasons the CC has the rule to begin with. There are a lot of rich people in Manhattan that probably don’t carry a picture ID (I say rich because that makes the CC care, and I say Manhattan because it has a lot of people who never drive)

        • pf3 says:

          You’re still required to carry ID.

      • Murph1908 says:

        Many gas stations now require your zip code when paying at the pump.

        Your license has your zip code.

        This is just one example of how a combination of information can bypass a level of fraud prevention security.

      • Sumtron5000 says:

        People worry about a lot of things. Do you really think a clerk is going to memorize all that information in the 2 seconds they look at your ID for your name and pic? Did you give out your driver’s license number, bday, age, address, etc when you got auto insurance?

        If you are really uncomfortable showing your driver’s license, that’s fine. Just don’t patronize that store anymore! Simple!

    • dg says:

      The big deal is that it’s an identity theft risk. You might think they’re just glancing at it – but they could have a camera recording all that information (and this has happened).

      The other big deal is that they got the authorization code – they’re going to be paid. They decided to accept credit cards, they get to do so according to the terms and conditions of the merchant agreement. If they want something they’re not entitled to, I’m refusing.

      If they want to push it with that bullshit excuse “Well, it’s our policy” – then that’s fine – my policy is “Here – keep your crap. Put it all back on the shelf. See you later.” – then I walk out the door after they void the transaction and I go elsewhere.

      I have the money, they want my money, I make the ultimate policy.

  5. StrangeEmily says:

    They asked to see my ID when I paid for a Laptop at Walmart. I don’t understand what the big deal is. If opening and closing your wallet too many times causes a wrist injury or worse carpal tunnel syndrome, then maybe you should buy a better wallet?

    • dr_drift says:

      You shouldn’t buy a better wallet, you should sue Walmart for a billion trillion dollars for making you damage your wrist with their horrible, oppressive ID policy.

  6. ITDEFX says:

    i honestly don’t mind them asking. Unless they are dumb enough to question my official state issued id.

  7. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    I feel the same way about this as a do about showing the receipt: get over it. There are bigger battles to fight, and if this is the worst thing you see happening in the business world, you are very, very sheltered.

    • LandruBek says:

      Right, because we’re only allowed to object to the one worst thing. Anything else in life that’s bad, but not the worst, must be tolerated.

    • dolemite says:

      I agree. It’s fine if they assume I’m a criminal stealing credit cards at the register, and a shoplifter on the way out the door. I’m waiting to stand up for myself when they do body cavity searches in the dressing rooms.

      • frank64 says:

        Huge exaggeration. Asking to verify identity is far from a cavity search.

      • Snoofin says:

        But I bet you dont mind patronizing gas stations with a prepay policy. I dont understand why people arent outraged at all these gas stations that assume every customer is a thief unless they use credit at the pump

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

      I never said you’re only allowed to object to one thing, but don’t you think that your energy could go to better use than arguing with a minimum wage worker just following directions from their boss?

      And I don’t see how asking to check your ID when using a card is “being treated like a criminal.” I’ve been asked for it repeatedly because I have what is commonly considered a man’s name, so they want to verify that the card belongs to me. I totally understand. I get more irked at having to show my ID at the liquor store I frequent because (A) I look older than 21 and (B) I’m in there 5-6 times a week and know, by name, every employee that works there. But I still don’t feel the need to make a fuss.

      Maybe I just don’t let these minor inconveniences ruin my whole day.

  8. Sturmmann says:

    I don’t know how it works in the US and if it’s the same here in Canada, but at the gift shop I worked at, I would ask for ID on all credit cards that went through, signed on the back or not. It seemed like a common courtesy: what if someone hadn’t signed their card, lost it or had it stolen, and someone wrote their own name on the back to use it? All I do is match the name to the name on the card.

    One thing I will say annoys me about credit card signatures though, are lazy people who basically have little more than a pen flourish or swipe as their signature. Don’t these people realize how easy it would be to forge that in case of theft?

  9. Mary13134 says:

    Well I gotta say whats the big deal. Frankly that is for your protection, had the card been stolen then you’d have plenty of bitchin to do about them not asking for an ID. Frankly this is mundane…

    • Marlin says:

      Yea cause a fake ID is so hard to come by.

      /eye roll

      • mudster says:

        Yes, I am sure if they have a stolen credit card, they would have gone out and gotten the identical fake id.

        (problem with your eyes?).

        And why not ask for the ID, nobody here has giving one reason that it’s a bad idea. Just having a signed card means nothing, people don’t check the signature anyways (or 90% don’t). I always thank the people who do.

        • LandruBek says:

          Tons of people have already mentioned several reasons, like (1) it increases the buyer’s risk of identity theft, and (2) it’s an invasion of privacy.

          • ZenMasterKel says:

            So what should the response be when purchasing alcohol and the clerk requests ID? How is end result any different? Sure, they’re asking for a different reason, but if you’re concern is identity theft because the clerk looked at your license for 1.5 seconds, then what’s the difference.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      The only “bitching” I would do is report my card stolen, get the charges reversed, and wait 7-10 days for a new card. All in 10 minutes.

      You’re right, it truly is necessary to show my ID. Why don’t credit card companies require this?! It’s hurting me soooo much.

      • Gulliver says:

        Well you proved the point already. You go 7-10 days without your card. Imagine that is the card associated with your paycheck and you are in a town that does not have a branch of your bank?
        Who pays for the “reversed charge” you made? Oh thats right, the retailer does. But what the fuck do you care, its not your problem. Pass the buck to somebody else. Also, those charges will NOT be reversed unless you file a police report and affidavit. Maybe in some towns that doesn’t take long, but try doing that in a larger city and tell me it takes 10 minutes.
        All that could have been prevented if you forced them to show an id. Wow even if we agree to 10 minutes and 7-10 days, showing ID has it beat by about 9 minutes and 45 seconds.

        • ecwis says:

          My credit card companies will overnight me a card at no charge. Also, you can get ATM cards replaced at a local bank branch.

  10. humphrmi says:

    I have less of an issue with showing ID as I do with identifying information being written down on the same piece of paper as my name and signature. Lately, when clerks ask for ID, I just hold it in my hand and show it to them, and if they try to grab it, then I will take it back and refuse to complete the transaction.

  11. Clyde Barrow says:

    This is news?

    • Gramin says:

      It’s Walmart. Consumerist hates Walmart so they use every opportunity they can to beat up on a corporation that provides cheap goods (and tens of thousands of jobs) to millions of Americans.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Tens of thousands of uninsured jobs. Many of which were previously filled by local shops.

        Not the best argument.

        • Gramin says:

          These people have jobs. End of discussion. I’m sure most of them are thankful that they’re not part of those unemployment figures.

          And your argument about Wal-Mart causing small business to close is completely false. Check out the following document: http://walmartstores.com/download/3078.pdf

          Maybe the Consumerist editors should post that document somewhere so that consumers can get rid of the misconception that Wal-Mart is a plague on small business.

          • LandruBek says:

            I read (quickly) that paper, which is on a pretty narrow subject. There is much more to dislike about Walmart than that; for example, the (bad) quality of its goods and the (bad) way it treats its workers. “They have jobs, end of discussion” is IMHO extremely naive. Do they have any health insurance? Do they have a safe workplace? Not while working at Walmart, they don’t. You could learn more at http://walmartispureevil.blogspot.com/

            • Gramin says:

              A. Try finding an impartial site or paper by an economist that relates to this issue.
              B. Try finding a site that doesn’t obscure information. For example, the site’s average of $8.23/hour for a sales clerk is below the federal poverty level for a family of three. However, it is above the poverty level for a single person and close to the poverty level for a family of two.
              C. I now have a correction to B… this is what I get for trusting your site (which hasn’t been updated since 2005). According to your site, $8.23/hour equates to $13,861 annually. By my calculation, $8.23/hour would equal an annual salary of $17,118, higher than the 2001 poverty level for a family of three.

            • frank64 says:

              I don’t think the small shops offered insurance either. The internet has taken many of these small shops down too. What has Amazon done to the book stores?

        • 99 1/2 Days says:

          Unless you are making the mistaken assumption that local shops provide insurance and good pay.

    • pop top says:

      This is a comment?

  12. ConsumerMan says:

    I agree with some commenters. Not showing your ID is just being difficult, regardless of the agreement. So what happens when your card is stolen and you are dealing with all the hassles with the bank to get it straightened out? The first thing to cross your mind would be: Why didn’t WalMart ask for ID when this guy was buying two flat screens and a computer?

  13. Echo5Joker says:

    Unlike checking receipts at the door, I’m fine with them asking me for ID when I use a card. I have actually heard of people getting caught doing bad things that way.

    • LandruBek says:

      Random searches of citizens’ houses by the police also would probably catch wrongdoing. But it would not make for a better society.

  14. AstroWorn2010 says:

    I just don’t see what the big deal is….
    If your card is ever stolen will you complain when the cashier asks the thief for his or her ID when they are trying to use your card.
    Or will you complain when they let the thief charge a new HD TV to your card simply becaues it is sighned on the back.

    • AstroWorn2010 says:

      *signed… typed too fast darn it!

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      You’re also protected from the thief’s actions. You are not liable for charges on a stolen card as long as you report the card stolen when you know that it is.

      Requiring to see an ID to deter theft doesn’t actually give you more protection than you already have.

      • AstroWorn2010 says:

        That’s true, but then there is the hassle of going through the whole process of getting back the stolen credit when a simple ID check would prevented the sale from even taking place. Not to mention the store losing the money from the sale of the stolen TV.

  15. Bladerunner says:

    Look, to the “it’s not that big a deal” crowd…

    What happens if they swipe the ID and retain your data? Why should I let the store look at my license? Also, what if I didn’t bring my id? (there have been times someone else was driving, and I couldn’t find my wallet, so I grabbed my CC instead, which I don’t normally carry around). Because, let’s face it, odds are 90+% that your only photo ID is your license.

    The point is, if they aren’t allowed by their contracts, why should they be allowed to violate them? Can we violate contracts with impunity? No? Then don’t help them do it either.

    Kind of like the receipt checking: sometimes I’m in a nice mood and I’ll stop, but usually I don’t. Because they can ask, but if a scene is made after I say no, I refuse to accept responsibility for THEIR actions. Maybe its not a big deal, but they’re still doing something they shouldn’t be.

    And yes, if they refused me service, I’d leave allll my crap there. Hopefully, there’d be a lot of it too. Its not my fault that they said they’d accept something that they do not, in fact accept.

    Though this argument would be void if the card companies DIDNT disallow it. Because then it would be part of the system you buy into by having the card.

    • Vermont2US says:

      Also, what if the clerk is some pervert that’s just checking my daughter’s ID just to find out where my (very pretty, btw) daughter lives? They can go pound sand…

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Its called cash.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Agreed. It’s a freedom granted when you use your card, agreed to by the company you are shopping at.

      If they aren’t required to adhere to the contract they signed, why am I required to follow any contract I’ve ever signed? Oh wait, I am.

      And so are they.

      • Gulliver says:

        The contract doe snot involve you. It is between MC and Wal Mart. MC has standing, you do not. If MC decides to pull their right to use MC they CAN. I doubt they will. For the person saying they are going around without ID, I say GOOD. You should not be able to purchase without a photo id. If a criminal has your credit card and starts using without ID or the name does not match, it is only intelligent to have it. Your self importance about your data is just silly .Guess what, I can find your address by your name alone. It isn;t that hard actually. Most of your records are public documents.

        • MauriceCallidice says:

          The contract does involve you. You are a third-party beneficiary.

        • kmw2 says:

          Yes, you should be able to purchase without a photo ID. Why? Because the contract between the store and the credit card company specifically states that they are not allowed to demand that you produce one. Not everyone has a photo ID, and state-issued photo IDs are for the purposes of the state, not for the purposes of buying $101 worth of shit at Wal-mart.

    • IThinkThereforeIAm says:

      Who is talking about swiping it?
      Discussion was about showing it. I have no problem with that.

      Swiping I do not allow, I’d rather leave the stuff on their counter.

      And if the cashier has photographic memory so he/she can remember all the relevant information from my ID, I am nearly sure he/she could find a better job. Most of the time they have trouble finding the D.O.B. field…

  16. Vermont2US says:

    I’ve had the same experience at our Wallymart, except it’s only on electronics. I’ve relented just to get my dang merchandise, as I needed it right away…when I’ve told them it’s against their credit card agreement, they say it’s store policy, and – according to the clerk – the store manager won’t relent when questioned about it.

    The next time it happens, I may still make the purchase, but I’m gonna get the employee’s name, the manager’s name, and call my credit card company.

  17. DariusC says:

    So they aren’t obligated to see if you are the person who owns the card? That’s great… someone can jack my card and the policies make it easy to spent it all!

    Of course if I am who I claim I am, I don’t expect them to ID me.

    Yes, I am saying they need psychics.

    • Lucky225 says:

      someone can jack your card and make online / phone purchases w/o ID or swipe it at the gas pump too… your point is moot plus federal law says you’re only liable for up to $50, and most companies offer $0 fraud liability. On top of all this if YOU signed your card like you’re supposed to (read the back of the card – NOT VALID UNLESS SIGNED) – your signature will not match the theif’s and if the store adhered to their contract they would be checking the signature — NOT an ID which may also be fake, and when the signature doesn’t match they’ed place a code 10 call to visa/mastercard who can then authorize photo ID to be required as well as make you answer questions that only you should know.

  18. MercuryPDX says:

    Happened to me in there last week. I showed the cashier my license and then the checker at the door my receipt, then went on about my business.

    I assumed/knew both of these things were going to happen and neither bothers me enough to make me shop elsewhere. YMMV

    • Bladerunner says:

      Next up: Rectal probes! But then you can go on about your day.

      Remember, people’s problem is not that they ASK you for these things (I can ASK you for $100, but you don’t have to give it to me), it’s that they are being told they’re REQUIRED, when in fact they are cannot be.

      • MercuryPDX says:

        I think the leap from “Checking ID” to “rectal probes” is a bit much, don’t you?

        • dolemite says:

          I dunno. I thought the leap from checking receipts to checking ID is a pretty big leap. Next up: 2 forms of ID, and your credit score must be over 700. It’s a small price to pay for having the honor of allowing Walmar to accept your money.

          Honestly…they are lucky I shop there. They need to make the process unobtrusive as possible. Assuming I’m a thief at the register AND again on the way out the door? No thanks.

        • LandruBek says:

          That’s a rhetorical technique called “exaggeration” — using the absurd to emphasize a point.

  19. MustWarnOthers says:

    I thought the whole point of the signature on the card was that it needs to be compared to the signature on the ID? At least is New York that seemed to make sense, since our signatures are at the bottom (not sure if that is the case everywhere).

    • Bladerunner says:

      No. The signature on the card is to be compared to the signature on the receipt. That’s why you sign the card. Since all licenses have signatures, to my knowledge, then there would be no need for sigs on cards.

    • ecwis says:

      That’s the reason some Walmart cashiers ask for ID. They make the same mistake and interpret their computer’s message of “COMPARE SIGNATURE” as compare the card signature to the one on their driver’s license.

      When I point this out to the cashiers, they usually just compare my card’s signature to the one on the receipt.

  20. Pansy P says:

    I walked out of a Macy’s once when the saleswoman asked for my SSN to verify my identity. When I objected, she said it was for my protection and when I called bs on her, she said “so, are you going to buy it or not?” Crack operation at the Philadelphia Macy’s.

  21. Sparty999 says:

    I write “Check ID” on the back… I’d rather have them check it!!

    • Skellbasher says:

      Which makes your card invalid per your credit card agreement as it’s unsigned.

    • Griking says:

      So my writing “check ID” on the back invalidates the merchant agreement?

      If I write 2% interest on purchases on my card will they honor that request as well?

      • ecwis says:

        No. The contract states that the merchant cannot REQUIRE that customers show their ID. If you willingly show your ID, then all is fine.

  22. sheldonmoon69 says:

    Retailers can’t please anyone anymore. If the don’t require picture ID with a credit card, they are going to get flamed for not checking when someone loses their it. Now, they aren’t SUPPOSED to check it?

    I’m all for protecting the consumer from fraud and deceptive practices, but many of these things that slow people down at the check out or are some sort of invasion of privacy are put in place because they are tired of getting RIPPED OFF by consumers who take advantage.

    “Michael” and “Michael’s wife”: If you don’t like it, pay cash or leave. Let me guess, when a cashier doesn’t accept your .25 cent coupon because it’s expired, I’ll be you’re the type that says, “They’ve taken them before! I want to see the manager!”

  23. chocolate1234 says:

    And this is precisely why I write “See photo ID” on my cards.

    Seriously, maybe they can’t require you to show an ID, but I honestly don’t understand why anybody would get upset about someone asking. It’s for your security. These are the same people who would complain if someone stole their card and was able to successfully use it at Wal-Mart without being asked for ID.

    • dolemite says:

      Well, as others have said, now this person working the register has your home address, credit card number, driver’s license number (and on older IDs, SS#), birth date…etc…etc.

      Honestly, the less people know about me, the better.

      • chocolate1234 says:

        I managed a bank for four years. The number of times I dealt with a customer having their card information stolen from a cashier at a store like Wal-Mart? Once. The number of times I dealt with a customer’s physical card being stolen and used fraudulently? Multiple times a year.

        There are real risks, and then there are perceived risks. It’s much less likely for a cashier to steal your information from your license than it is for someone to steal your physical card and use it fraudulently. Plus, at a lot of these stores, they just ask to see your ID and often don’t swipe it, lessening your risk even more.

        • Bladerunner says:

          The odds of a kid being abducted by a stranger are WAAAAY less than a kid being abducted by someone they know.

          So we stop teaching stranger danger?

          Just because its unlikely doesn’t mean its invalid.

          • chocolate1234 says:

            I think you’re missing my point. I’m not saying there’s not a POSSIBILITY that the cashier may steal your information, because as unlikely as that is (and really, it’s pretty unlikely), there’s always that possibility. What I’m saying is that the likelihood of your card being stolen and used fraudulently in a store is much more likely than a cashier stealing your information from a glance at your ID.

            And I need to add that the ONE instance I ever dealt with regarding a cashier stealing a customer’s information had nothing to do with the ID. They had the credit card number, and none of the customer’s driver’s license information. If a cashier truly wanted to steal your information, they could use your card fraudulently without needing any of your DL information.

            If you are really concerned about a cashier stealing your information, you shouldn’t be using a credit card in the first place. The argument about showing ID is really a moot point.

      • maggiemerc says:

        Have you ever shown your ID at a Walmart. They look at the name and the photo and nod. The likelihood that they have an eidetic memory is pretty slim man.

        • LandruBek says:

          I don’t care what they do or whether they have a good memory or not. My address, age, weight, DL#, etc. is none of their damn business whether they smile and nod or cackle wickedly.

          • Gulliver says:

            Yes because finding out your age is tough (birth records). Your address even easier (it is public record). Your weight doesn’t matter to people. Either you look fat or you don’t. People can tell without needing a number.

    • krom says:

      My ID contains personal identifying information that can be used against me in an identity theft crime. Namely my date of birth, address, and yes, drivers license number.

      1 – “No one can remember all that stuff”. That’s laughable. Just because YOU can’t doesn’t mean that people with idetic memory don’t exist. Also, there exist these nifty devices called cameras.
      2 – “You’d see a camera” / “Cameras that small can’t read the info” – Again, laughable. Such cameras do exist, and are routinely used in ATM skimmers, and people rarely notice. And that’s when it’s literally glued to the bland surface of the ATM.
      3 – “You can’t carry out identity theft with that information” – Sure you can. Plenty of systems confirm identity with name and date of birth. Many credit card accepting machines (none of which demand for ID, btw), like those on gas pumps, require only ZIP code.
      4. – “I want them to check ID on my purchases” – So do you wait for an attendant at the gas station to come check your ID? What about when you shop online? Do you email them a scan of your license? What about movie ticket kiosks? What about restaurants? Do you put your ID in the bill folder?

      5. Some people don’t have government ID. There is no law requiring anyone to have government ID. And you don’t need to have one to apply for or receive a credit card. And government ID is not free. What happens when I’m out of state? Will the clerk accept my out of state ID? Will they be able to determine whether or not it’s fake? Are they trained in any of this? What about military IDs?

      6. You’re not “on the hook” for identity theft purchases if you FOLLOW THE ACCEPTANCE RULES, which are to compare the signature on the card (which HAS to be there) with the signature on the slip, and keep that slip in your records. EVERY time I have been asked for ID to make a CC purchase, the clerk has NOT even looked at the back of the card, never mind compared the signature! So not only are they *breaking* the credit card acceptance rules by adding unauthorized conditions, they’re not even *following* what they *are* supposed to do!

      (None of the above applies to Discover, who freely allow merchants to demand ID, no doubt because if they didn’t capitulate to retailers no one would accept their high-fee card and they’d have no business.)

  24. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    My wife worked in a casino in Las Vegas, they were REQUIRED to ask all customers for ID when using a charge card, even regular customers, even for a $4.99 buffet purchase. She was on camera at all times, and failure to ask for ID would result in termination.

    Sad fact it, credit card companies have no incentive at all to deter fraud and identity theft, they just pass on their losses as higher interest.

    We would all be safer (and have lower interest rates) if credit card companies would take some initiative to prevent this, and asking for ID would sure help.

    • harvey wallbanger says:

      How many of you know that you’re only liable for the first $50 of loss in credit card fraud, and even then only if you fail to report it in a timely fashion?

      Next time someone says “it’s for your protection”, call BS and remind them of the above.

      The last time a credit card company made me phone them to complete a transaction and told me it was for my own good, was the last time I did business with that company.

      The last time a cashier tried to write down my SSN (which used to appear on my driver’s license!), I found a manager and let him know. He agreed that this was not ok.

      To the “what difference does it make” crowd: principles and the rule of law and contracts MATTER. Allowing people to disregard them leads to more disregard and abuse. Someone has to draw the line; if you aren’t motivated to care, that’s fine, but don’t belittle those who do.

      All that said: I don’t mind showing them my ID. If, however, it is in violation of the merchant agreement, then more power to those who call ‘em out.

    • Gulliver says:

      1. It is not a rule of law. It is a contract between MC and Wal Mart, NOT YOU.
      2. I am glad you feel pissing away $50 is no big deal.
      3. So who ends up paying for credit card fraud? Is it the magic money fairy you believe in? It is the retailer who gets fucked in the end. Wal Mart is saying, go ahead and pull the contract MC. There are other options, and you are nothing to us.
      4. Io also love the rule of law people who think they are power lawyers and think they are doing it for the good of the world. You aren’t that important, and people don’t care about you enough to rummage through your shit.
      5. I hope you know all your data is public record anyway. This whole privacy crowd debate is stupid. You gave them your name. Thats all I need to track you down EASILY. If WM wanted to use it for marketing purposes they can and will.

    • cheezfri says:

      It’s perfectly OK for a business to ask for the ID. It is not OK for them to REQUIRE it. If I’m asked, I show my ID but tell the clerk to please let their manager know it isn’t required.

  25. INsano says:

    Paperz pleez, paperz! Schnell!

    • dolemite says:

      “I..left my papers at home. I can..”

      “GUARDS! Put this person to work in our chinese factory making thermometers!”

      “Ja Komendant!!”

  26. RioPuerco says:

    I can’t believe that a person is actually complaining because the cashier verified that the credit card they were using belonged to them. I don’t know if the customer knows this, but when a credit card is stolen from a person the signature on the back doesn’t magically disappear. I know that sounds crazy, but it turns out ink can be permanent even in the case of theft.

    Seriously people, wtf?

    • Guppy06 says:

      “I can’t believe that a person is actually complaining because the cashier verified that the credit card they were using belonged to them”

      No such thing happened. That would have involved comparing signatures between the receipt and the back of the card. What instead happened was that the cashier asked to see a laminated card with a picture of the purchaser on it as well as the same name on the credit card.

      Heck, it’s harder to make a convincing-looking counterfeit credit card than it is to make a fake ID, especially if you pick an issuing authority that is sufficiently unfamiliar to the cashier (say, 4-5 states away). But the ID gets all the attention, so its less likely for someone to notice the plain white signature block on the back of the credit card.

    • You hate your job but you're still working there? says:
  27. badachie says:

    My roommate loaned me his debit card the other day to make a small purchase and receive some cash back. His debit card is pretty old and was falling apart, so it was necessary for the cashier to scan it. Now he is one of those people that writes “See ID” on the back of all his cards. Of course, the cashier asked to see ID. I explained that I would be entering in the PIN number and that should suffice as ID. Of course, this was a no go. Will somebody else validate for me that ID should not have to be presented when a PIN is entered?

    • RayanneGraff says:

      You’re seriously bitching about a clerk not letting you pay with someone else’s card that said “see ID” on the back when you wouldn’t show ID?

    • apple420 says:

      If you are going to write “See ID” then you shouldn’t complain when they ask to see id

    • human_shield says:

      I saw this at a liquor store once. She came in and brought a mountain of liquor to the counter and tried to pay with some guy’s credit card, who she said was her friend to lent it to her. She argued for a good 5 minutes with the poor cashier before the guy behind her finally told her to bring her own money or stop holding up the line. She really couldn’t understand why she couldn’t buy stuff with someone else’s credit card and left in a huff.

  28. framitz says:

    I always write ‘see photo ID’ instead of signing cards. I don’t think I’ve ever been asked for ID though.
    I have no problem showing ID in this situation as that is what I request on the card. How the heck else can the clerk be SURE the owner of the card is the person using it?

    • Bladerunner says:

      And you have that right under the card agreement. I’m all for writing See ID if that’s what you want. But if that’s NOT what you want, what do you do? You get a card that has that in its contract with the retailer…and then the retailer ignores it. Not really fair, is it?

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      You need to sign your card. That’s part of your agreement.

  29. RayanneGraff says:

    This is stupid. I can’t believe people bitch about being asked for ID. I guarantee the first thing out of their mouths when their card gets stolen & maxed out is “Why didn’t they ask to see ID?!”

    • Bladerunner says:

      No, the first thing out of my mouth is “Good thing I reported it stolen and am not liable for any charges!”

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Just because someone doesn’t agree with you doesn’t mean they are hypocrites, despite your “guarantee.”

  30. Bill610 says:

    I had a similar encounter several months ago buying a camera. This was, by the way, AFTER the card had been swiped and the transaction authorized. The clerk insisted that “the computer told him” to check my ID. After a manager came over and confirmed this, I asked to see the clerk’s computer screen. The clerk said it was the same as the customer display, which said something like “check signature on card”. I explained to them that this meant that they were supposed to look at the signature on my CREDIT card. The manager asked the clerk if he’d done that, he said “no”, and I handed him my credit card. He looked at it and handed it back, and they let me leave with my camera and no further hassle.

  31. Skellbasher says:

    Someday I hope that just one person who just says ‘Just show your ID’ gets their identity stolen, and has to spend hours with unresponsive financial institutions trying to work all the resulting problems out.

    Maybe then they’ll understand why people are hesitant to give away all their personal info unnecessarily.

  32. cryptique says:

    I want stores to check my ID when I pay by credit card. It’s another line of defense (however feeble) against fraud. Whenever a cashier asks me for ID when I use my credit card, I make sure to thank that person for doing so.

    If you don’t want to show your ID, maybe you should pay with cash.

    • Bladerunner says:

      And if you WANT to show id, put it on your card. I don’t. Don’t tell me to use a different method than the one that does what I want so long as nobody violates the contract.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      I would ask them first if they compared the sigs on the card and the slip. That’s the first line of defense. So see if they actually do it. I bet they don’t.

  33. PLATTWORX says:

    Listen, I HATE when a merchant asks me for ID when I use a credit card and normally it is chains like Wamart, Target or others that should know better. However, you are going to get NO WHERE debating a cashier ever. Probably not with a head cashier and maybe not even a manager. They do what corporate says, even if not really allowed.

    Also, by creating useless debate, you hold up an entire line of innocent customers behind you.

    I show the ID and then, if it’s really under my skin, report it to MasterCard or Visa. Sadly, I have never seen a change nor response when I have done so, but it’s all you can really do.

    • Bladerunner says:

      I refuse to accept responsibility for THEIR causing a scene. I want to use something they’ve advertised accepting. They refuse to accept it on the terms that are the only acceptable terms for accepting it. That is not my problem. I will not roll over to make things “easier”, when they are the ones in the wrong.

    • Bill610 says:

      Actually, I’ve had clerks, or their managers, reverse themselves and accept my credit card at least half the time I’ve been asked for ID and refused to show it, as in my post a couple above this one. Other times I’ll either pay cash, or grudgingly show ID if I either don’t feel like the hassle or need whatever it is now and don’t have cash on hand. Occasionally I will report it to the card company. If you’re polite but firm, and know what you’re talking about, you might be surprised at what happens.

  34. farlo666 says:

    whats the big deal with showing your ID, i would prefer to have to show my ID to verify that i am the cardholder, i most certainly do not want someone other than me using my credit or debit cards. i wish people would quit acting so butthurt over a minor inconvenience.

  35. Rachacha says:

    Question for all those who are not opposed to having retailers check your ID. What security measures do you think are being provided by this?

    - Verification of Signature? Well, if I have signed my CC, and signed the receipt or electronic pad, they can verify my signature? Also, in looking at my CC, license and the typical signature on a receipt, none of mine match (because of the space allotted to sign and how rushed I may have been at the time), and I have not once been asked for a third form of ID. Cashiers are not handwriting experts, and I suspect that a professional handwriting expert would have difficulty determining that all of my signatures came from the same person in the second that a typical clerk reviews my ID.
    – Verification of photo compared with who is holding the card? Perhaps, but what would happen if my photo ID was taken many years ago and I lost/gained a lot of weight changed my hair color and had laser eye surgery so I did not need to wear glasses anymore. I had a colleague who list over 125lbs (from over 225 to about 100lb) in a very shory period of time, cut her hair and changed her glasses. She showed me her old ID with her “fat self” and I didn’t even recognize her. How is a store clerk looking at your ID for 1 second going to be able to verify such an ID. Also, Photo IDs are typically pretty easy to fake.
    – Verification of address or zip code? It is actually better to ask me that information as if I am not authorized to use the card I will likely stumble a bit on the answer.

    Just curious to find out why ID checking proponents think it protects them.

    • farlo666 says:

      a simple name cross check can go a long way when preventing the usage of a lost or stolen card. i know it wont stop everything, but it is better than attempt at verification.

  36. sheriadoc says:

    Um, I hate Walmart as much as the next person, but I don’t get the OP’s complaint. I don’t even sign my cards and can’t remember the last time a cashier asked to see my ID when I made a purchase. It’s happened a few times in the past, and I just gazed at them in amazement. They’re just trying to protect me, so I’m cool with that. Unless the cashier has a photographic memory the chance of them remembering any of the information on your ID is slim.

  37. Horselady says:

    I’m surprised to read this,

    I thought it was a pretty common practice now for
    retailers to ask to see ID for ANY credit card purchase,
    I’ve been asked many times, and even for small purchases.

  38. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I don’t mind showing to prove it’s actually me, but I won’t let go of it and I sure as hell won’t let them swipe it. For PHOTO ID purposes, all they need to do is look at it. No need to hand it over. My picture is very obviously me.

  39. dougp26364 says:

    They can ask, you don’t have to show it and they don’t have to sell you the merchandise.

    Having had my CC ID stolen twice, I’m appreciative of attentive cashiers who ask for ID on large purchases. It recently stopped an ID theft after the first “test” purchase to see if my CC number was still good. I don’t mind showing my ID so long as the clerk isn’t writing down or otherwise storing the information.

  40. Hi_Hello says:

    they should just put photo on credit card.
    there’s two side two this.
    1) Credit card get stolen, I would like them to check the ID and then tell the guy there’s some weird with their system until the cops show up.
    2) ID Theft.

    My guess… if someone stole your wallet, they have your ID and all the info they want. They are probably more likely to steal your ID than the cashier who probably can’t remember your info.

  41. Big Mama Pain says:

    So put the soda back that you got while waiting in line, which brings your total to below $100. Viola.

  42. Extended-Warranty says:

    Give me a break all you tinfoil hats. A Wal-Mart cashier is going to use their “photogenic memory” to memorize all of your data, including the non-existent SSN? If they start writing down info or swiping it, ok I see your argument.

    Until then, if you’re concerned about identity theft, don’t use a credit card. These days, supervisors and managers can pull up the full account number used on transactions. Everything is tracked. They know who you are, what you’ve bought, and a bunch of other things.

    Sure you might be off the hook for liability, but usually the retailers have to pay for it. I think it’s completely reasonable to ID for large purchases.

    I know what the “agreements” are and I’ve never once declined to show my ID. I am not an asshat who is above showing an ID because it is a “hassle”. You know what, have of the population is a hassle. I show respect to people doing their job as I would expect people to respect me doing mine.

  43. ccuttriss says:

    I would *much* rather them ask for my ID than not. A few years ago my credit card was stolen and the thief was able to ring up something around $1400 at a single walmart store without anybody even asking for ID. I thank clerks when they ask for my ID — the cardholder agreement needs to be updated.

  44. raphaeladidas says:

    What I don’t understand is why, in this age of digital photography and pictures that can easily be emailed, credit card companies don’t require photos on the CC. How could a thief ever use your card if it has your picture and signature on it? Or requiring PINs for CC, as I think they do in Europe. Do CC companies really even care about fraud? I won’t show my DL, but I would have no problem with my picture on the CC or especially with having a PIN for it.

  45. Cindymiles says:

    Tell that to Las Vegas. Every single place wants picture ID.

  46. Extractor says:

    BFD Show it and shut up! How did you get there? Must be a dog license and not a drivers license. When I look like a slob and present a CC with Dr on it, I would hope they would ask for ID. Like the look I get. Or when I was in my late 20’s and looked like 18.

    • Rachacha says:

      “How did you get there? Must be a dog license and not a drivers license.”

      Let’s get ready to play the Family Feud. We surveyed 100 people and asked them “Other than a personally owned motor vehicle, how do you get to your local Wal Mart?”
      1) Bus/public transportation
      2) Walk/bike
      3) Taxi
      4) Caught a ride with a friend/relative

      None of these require a drivers license, and while showing a DL as an inconvenience may be up there with receipt checking, I see little if any added protection provided by someone looking at my photo ID for 1 second.

  47. MarvinMar says:

    As I posted here a few months ago, the Disney Store made me go get my ID for a $5 or $6 purchase.
    I raised hell, The District manager called to apologise, but I have not been back to test them again.

  48. lalaland13 says:

    I have a good friend who works at Walgreens and they have to ask for ID if a credit card purchase is over $25. I’ve told her that violates the merchant agreement and pointed her to Consumerist for info, but I’m also not gonna be a dick about it and tell her not to ask. Jobs are hard to find. She should listen to her boss over me, because her boss pays her. I wish the management of her particular store would get it together, though. If this ever happened to me, I guess I would be tempted to write a polite letter to management later, but it’s not the cashier’s fault for doing as told.

  49. emptyV says:

    Card in wallet? ID in same wallet? WTF? This is not news, just another attempt to black the eye of walmart….

    • Rachacha says:

      Signature on back of card and signature on receipt. WTF, why can’t retailers simply use the fraud protection devices that are built into the card and only ask for another form of ID if the signatures do not match or their is some other cause for suspicion.

  50. crazydavythe1st says:

    My problem with this? Anyone that has worked retail will tell you that some customers will sign the back of their cards and then will get furious that you processed their transaction without ID. In fact, there are FAR more of these customers than the “oh no, I signed my card, so how DARE you ask for my ID!” crazies out there.

    Consumerist needs to let this particular topic die. Customers will never be satisfied, and retailers are trying to do their best to satisfy everybody’s wishes. Customers that complain that they are having their ID verified for a high dollar purchase are at the complete bottom of list.

    • Putaro says:

      Yes, but the I don’t want to show my ID crazies are actually correct. Maybe the credit card companies should change their policies, but the policy now is that you don’t have to show your ID.

  51. sopmodm14 says:

    if its a fraud counter-measure, i’m all for it, especially when its just a quick look

    fraud/identity theft is so rampant, i’m surprised picture credit/debit cards aren’t standard

    that being said, i think its not too unreasonable, or maybe a higher limit, say $2oo and just a quick flash of picture ID if paying by credit card

  52. Jigen says:

    My target requests ID for purchases over $200

  53. ZenMasterKel says:

    I’m still curious as to how many people willcomplain about showing ID to the clerk but are willing to do it when purchasing alcohol. It seems rather disingenuous to argue about showing the “sensitive” information on an ID in this instance yet be willing to show it when buying a 6 pack of beer.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Because it’s the law.

    • ZenMasterKel says:

      That’s intellectually dishonest. You’re saying that your okay showing your ID when buying alcohol because it’s a legal requirement but that you’re not okay showing your ID when using a credit card because the clerk might compromise your identidy by looking at your ID.

  54. Beeker26 says:

    I thought the whole point is to ensure the signature on the card matches the signature on the ID which matches the picture on said ID to your face, in an effort to protect again unauthorized use and identity theft. Really, is it such a huge deal to show your ID?

    I wonder how the OP would feel if their card was stolen and someone rang up hundreds or thousands of dollars in purchases which could have been prevented if the cashier had asked for an ID.

    I remember a time not that long ago when Wal-Mart asked for ID every time you used a credit card, regardless of the amount. I honestly don’t see the problem here.

  55. tbax929 says:

    I don’t think I’d be that irritated about showing my license in order to use a credit card. However, our licenses here used to have our SS numbers on them (lots of people still have their licenses this way in my state). If that were the case, I’d probably object.

  56. kompeitou says:

    Instead of arguing over this with the cashier I have found a solution. I cut the sticky end of a Super Sticky Post-it note and place that over my address and DL#. Just my name and picture shows. I haven’t had any problems yet.

  57. dilbert69 says:

    I get asked for ID all the time. I whip out my wallet, flash it in their general direction, and they don’t even glance at it.

  58. KrispyKrink says:

    Show me your papers… SLAVE!

    While you’re at it, bend over for me.

  59. jebarringer says:

    …Walmart’s been doing this for at least 5 years.

  60. chrishansonsseat says:

    I love this site but once in a while you feature a story, such as this, that blows my mind. She was asked to show her ID to prove that she was the cardholder…..BFD! When I am asked to show my ID for credit card purchases I always tell the cashier I appreciate it since they are checking to make sure my card is not being fraudulently used. Next week you guys will feature a story about how a consumer got ripped off because someone stole their credit card, used it at wal mart and the cashier did not ask to see ID. Wal-Mart will be the bad guy in either case. Make up your freaking mind Consumerist!!!!!!

  61. qbubbles says:

    Boo fucking hoo. Show the damn ID. If they’re working at Walmart, I doubt they’ve got the photographic memory super power.

  62. human_shield says:

    I like the idea of them asking for ID because it deters possible credit card theft.

    Even if I didn’t want to show my ID, or thought I shouldn’t because it’s a violation of the merchant agreement, leaving my stuff there and walking out is just stupid. You’re not proving anything to anyone, the cashier could care less about your protest, some poor guy making minimum wage has to go put all your junk away, and you just wasted a huge amount of your time over something that would have taken you all of 5 seconds.

  63. MoreFunThanToast says:

    Lots of grocery stores/retail stores/supermarkets asks to see ID and I never really thought of that as a big deal? They almost always just take a glance at it anyway, doubt they really saw much of anything.

    If people are that paranoid about ID theft then maybe they should carry more cash around or use debit card? Also if you think about it the other way, if someone stole your card, the clerk checking for ID could potentially stop thieves from making unauthorized purchases, no?

    Also, even for people who does not have DL, aren’t there state issued ID cards that look just like DL? So we don’t have to carry passports around all the time.

  64. mha63 says:

    There are several reasons why showing ID is absurd. First, Wal-Mart has agreed to the terms of the MasterCard Merchant Agreement. By requiring ID in this instance, Wal-Mart is in violation. Second, producing ID does not really protect the consumer. The most a consumer is responsible for if your credit card is stolen is $50, and if you report it stolen or missing quickly, most credit card companies will also waive the $50. Third, lines at Wal-Mart are long enough, and most cashiers move at a snails pace. Having to ask every person to produce ID will only increase the wait times to check out. Fourth, are you going to be okay when they next ask to take your fingerprint or picture everytime you purchase your groceries?

  65. ArmyCats says:

    I got an idea!!! Gather 1000 people with credit cards to walk into an Walmart at different times of a day, pretending to be just like any other shoppers. Everyone grab more than $100 of stuff and ask to pay with credit card. When the Walmart employee ask for ID, just say “no thanks” and walk out. Their lines will be filled up with merchandise ready to be put back onto the shelves…

    Even better, everyone grab more than $100 of milk or dairy products, and if they don’t put it back quickly they go bad… Perfect way to protest the ID check. (Though I feel sorry for the cows to have their milk wasted)…

  66. ArmyCats says:

    I got an idea!!! Gather 1000 people with credit cards to walk into an Walmart at different times of a day, pretending to be just like any other shoppers. Everyone grab more than $100 of stuff and ask to pay with credit card. When the Walmart employee ask for ID, just say “no thanks” and walk out. Their lines will be filled up with merchandise ready to be put back onto the shelves…

    Even better, everyone grab more than $100 of milk or dairy products, and if they don’t put it back quickly they go bad… Perfect way to protest the ID check. (Though I feel sorry for the cows to have their milk wasted)…

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      Or, how about find 1000 people to spend over $100 on a credit card with them showing their ID without getting their panties in a twist. oh wait….

  67. michelsondl says:

    The community college I go to has a large sign at the register of their snack bar that states that they require ID on ALL c.c. purchases. The other day I notified the main lady there of the Visa/MC agreements and what they say. She said to find them and bring them to her and she would send them to someone higher up at the school.

    I just got done looking up both agreements, and thought I’d share them.

    Here’s the Mastercard agreement, and part about requireing additional ID is on Pg. 111:
    http://www.mastercard.com/us/merchant/pdf/BM-Entire_Manual_public.pdf

    And here’s the Visa agreement, with the ID info being on pg. 468:
    http://usa.visa.com/download/merchants/visa-international-operating-regulations-main.pdf

  68. spokanekim says:

    This is all about someone just looking for a reason to bitch about a minor inconvenience.

    I write “PLEASE SEE PICTURE ID” on the signature line of my cards and I thank cashiers every time they follow this request – and question them as to why they didn’t ask for my ID if they ignore it. I know this won’t stop a seasoned criminal from using my credit card – but if it makes it too much of a hassle for a small-time thief to deal with then it’s worth doing.

    Everyone freaks out about how easy it is to steal someone’s identity (if it happened to me I’d freak out for sure) – yet when a merchant institutes a simple strategy to help thwart this problem we go all “Big Brother is watching – beware!” on them. I’m not even going to comment about the fact that this person chose to grocery shop at Walmart in the first place.

  69. xjeyne says:

    State law overrides merchant agreements. In the state of Washington (and some others), state law says retailers CAN refuse a purchase if photo ID is not present.

  70. Mr. Pottersquash says:

    I see why you wouldn’t want to, but what can you do about it?

    You havent paid for the stuff, so the store is free to deny you buisness. You can report them to Mastercard but they will probably rather not rock the Walmart boat than stand by you. You can refuse to use Mastercard but then Walmart couldnt give a damn.

  71. You hate your job but you're still working there? says:

    The Wal-Mart down the street from me claims that the register asks for an ID at random, but that their policy is to ask for ID on all credit/debit purchases regardless of the total due. Most cashiers don’t ask, and the ones that do only seem to do so if it’s a high balance, the moon is full, it’s the 13th and I look at them funny at three in the morning, which is when I usually do my grocery shopping.

  72. LastError says:

    This might take the cake as the dumbest Consumerist post of all time. They asked for ID on a high-value (>$25) credit card purchase. OMG!

    The indignity! The rudeness! The shameless attempt to protect the cardholder from fraud! How DARE Walmart!

    The only thing worse than this is the inevitable post to come where Consumerist complains about a store that DIDN’T ask for ID when somebody’s card is used for fraud.

    Oh wait. They’ve probably had those posts already.

  73. Destron says:

    Walmarts registers tell the cashier when to ask for ID – wait for it – PER THE CC COMPANIES PARAMETERS.

    1. The Walmart associate NEVER touches your card unless the debit reader is broken. You swipe it yourself.
    2. They don’t swipe your ID either, so unless they have some amazing photographic memory the are not stealing anything.
    3. Walmarts servers communicate IMMEDIATELY with the CC company and the CC company returns the flag to verify ID. So it’s not Walmart asking for ID it’s your CC company. So it’s not really random. But a Walmart associate won’t ask for ID unless the register tells them to. So YES they DO have the right to refuse you a purchase if you refuse to show it.

    And for all you asshats saying just walk away and leave all your food, you realize you are not hurting Walmart in the least right? That food gets claimed out by Walmart and is either returned to the supplier for credit, or written off and they get their money back as a tax right off. So go ahead, walk away and leave that food their, Walmart does not really care.

    When I was an Asset Protection officer for Walmart I had to deal with 7 different instances of someone walking in the store and buying $100’s of dollars worth of merchandise with a stolen card. EVERY time the questions was asked “Why did the cashier not check ID?”

    • Bill610 says:

      No, you’re actually–wait for it–wrong! On several occasions, I’ve had the request for ID made AFTER the credit card went through and the transaction was accepted, including the occasion I posted here earlier, when the cashier told me that “the computer told him” he had to check my ID, and upon reading the screen saw that it said something along the lines of “check signature on CARD”–which pretty clearly means the CREDIT CARD, which of course they’re supposed to do anyway.

      • Destron says:

        I am talking about Walmart – not ALL retailers. Walmarts registers prompts after the card is processed but before the transaction is complete because the determination to prompt for ID check is made by the credit card companies.

        I helped install the system, I know how it works.

  74. crazydavythe1st says:

    You know, I hope this ends up like the minimum purchase requirement thing. Consumerist never that one go, either. and we saw what happened with that :)

  75. 99 1/2 Days says:

    It’s fine that you wish to show your id. But can you people at least not accuse others who don’t of imaginary hypocrisy?

  76. physics2010 says:

    I visited a Fry’s in Arlington soon after having read the consumerist, so when the cashier politely asked to see my id for my $100 purchase I replied with a “No thank you” and a head shake. He looked closer at the card, and said, “Oh I see it’s signed.”, and completed the sale. Properly trained employee ruined my little adrenaline dump. :-(

  77. ZukeZuke says:

    Give me a freakin break. I prefer they ask for ID, in case someday my credit card is actually lost/stolen and someone else tries to use it.

    The signature on the back means nothing IMO. Like that can’t be washed or swapped out with a new signature sticker?

  78. jjcraftery says:

    Every once in a while, they ask to see your ID.
    No biggie, really.
    I figured they just do it randomly.

  79. MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

    Let’s put it this way. You’d all be bitching if someone stole your card, spent $500 at WalMart, and got away with it because the cashier didn’t ask for ID. There is no win-win here.

    • krom says:

      Would I? No, I wouldn’t, because I’m not ignorant. I would be calling my credit card company or bank and contesting the charge. Like I’m supposed to. Because I know what the terms of my credit card are.

      I have to follow my credit card rules. I expect the places I do business with do too. I don’t expect they get special rights just because they are business owners.

  80. Asno667 says:

    I’m sorry but when I am the guy behind you in line and you are holding me up because you don’t want to show your ID, then I get ticked. Why argue for 10 minutes when it only takes 2 seconds to show your ID? Some of you must really live in a state of paranoia if you think your identity is going to be stolen from showing your ID. I’m willing to bet you that you are more likely to have your identity stolen from making internet purchases as oppose to showing your ID. Just show your ID.

  81. guenzo says:

    Holy crap there are a lot of paranoid people in our country! Don’t forget to always carry your concealed weapon.

  82. FerretGirl says:

    Gawd. So many people in this thread are crying about identity theft! What kind of clerk is going to remember all the information from your license from a quick glance over? Is Rainman working at Wal*Mart now?

    If you’re so so so worried about identity theft put a freeze on your credit report! I’ve done it both times that my credit card was stolen. I only wish that the clerks at the stores where my stolen ccs were taken to had asked for ID! I wouldn’t have had to go through days worth of fraud reports and worry that maybe the banks would decide that my cards hadn’t been stolen after all.

  83. j_benj says:

    Once you’ve had your identity stolen (twice, like I have) you are actually semi-relieved when asked for ID on a major credit card purchase. If more stores had done that, I wouldn’t have had the ID theft issues I did.

  84. PupJet says:

    Wow….they make sure that some unknown isn’t using your card and they bitch and whine. Its these types of people that are likely to scream “Invasion of Privacy” and then turn around and whine when no laws are intact to protect them from fraudulent use.

    I hope someone steals their credit card and racks up tons of charges and THEN watch them change their tune.

  85. krom says:

    Big f– deal. The credit card companies tell you to report these incidents to the banks and the banks don’t do a damned thing about it.

    I was refused a $5 purchase from Salvation Army because I refused to show ID. The manager didn’t care if they were in violation of the merchant rules. He told me to go ahead and report it.

    You know why? Because they know the credit card companies and/or the banks won’t do anything.

    Seriously at least in this state nearly half my retail credit card purchases, even as small as $5 or $20, demand ID. Store policy, always. Violation of credit card rules, no one cares. Never mind that I routinely pay $50-60 restaurant bills without needing to show ID, ever, and never mind my online purchases.

    Doesn’t help that my friends always carp at me for refusing to show ID and holding things up and thereby being a nuisance. Why can’t I just abandon my silly principles and be a compliant sheep like everyone else and not cause inconvenience or embarassment?

    Might as well, though, because no one cares.

  86. NumberSix says:

    Ugh. Not this argument again.

  87. mdovell says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong here but I thought that credit card companies were supposed to start putting photo ids’s on some cards to prevent this stuff?

    Look…

    They ask for id’s for checks because if they bounce they have to be reported back

    Granted credit cards don’t bounce but what’s to prevent someone from having their credit card stolen? If your credit card was stolen and the person that did it looked NOTHING like you wouldn’t it make more sense to at least ask for id ?

    As for the “merchant agreement” retailers don’t exactly instruct their employees on credit cards since to them they are nearly all the same. Heck I can tell usually if I see a number as to what type it is…all discover numbers I believe start with 6001, visa starts with 4’s, sears are odd because it’s not 16 numbers…

    Although I will say it is a bit odd the more we apply the argument. There’s no id check for say online purchases…then again if there is something way out there (say someone that lives in boston for x number of years and that’s where the shipping goes) and all of a sudden there’s an order in LA. BTW if you go overseas you should always tell the card company.

  88. j_rose says:

    I have three problems with cashiers that ask me for my ID.

    1. Mastercard says you can’t. That should be the end of the issue.
    2. I don’t take an ID everywhere I go. Usually they want to see a driver’s license. Why would I have it when I’m shopping? I only need it when I’m driving.

    Biggest one:

    3. When I got married, I called my bank to find out what they needed to update my info. Surprisingly, they didn’t need anything. They immediately sent me a new card with my new last name. I wrote SEE ID on it. For six months, I was lazy about updating my driver’s license. I handed over my driver’s license at every place that asked, and for 6 months not a single place noticed the names didn’t match. After I updated my DL I stopped offering it and got a new card and signed the back. This practice of asking for ID seems to serve absolutely NO PURPOSE. What are they comparing? I’ve never seen a cashier actually make sure the names match and photo matches me.

  89. damageddude says:

    I might show it, but it isn’t leaving my wallet.

  90. goldilockz says:

    OMG why do people get so upset over THIS kind of thing? I would prefer they ask for ID in case my card was stolen. duh.

  91. 401k says:

    Can I borrow the credit card then? Since she doesn’t want to show ID, I guess she doesn’t care if other people don’t use her card…its not hard to forge a signature close enough for a retail clerk to accept it.

  92. mha63 says:

    What’s next, having to show your ID for using cash for purchases over $100? Would all those people who do not seem to have a problem presenting their ID everytime you use your credit card (even though the retailer has signed and agreed to the credit card company’s Merchant Agreement which explcitily prohibits merchants from asking for ID), have a problem if they were requireed to show ID when they forked over a $100 plus dollars in cash? Or if they were asked how they obtained $500 to pay for their TV? How about the fact that this will only create a slower checkout environment when people have to dig out their IDs for the first, second and third times?

    Here is novel approach – why doesn’t Wal-Mart just follow what the terms of the Merchant Agreement that they signed?