This Goodwill Sign Was Drafted By Arizona Lawmakers

Ryan happened upon a Goodwill that feels the need to check your ID before it lets you partake in the pleasures of its restroom.

It’s becoming more crucial every day to keep your ID at the ready. Credit card companies are allowing, and sometimes requiring, merchants to shake you down for your driver’s license. And Arizona passed a law — mostly neutered by a federal court injunction — that required those who resemble illegal immigrants to police to keep their papers handy in case they’re “lawfully stopped.”

And now, at a certain Goodwill, you need a license to pee.

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  1. dolemite says:

    I’m betting it’s because people wander off with the key, so by forcing them to provide ID, it is an incentive to remember to bring the key back.

    • JonStewartMill says:

      If they’re worried about that, the obvious solution (obvious to gas station owners the world over anyway) is to chain the restroom key to something heavy and unwieldy, like a concrete block.

      • DariusC says:

        They had a few fish clubs on one key I borrowed… Didn’t forget to return that one… even if I tried…

      • Bremma says:

        At my high school, teachers used to have ‘bathroom passes’ to note they knew the students were out using the restroom. Most teachers did something sensible like an eraser for a dry board, but one teacher had a cinderblock, painted bright pink with “Bathroom pass” painted on blue, with a long yellow nylon cord tied to it. It was the best hall pass :D

    • lockdog says:

      We constantly have customers walk off with our tape measures. We tried pieces of broom handles and big welded rings, but they got in the way when you tried to use the tape. We settled on adding about five pounds of log chain to each tape. People still steal them.

    • The Marionette says:

      That is the reason, of course it’s something that must be bent in order to fit the tastes of customers being “right”.

  2. smbizowner says:

    no they want a name of who’s to blame when the restroom is trashed.

  3. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Do they hold the license, or take down any information? Or do they just need to make sure you are who you’re representing yourself to be?

    “Uh, I don’t believe you really need to pee. May I see some ID?”

  4. Alvis says:

    It just says you have to provide your identification – ie, tell the cashier your name. Doesn’t say anything about needing any cards.

    • Wombatish says:

      Doubtful.

      I’m positive that they want your DL, and want to either take down your name (in case you trash it or steal stuff via it) or more likely, simply hold onto it to ensure you return the key.

      Hell even cops are bad about the “you must identify yourself” != you have to have a drivers licence to provide them with (unless of course, you’re driving).

      • mmmsoap says:

        Dammit, no driver’s license to pee….

      • LandruBek says:

        I think Alvis was expressing a subversive reading of the sign. I support the distended little porker in this, although I think probably the Goodwill would ill-favor that interpretation.

  5. danmac says:

    Sorry…this isn’t really an identity/personal rights issue. I used to live in Berkeley when I attended college, and it’s got an enormous homeless population. A local Barnes & Nobles had a public restroom for a while, but they had to eventually close it because people were using it as a bathing room, defacing it, and smearing shit on the walls.

    I’m not saying the behavior was excusable, but the people doing some of these things were mentally ill individuals who feel (sometimes justifiably) that society has been shitting on them all their lives.

  6. alSeen says:

    Oh come on, I’m sure this is done as a way to make sure they get the key back. You can probably leave your cell phone or something else if you wanted to.

    • Griking says:

      That plus since Goodwill doesn’t serve food they really don’t have any responsibility to let you use the restroom anyway.

  7. SerenityDan says:

    O noes!! Now they will all be on the government list of people who pee while shopping. Wharlgarbl!!

  8. Crunchbones says:

    This is so homeless people don’t shoot up and die in their bathrooms. It’s a liability issue.

  9. Pooterfish says:

    “License to Pee”? More like “Goldstream”

    – Do you expect me to show my driver’s license?
    – No, Mr. Bond. I expect you to pee your pants.

  10. RayanneGraff says:

    This is not a personal privacy issue at all. They’re not doing this to spy on anyone or steal identities, they just wanna keep track of who’s used the restroom so they know who to track down in case it gets trashed. People will be less likely to throw trash everywhere, run off with the key, clog the toilets, break the mirrors, and fingerpaint with their own poop if they know they’ll be held accountable for it.

    • LandruBek says:

      This is not a personal privacy issue at all. . . . they just wanna keep track of who’s used the restroom

      *head explodes*

  11. smo0 says:

    With all of the stories I read about public bathrooms, I’m not necessarily against this.

    Drug abuse, assault, rape, homeless “hotels.”

    Someone above mentioned smearing crap all over the bathroom walls.

    It’s true… someone made an infograph on http://www.geekologie.com about what “MUST” go on in public bathrooms based on the aftermath – I suggest you all check it out.

  12. deadandy says:

    Wait, was this taken at an Arizona Goodwill? Better be careful, Sheriff Joe might be hiding under the counter to drag you in.

  13. Maximus Pectoralis says:

    Contrary to what the title implies, I think there is a big difference between being required to present ID when using a bathroom and being required to present ID after committing a crime. I don’t see why this has to be politicized.

    • jesirose says:

      Agreed. Thanks.

      • RAEdwards says:

        Agreed. Please keep political opinion out of the articles and leave it to the comments where it will run rampant. I’m more interested in consumer stories than an author’s political views.

        • leprechaunshawn says:

          To quote Phil here:

          “And Arizona passed a law — mostly neutered by a federal court injunction — that required those who resemble illegal immigrants to police to keep their papers handy in case they’re “lawfully stopped.”

          Makes me wonder if the author read the AZ Law. Resembling an illegal immigrant is not a crime, being an illegal immigrant is. That is what Arizona was trying to stop when they created this law.

          • jesirose says:

            Not to mention, it’s already a federal law that aliens have to carry their identification. It’s not “papers” either, it’s a card the same size as a driver’s license. I’ve seen one, it’s not like it’s a huge burden to carry it, and it’s the law.

          • LandruBek says:

            You are wrong, Phil is right. “Those who resemble” illegal immigrants do have to have their documents on hand at all times. It only takes “reasonable suspicion” to demand documents (as in, Driving While Brown), and it only takes probable cause to arrest — a very low bar, I think.

            • LandruBek says:

              Ok, let me back off a little — it’s not a crime, but still could get you arrested. That’s pretty bad.

    • LandruBek says:

      What the hell are you talking about? SB 1070 demands that innocent citizens present proof of citizenship if they, somehow, give the mere impression that they might have illegally immigrated. “Committed a crime” indeed: the infamous crime of Speaking Spanish While Brown. SB 1070 is far worse than letting Goodwill hold your DL hostage while using the toilet.

      • Maximus Pectoralis says:

        I still fail to see how these are even remotely related. Please explain?

        As for the SB1070 law, IMO, what they should do is check immigration status if the suspect (yes suspect, remember they can only do this during a police stop) fails to prevent a valid ID. Is that not reasonable?

        • LandruBek says:

          They are related because ordinary people are being increasingly required to carry some sort of identity documents merely to live, to go out in public, to excrete. It is not reasonable.

          Remember they can only do this during a police stop

          False. Any “lawful contact” — that is, any government interaction (with police, state officials, county officials, or town officials) requires that the government representative check immigration status if practicable, “where reasonable suspicion exists.” You can’t even call the dogcatcher if your papers are not in order — unless you’re white, of course, and won’t excite suspicion.

          • jesirose says:

            It seems like the part you’re referring to is below. In which case, you’re taking a big extrapolation from “reasonable” and “practical” and “suspicion” and crying racism and persecution. “Driving while brown”? Seriously?

            B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY
            21 OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS
            22 STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS
            23 UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE,
            24 WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE
            25 PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
            26 PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

            Section 5 is probably the most important part of it, and what will be the most effective.

            • Billy says:

              You guys have to realize that SB 1070 was drastically changed from its original form to get around the issue of stops for mere suspicion of being illegal (which was the main problem with the law). This was done via passage of HB 2162. Here’s a summary of the changes http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/summary/h.hb2162_ccmemo.doc.htm

              Most importantly, the only time the inquiry can be made as to legal status is when it’s pursuant to a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” (as opposed to any “lawful contact” which was the previous, broader language).

              In addition, the law says that the lawful stop, detention or arrest must be in the enforcement of another law. In other words, the stop can’t be based solely on a suspicion of being an illegal.

              There are other profound problems with the law, but let’s get on the same page.

              More info: http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2010/04/30/20100430arizona-immigration-law-governor-signs-revised-bill.html

            • Billy says:

              You guys have to realize that SB 1070 was drastically changed from its original form to get around the issue of stops for mere suspicion of being illegal (which was the main problem with the law). This was done via passage of HB 2162. Here’s a summary of the changes http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/summary/h.hb2162_ccmemo.doc.htm

              Most importantly, the only time the inquiry can be made as to legal status is when it’s pursuant to a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” (as opposed to any “lawful contact” which was the previous, broader language).

              In addition, the law says that the lawful stop, detention or arrest must be in the enforcement of another law. In other words, the stop can’t be based solely on a suspicion of being an illegal.

              There are other profound problems with the law, but let’s get on the same page.

              More info: http://www.azcentral.com/news/election/azelections/articles/2010/04/30/20100430arizona-immigration-law-governor-signs-revised-bill.html

              • LandruBek says:

                Thanks, Billy — that’s helpful. (*Emily Litella voice* “Never mind.”)

                Seriously, we still should mind. The revised law is still outrageous, just less so. Ok, poor Spanish speakers can safely summon the city dogcatcher now, but they’re still screwed if they roll a stop sign or go a couple of mph over the posted speed limit. And the State may legislate colorblindness all they want but I don’t believe it will work.

                • asten77 says:

                  So, if they break (another) law, and get caught, we should look the other way on the whole illegal border crossing part?

            • LandruBek says:

              Yes, that is what I’m talking about, and no, it’s certainly not a big extrapolation at all. Are you trying to argue that racism is dead, that racism doesn’t exist in Arizona? This law opens a barn-door sized loophole for any government official in Arizona who doesn’t care for the Mexicans to persecute them, even if they’re here legally. This doc-verification isn’t even left to discretion, it shall be made unless it’s impracticable.

              The problem is, most undocumented immigrants look and act just like citizens — they pay taxes, send their kids to school, go to work, pay taxes, they don’t commit crimes*, they try to get by. The entire concept of “reasonable suspicion . . . that someone is an alien who is unlawfully present” is HOPELESSLY FLAWED. You just can’t tell citizenship by looking and talking to someone. What is going to be passed off as “reasonable” suspicion is if a person seems to be poor, brown, a Spanish speaker, and seems kind of nervous around police. Yet there are a lot of legal residents of Arizona who fit that description. They deserve as much deference and freedom from harassment as Russell Pearce or Jon Kyl.

              I challenge you: show me I’m wrong, set me straight. Give me some other criterion to establish a reasonable suspicion. How should state and local officials comply with this law, without trampling on anyone?

              (* after crossing the border)

          • Maximus Pectoralis says:

            Perhaps I’m wrong but I understood “lawful contact made by a law enforcement official or agency” to mean “a law enforcement official OR law enforcement agency”.

            Even so, what does this have to do with showing ID? You are already generally required to show ID during police interactions and immigrants are already required to carry immigration papers with them at all times. SB1070 does absolutely nothing to change that.

            So please explain again what this has to do with showing ID to use a privately-owned bathroom? Saying SB1070 is worse than that is like saying “Hitler is worse than PayPal!” (Godwin’s Law Satisfiedâ„¢)

            • LandruBek says:

              Explain again? Maybe you could just read my reply again? We should not need ID just to live. Shops often have restrooms for the benefit of their customers, but I don’t think we should need to carry ID when we shop. For most of us, shopping is not optional, it’s a fact of life, as is occasional restroom use.

              Below, Billy pointed out a clarification, and you are right that this law only affects police stops. That’s better, but I still think it’s bad. What if I jaywalk, and I do so without my citizenship documentation? I could really land in a shitstorm, is what. That’s not right. The solution seems to be to carry ID everywhere, or never ever break even the tiniest ordinance. The latter is nigh impossible; but I don’t think we should need to carry ID everywhere just to live. Ecco! These scenarios are similar!

              • Maximus Pectoralis says:

                I did read your reply. You failed to point out where SB1070 requires a person to show immigration papers / identification / etc. before being allowed to perform some action. In fact there is nothing whatsoever in the SB1070 bill that even mentions ID / documentation etc. except for one part that mentions furnishing false identification to illegal immigrants as a crime.

                The use of ID by private business where inappropriate is a consumer issue but it has absolutely nothing to do with a law authorizing police to perform immigration checks, period. I think that aspect of this article is more evidence of content on this site trying to tie consumer issues to particular political views that are only loosely or vaguely related.

  14. danstirling2000 says:

    Actually, federal law requires that immigrants to the US (non-US citizens) keep their papers handy.

    • LandruBek says:

      Fine, whatever — the problem with SB 1070 is that if a government official thinks someone might be an illegal immigrant, the same is now also required to carry ID, or else be in violation of the statute. This isn’t limited to police officers: any state or local government official is required, by the statute, to check your papers if she or he forms the opinion that you might have illegally immigrated. And it doesn’t matter if you’re a citizen or not; if Dogcatcher Willy says he thinks you might have snuck in from Canada, and if you don’t have proof on you at that moment, you are breaking the law. This is bad.

  15. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:

    I don’t have an issue with this at all. It keeps out people who might damage or deface the restroom.

    Unless the local area laws mandate a free and open access to restrooms in all businesses they are probably well within their rights to ask for ID of some kind.

    I guess they could just say “No Restrooms available for public use” and be done with it.

  16. Tomas says:

    I suspect this is like many businesses that are tired of losing restroom keys, and asking to hold a person’s ID until they return the key is an easy way to assure they get it back.

    Same thing with loaner wheelchairs at the mall, and many other things. You want to borrow something, leave your ID with the owner, get it back when they get back their property.

  17. scouts honor says:

    As other commenters have noted, this post is ridiculous. There are legitimate reasons for having this sign in a store where they’ve had a problem with the mentally ill or homeless defacing the restroom. Was this an attempt at humor from the Tucson-based Villarreal? Because it fell flat.

    The post doesn’t even say where this sign was located. Are we to assume it’s in Arizona because the author shoehorned a crack at Arizona’s anti-immigrant law in there? If it is, say so. That’s some pretty basic information being left out of this post.

  18. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    It sounds reasonable to me.

    People do horrible, horrible, unmentionable things to public restrooms and this would be a good way of putting a stop to it. It’s also a simple way of preventing lost/stolen keys and cutting down on an easy method of shoplifting.

  19. tom___ says:

    I think this guy just doesn’t want people to keep stealing his key. He is probably keeping it as collateral. If i owned a business and had to buy a new bathroom key every few weeks I would be pretty annoyed.

  20. chiieddy says:

    I’m betting it’s because they have had problems with people shooting up in the bathroom and providing id is a deterrent.

  21. sopmodm14 says:

    what do you expect, its arizona ? lol

  22. bhr says:

    Or maybe they want to hold ID while people have the restroom key? I really, truly doubt it has anything to do with immigration. Thats a complete leap

  23. FranktasticVoyage says:

    This post reminds me why I can never Consumerist all that seriously…

    Having to provide your ID to use the bathroom, possible interesting issue.
    Is it about privacy? Do they keep your information? Could you substitute for some thing else?

    Tying it to Arizona immigration. Completely irrelevant and baiting.

  24. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Nothing wrong with this AT ALL. Every business has a right to keep its property from being trashed by angry, ‘fight-the-power!’ douche bags and homeless people who feel the world owes them a living.

  25. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i’m just amazed they have a restroom open to the public at all. the ones near me probably have one in the back for the employees that they will let you use if you ask or something but there’s no signs indicating it, no doors leading to it and the only employee ever to be seen is the single cashier with a giant line in front of her.

  26. 420greg says:

    Maybe it is to limit the homeless access to the restroom.

    Goodwills are usually located near other places that provide service to the needy.
    When I drive by the rescue mission once a month that have a thing called ‘identify’ where they provide state ID’d for no charge to the homeless. Since the lines are always around the building, I am thinking a lot of homeless do not have ID.

  27. RogueWarrior65 says:

    Hey, Phil, Federal law requires that all non-citizens carry identification at all times. Moron.
    Oh, and since you’re clearly too effing lazy to read 17 pages which is really only about 8 or 9 pages since the same language is repeated using the terms “knowingly” and “intentionally”, you obviously have no clue that the bulk of the law is aimed at businesses and U.S. citizens. Do your damn homework before you spout off about something you know nothing about.

    • Maximus Pectoralis says:

      Apparently alleged racial profiling by government agencies and private businesses requiring ID before using their facilities are directly related….?

  28. stormbird says:

    License To Pee was the worst Bond movie ever!

  29. jim says:

    its a conspiracy. someone should call barak

  30. justagigilo85 says:

    I used to work at a grocery store chain, and I remember the day when a customer wrote with her own shit on the walls and mirror.

    There are some sick fucks out there. I would only hope that flashing your ID would reduce, not eliminate, this behavior.

    But hey, the customer is always right.

  31. JulesNoctambule says:

    I’m impressed by anyone brave enough to use a Goodwill bathroom in the first place.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      for a long time the one behind the red lobster on old wake forest had signs in the fitting rooms “this is not a restroom”
      i am so glad i wasn’t there the day they realized they needed a sign for that

  32. massageon says:

    Good!!! If we make it HARDER instead of EASIER for the illegals to be in our country, maybe they’ll stop filing in to the country in droves. It should be uncomfortable and unpleasant to be in our country illegally.

  33. nocturnaljames says:

    It’s not anyones public right to use a businesses bathroom. It costs them money to maintain, and the ID requirment is most likely due to misuse of the bathroom or key stealing. I highly doubt they are just trying to keep mexicans out.

  34. haggis for the soul says:

    At my main library, you have to hand over your library card in exchange for the restroom key.

  35. Niebby says:

    I’m willing to bet that they are actually holding on to the ID in exchange for the key, as opposed to just looking. This is a pretty common practice in Chicago.

  36. wee_willie says:

    Hah! At least they allow it! The Volunteers of America in my town send you down to the store at the end of the strip mall.