IHOP Threatens To Call The Police Because You Refuse To Show ID With Credit Card

Reader Jered says that IHOP refused to accept his credit card without seeing ID and threatened to call the police and report him for dine-and-dashing if he didn’t show it to them. Here’s his story:

I went to IHOP(INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES) on March 30th with my wife to eat. After our meal I went to the counter to pay and presented my Visa as payment. I was asked for photo ID, and kindly declined. I was then told that they were not going to be able to accept my card without photo ID.

I then offered my MasterCard(so that I could later fill out a complaint) and was also told a photo ID would be required. I then explained that I had no other form of payment, that it was against both Visa & MasterCard’s merchant rules. I was then directed to the manager, who I politely explained to that if he expected to be paid for the meal he offered me, he had the choice of accepting and honoring my card, or not getting paid.

At this point the manager called the police and was attempting to have me arrested for Dine-and-Dash, even though I was the one trying in good faith to present payment, and they were the one’s refusing, based on a ‘store policy’ that was in a direct breach of contract, their merchant agreement. My wife then showed her Visa(same account number) and her ID, and was fully embarrassed and outraged that they were trying to have me arrested because THEY refused to accept payment. I found this completely unacceptable, I called their Corporate Headquarters in Glendale, California, as did my wife, and filed complaints. We were told a Field Rep for the area would call us, but none ever did. I’d plan on going back there with just my card and no ID and let the police come, but as a matter of principal I can simply not got back there after something like that.

— Jered,

We think you’re right in not going back. Why give your money to bullies? It is indeed a violation of IHOP’s merchant agreement with MasterCard to refuse payment without photo ID, except in the case that they need to ship something to you and have to verify your address. Did you plan on having your partially digested waffles FedExed?

MasterCard Merchant Manual (PDF) [MC]


Edit Your Comment

  1. bbagdan says:

    Make sure you record all dubious events on your cell phone video camera next time, then sue the pants off idiots.

  2. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    You can then get detained for not having any ID on your person. At least in Florida, I’m pretty sure other states have similar laws.

  3. lesspopmorefizz says:

    Yes, it’s a violation of the merchant agreement…but I personally think it’s bizarre when an individual is averse to showing ID when using a credit card. I don’t mind showing ID at all, because having your identity stolen blows, and when someone checks your ID, they’re just verifying that it is, indeed, YOUR card. Which I personally feel is a positive thing, as long as they’re not entering my personal information into their marketing database.

    Will someone who disagrees please explain to me why you are opposed to showing ID when using your credit card? I’m not criticizing, but I really just don’t understand this guy’s reasoning, and I’d like to.

  4. Saboth says:


    Really? I wasn’t aware this was Cold War Era Germany already.

    “Er no….I…lost them!”
    “Off to the gulag with him! Schnell! Schnell!

  5. BlondeGrlz says:

    @Jaysyn: He doesn’t lack ID, he just doesn’t have to produce that ID for IHOP.

  6. Buran says:

    @Jaysyn: I don’t think you have to show any ID, just state your name and address, unless you are operating a vehicle and in that case you must then present the appropriate license (driver’s, pilot’s, etc). when asked.

  7. unklegwar says:

    I noticed you always seem to ignore the subsequent phrase “except as specifically permitted or required by the Standards”.

    What are these Standards?

    Partial information is useless. Or if you are a sitting 43rd president, extremely useful for manipulation.

  8. dookas says:

    You took your wife to IHOP? I hope it was at least 3AM and you were both plastered

  9. Buran says:

    On the other hand, as a repeated victim of credit card fraud, I applaud the store’s effort to protect me and other victims and potential victims. Thanks, IHOP!

    I think they didn’t call you back because you have no idea what their actual agreement says, since you weren’t a party to it, and presume awful much.

  10. VA_White says:

    You are supposed to sign your card then sign the transaction slip. The only verification they get is to compare the signatures. “CID” is not cool, ask the Post Office.

    I’m not showing my receipt and I’m not showing ID and I’m not going to let you search my bag. They can go pound sand. I will take my money elsewhere.

  11. Leiterfluid says:

    It’s only a violation of the merchant agreement if the consumer has signed the back of his (or her) card. if the consumer hasn’t signed the back of his (or her) card, then the cardholder is in violation, and the card is “not valid unless signed.”

  12. AnderBobo says:

    I too think that being so righteous in the “I refuse to show my ID b/c it says I don’t have to, how DARE YOU” argument is kind of old and annoying. Yeah it is against Mastercard Policy but I mean, what is really goint come of you flashing your ID for a second at them? Now if they were writing down things from your ID I could see the problem.

    It is your prerogitave to never eat there again but raising a stink over something so mundane is childish. I bet the people behind you were really pleased that you took a stand. /sarcasm

  13. FreeMarketGravy says:

    @Buran: It’s a little bit of both. I don’t believe you’re required to show ID; you’re only required to prove your identity. At the same time, what constitutes proof of identity varies greatly from person to person and company to company.

    I’m with lesspopmorefizz. If you have your ID on you, show it. It takes next to no time or effort since you have to get your wallet/billfold out anyway, it’s no erosion of your rights to comply with the request of an IHOP clerk and if anything, the request shows that the clerk asking actually cares enough to make sure it’s YOU using YOUR card. That’s rare in today’s world and while it doesn’t deserve kissing one’s feet, it hardly deserves a refusal to comply with a request.

    This place overreacted severely, but in principle, refusing to show ID when asked makes no sense to me at all.

  14. DeeJayQueue says:

    It may be apocryphal, but I was pulled over a few years ago and didn’t have my license on me. I knew the number though, and it matched what they have on file. Most police departments these days have fancy-pants laptops that as soon as they run your plate they know if you’ve got a license or not and if it’s been suspended or expired or if you’ve got a warrant. A picture shows up of the owner of the vehicle, and if you match that picture it’s not such a big deal if you don’t have your license on you. Some cops are dicks though, but even still I think you’ve got something like 10 days to show up at the court to present your license or sign an affidavit saying you lost it.

  15. Project Thanatos says:

    Jaysyn is right. In Florida you are required to have a form of identification on you at all times. While this law isn’t strictly enforced, it is in effect and can be acted on by “officials” at any time.

    I find it rather unconstitutional.. but hey.. it’s Florida right?

  16. megan9039 says:

    It sounds like he had an ID, but just didn’t want to show it.

  17. ryan89 says:

    If the card isn’t signed can they ask for ID? If the card says “SEE ID” can they ask for ID?

  18. LorneReams says:


    We are not yet at the point of “Papers please” when walking outside. Driving is another story of course

  19. StellaSquash says:

    A merchant may require additional ID if the information is required to complete the transaction, for example when shipping an item.

  20. bsalamon says:

    i spoke to someone about the whole id thing. apparently its about getting more money from the credit card companies, because they can be more certain of the card’s validity, and therefore don’t have to worry about chargebacks…
    sounds stupid to me, but either way

  21. sponica says:

    @lesspopmorefizz: I’m with you. I thought I was going a service to my customers when I asked for an ID with every credit card purchase. Most people don’t mind and are grateful. Additionally, merchants WILL ask for an ID if there is no signature on the back or if the signature is worn down and illegible.

  22. Buran says:

    @lesspopmorefizz: Because they’re too paranoid/selfish/lazy to expend the effort and don’t consider that yes, really, they’re not taking down your information (except in very rare cases in which case I support this, but I’ve never had that happen) and don’t care about anyone else.

    This has nothing to do with “privacy” and EVERYTHING to do with fraud prevention, and a lot of people are too shortsighted to see that. I’ve even been attacked, to my face and called names, by the super-paranoid AFTER explaining that I’m a victim. Talk about nerve…

  23. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Feel free to return your partially digested waffles to the IHOP in question.

    In a paper bag.

    Lit on fire.

    Right in front of their door.

  24. Buran says:

    @FreeMarketGravy: Oh, I do show it — and say THANK YOU for preventing me from being re-victimized and for helping save others from being hit in the first place.

  25. matt7718 says:

    When they are checking your ID they are trying to help fight against identity theft. Just because you want to make a scene doesnt mean you get to come here and act like you arent being an idiot.

  26. jimv2000 says:

    It’s best not to use the “merchant agreement” argument. The one that was posted here awhile ago was a generic guide. Merchants may have different agreements with their banks.

    Here’s a line from the Visa site:
    “The Visa USA Operating Regulations are rules that govern the use of the Visa payment system by Visa members only and do not supersede any contractual agreement between a merchant and its acquiring financial institution.”

  27. jblake1 says:

    Providing your credit card and access to the personal information contained on your drivers license to some unknown cashier is placing you at more risk of identity theft.

  28. Squard says:

    I can’t believe someone is comparing IHOP to Nazi Germany. If someone really wants your information, they going to get it from your credit card alone. This paranoia over showing ID and bringing the police into it is beyond belief.

  29. AnderBobo says:

    @Buran: I agree and in a case like this if somebody were to steal his card and then use at IHOP and they were to accept you know he would be all “I can’t believe IHOP just accepted my card without verifying a THING”.

    Clearly they want to cover their own bum as well as protect the customer and to challenge them for that is just stupid. If the OP was so concerned with privacy and his credit card rights and is so willing to throw down with anybody who stands in his way why doesn’t he just carry cash?

  30. outinthedark says:

    @Project Thanatos:
    Is that only “enforced” for Florida residents? I know I “forgot” my wallet a few times at parties when cops came to bust the party up.

  31. Falconfire says:

    @Jaysyn: Wow you guys allow that?

    Thats kinda blatantly against federal law there bub. How the hell did Florida pass that and why the hell hasnt it been challenge yet.

  32. me_name_BOB says:

    I don’t know about you, but I wish that id checks were mandatory. I know I don’t want some random hoodlum running rampant with my card, and if an ID check or my picture on the card is necessary, so be it. That’s a small price to pay for keeping a thief from stealing your month’s pay. Honestly, it’s three seconds out of your day, and your ssn isn’t even on your driver’s license (at least not mine).

    Granted, calling the police was stupid. But let’s say that somebody took your card to the restaurant, wouldn’t you like to know why they let a stranger use your card?

  33. kbarrett says:

    I generally don’t have this problem … I prefer using cash.

    I have also found that when I carry cash, I tend to spend it less quickly than I did when I lived on plastic.

  34. Justin42 says:

    Gotta agree with the “this isn’t a big deal” crowd. I’m normally more upset when they don’t ask, since I specifically have “See ID” on my card. Flashing my ID is no problem. Now, if they’re asking to RECORD information that’s totally different, but geez, it’s just an IHOP, and they probably get tons of fraud.

    File this under “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should” (or have to). They were doing it for their own protection and by extension, the cardholder’s protection (to be sure a fraudulent card wasn’t in use)

  35. How weird, usually when you pay in a resto, even one with a checkout, you don’t need any sort of ID.

  36. ChuckECheese says:

    Where are the necessary comments about how unpleasant it is to eat at IHOP? It’s a vortex of stick and grease. Folks, be sure to check the caps of those thermal coffee pots for mold–I sure wish I had before I drank my 3rd cup. It’s also recommended to check the syrup containers before tipping them over your puffcakes. I love the way Jered includes the full expression of the IHOP acronym, just in case.

  37. Skankingmike says:

    @Saboth: this is nothing like Cold war era Germany at all

    and secondly.

    JUST SHOW YOUR DAMN ID! First off the credit card people DO NOT GIVE A CRAP about it’s users and their policies are never enforced.

    By the guy refusing not to show his ID it made it seem like he stole the card.

  38. jimv2000 says:


    If they can get your number, it’s all they need. Expiration dates and Zip codes can be easily guessed and checked.

  39. Devidence says:

    I’m GLAD IHOP did this. And I wish the Consumerist would stop running these stories where the consumer is at fault. IHOP was just trying to help with card theft, and I wish more places would do this. Not showing ID just to be difficult, and then digging out a M/C contract to prove himself, is absurd. I don’t carry a credit card without ID either, if that was the issue. But it’s not clear from this article exactly why he wanted to do this.

  40. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    I signed my debit card in red ballpoint, and then I wrote over that in bold black Sharpie, “ASK FOR PHOTO ID.” In eighteen months of using the card in the US, I’ve had a cashier ask for my ID only twice. I just got back from a two-week business trip in Scotland, and out of fifteen shopping transactions in which I used my debit card, fifteen cashiers checked the back of my card and asked for the photo ID. Caledonia for the win…

  41. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:


    I just did a little research & you’re absolutely right. I was lied to by a cop, I guess that shouldn’t come as a big surprise these days.

  42. specialed5000 says:

    @LorneReams: Actually, we are at that point, at least legally. In Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada in 2004, the Supreme Court ruled that people stopped by police under the “reasonable suspicion” standard (police would almost always be able to justify having reasonable suspicion to stop someone) could be required to identify themselves to policy. While I believe that in this case the guy refused to even identify himself verbally, and providing of a driver’s license of other ID hasn’t been specifically addressed by the court, they declined to strike down state laws requiring people to carry ID, which a broadly written decision going the other way might have done.

    So yes, for now it is constitutional (or at least not directly tested) for states to pass laws requiring people carry ID at all times, and many of them have.


  43. AnderBobo says:

    @Justin42: If you don’t sign your card it actually isn’t valid, and putting ‘see id” could cause a merchant to refuse the card. Signing your card is basically signing that you agree to their terms and conditions, so if something were to happen with your card they could back out of protecting you b/c you never officially agreed to their terms by signing the card. I know that was long winded, but you should really sign your cards.

  44. bobblack555 says:

    Fuck IHOP. Their food sucks anyways.

  45. FreeMarketGravy says:

    @Buran: That wasn’t really directed at you, the second part. I was more referring in general to the people who get a smug, self-righteous thrill out of refusing to show a clerk their ID because is THEIR ID and THEY have THEIR right not to show YOU THEIR ID and so forth.

  46. kingoftheroad40 says:

    Walmart did the same thing to me only because I was in the self check out lane never before @the regular checkout lane.
    I raised hell and I threatened to call the police but my wife calmed me down I wanted a police report to stick in the store managers face the next day and call cooperate while i was in his office the next day, but my wife won .B.T.W. Kudo;s to soboth this is America not Russia or Nazi Germany .

  47. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @Project Thanatos:

    Actually I was incorrect. I couldn’t find an actual statute, but I think the ACLU may know what they are talking about.


  48. AMetamorphosis says:

    I’m kind of up in the air on this one.

    ALL of my credit AND debit cards have ” PLEASE ASK FOR ID ” written in the signature strip. I had a wallet stolen and the LAST thing I want to do is go through this again.

    Of course, I also had a very ignorant woman once REFUSE to take my Platinum Visa because she stated: I had not signed it. I told her that my signature is on my driver’s licence and is my proof of ownership of said card and if she didn’t want to protect both herself as well as me, the consumer, she could shove her merchandise where the sun doesn’t shine.

  49. humphrmi says:

    @Falconfire: Probably for the same reason that the rule in the merchant agreement isn’t enforced… because as soon as someone gripes about it, everyone else says “Just shut up and show your ID…”

    “To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men” – Abraham Lincoln

    “The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” -Louis D. Brandeis

  50. exkon says:

    Sigh, more of the consumer not showing ID because they don’t want too…

    I’m just a little annoyed because it always seems that the business at fault. It’s pretty simple they just seem to be protecting your ID. I’m glad some companies still do this.

    Is your driver license picture that bad?

  51. Skankingmike says:

    @specialed5000: and have you ever been personally asked to show paper work while randomly walking around?

    probably not so again this isn’t Nazi Germany Russia or even Franco Spain.

    So stop with the propaganda.

  52. AMetamorphosis says:


    You are wrong. The signature that matters is the one on the application & the reciept you sign.

    The signature line on the back of the card is simply so the merchant can match it to your reciept.

  53. mantene says:

    @Skankingmike: And THAT is where we definitely have a problem. When exercising your rights makes you look guilty then there is something wrong. Now, I personally think he should have flashed his ID. What is the big deal? As long as they don’t take any info down it is fine. But when NOT showing your ID marks you as a criminal then there is something wrong with the system.

  54. jblake1 says:

    How would you feel if you were asked to present id every time you make a cash transaction? Checking an id is a false sense of security as it is NOT universally practiced, doesn’t really do anything for the consumer in 99.99% of cases as most people have never had their wallet nor will they ever have their “actual” credit card stolen. If you see a fraudulent charge on your credit card call your card company dispute the charge and have a new card issued. Simple as that.

  55. joshthephenom says:

    I write “See Photo I.D.” on the back of all my credit cards. I like it when people check for a signature, and compare it to my DL. In fact, if a server does it, I make sure to tip them extra.

  56. Jaysyn was banned for: https://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:


    The “ignorant” woman was correct & you were wrong. If it’s not signed it means that you haven’t agreed to card issuer’s terms. Would you like to guess what would happen if you did have to file a fraud report & mentioned to VISA / Mastercard that you didn’t sign that card.

  57. bohemian says:

    If stores had a standard policy that you must show ID in order to use a card and printed it on their front door I would have less of a problem with it.
    Part of the issue is that it is arbitrary and I have seen clerks not check ID on one person and give the next one a major hassle demanding multiple ID . It is some sort of personal bias profiling when they do it that way. It is basically calling someone a thief when they only do it to some people.

  58. differcult says:

    Where do all of you PRO-Show your ID people think fraud happens. It happens when someone at store, making $6.50 an hour has the ability to find your zipcode and recover your credit card number, all they need is your ccv and they can steal as much as they want…


  59. Jmatthew says:

    “When they are checking your ID they are trying to help fight against identity theft. “

    part of the whole selling point about MC/Visa back when they were new is that you wouldn’t have to fill out a check and provide ID to prove that you were you. Visa basically offered to eat the costs of any fraud that happened with the idea that the ease of use would make up for those costs for the banks.

    The “asking for ID” phenomenon is just an extra step that isn’t necessary and is at least slightly annoying. The insane thing is there’s no point. Both the consumer and the business are protected from fraud by the visa licensing agreement (although honestly, a small purchase may be under the “deductible,” which may be why you hear about this more with resteraunts, convenience stores, etc…

    I’m less concerned with privacy and more concerned that this will continue to evolve.

    Me: “Here’s my visa”
    Merchant: “Can I see your ID”
    Me: “Here’s my ID”
    Merchant: “Great sign here…. and fill out your address and ph…and write out the dollar amount long hand please… “

  60. nweaver says:

    Guys, what is this obsession with not showing ID on credit card purchases, citing the “Merchant Agreement” bit?

    The merchant agreement is CONTRADICTORY!

    If the merchant accepts a stolen card because they didn’t check the ID, the merchant eats the cost, because the credit card company says “You didn’t execute due care”!

    Frankly, just get the Costco amex and say “check the back”

  61. chemmy says:

    Not for nothing…. But all the IHOPS’s around here have big signs at the entrance and at the register (which you have to walk past when being seated) stating that they will not accept credit or debit cards without a valid photo id.

    I’m in the minority here but I generally like it when they ask for photo ID because I feel it protects me – who knows if my card were stolen what charges could be racked up because nobody cared….

  62. bohemian says:

    @jblake1: Ironically the level that most store clerks actually check said ID it could be easily faked too.
    If you leave said ID in a wallet window it would be even easier.

  63. Wormfather says:

    @Buran: You’re wrong, the MasterCard and Visa (diff companies) Rules are very easy to get a hold of and the contract that a company signs with their aquierer state that they aggree to follow those rules. The Merchant Aggreement as far as that goes is unwavering, yes there are different rules for different industries but as far as that ID thing goes, it doesnt change.

    I’m not living in Pre WWII Germany, I’m not giving anyone ID unless I explicitly have to. And this whole asking for ID, sorry buddy, none of your buisness, even if I’m not who this card says I am, there is nothing you can do about it.

    Finally, people, you have fruad proteciton on your card, if not, find a new bank. If someone charges your card fraudently IT’S NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. The issuing banks are the only ones that could force Visa/MasterCard to change the rules to include showing identification. They wont, you know why? Because they’re more concerned about acceptance, credit cards want to completly elliminate cash and checks off the face of the earth, they cant do that if it’s too much of a hastle. The Banks make money from both ends when you swip that card. And a percentage of that money goes straight into an accrual account for fraud, but that account has nothing on how much they write off in bad debts (to the tune of $60B back in 2002 when I worked for MC).

    Oh and another thing, the same people who ask you for ID are the same people who tell you there’s a minimum to use a card. That’s BS you can charge 0.50 to your card and they have to like it…rules of acceptance!

    To close, “no you cant see my id, it’s mine and you’ve got no right to it. Besides it’s in accurate, it say’s that I’m 6’3” 220lbs…that was like 4 years ago. lol.

  64. specialed5000 says:

    @Squard: Unless I missed it, no one compared this to Cold War East Germany. In fact, Suboth was specifically saying the opposite, expressing skepticism about laws requiring people to carry ID, saying that the US is not like Cold war Germany. The exact same point that you seem to be making.

    The comments that have followed about ID, laws about carrying ID, and the police, while a little of topic from IHOP, are at least peripherally related, and have not been forced, but understandable side thoughts brought up by previous comments.

    I agree that paranoia about showing ID is a little bit ridiculous, but can still appreciate the arguments of those who make a point of not showing ID.

  65. bonzombiekitty says:

    @jblake1: That’s a whole different case. In a cash transaction there’s nothing for a merchant to gain protection wise by seeing your id when it comes to payment. However, checking id for a credit card transaction helps to ensure that the card belongs to the person presenting it.

    I’m with the “stop being so self-righteous” crowd. Unless the merchant is recording your information, you are not being harmed in any way by being asked for ID.

  66. AnderBobo says:

    @AMetamorphosis: [usa.visa.com]

    “See ID” renders the card invalid until it is signed. An unsigned credit card can be refused at the POS if the merchant wants to be a pain. I used to work for a credit card company.

  67. Letsgohokies says:

    If my credit card had been stolen, and the guy that stole it was running around using it everywhere, I would be grateful for some clerk asking for ID. It takes two seconds to flip your wallet out and show ID. You are cutting off your nose to spite your face by being a right-fighter.

  68. specialed5000 says:


    “: and have you ever been personally asked to show paper work while randomly walking around?
    probably not so again this isn’t Nazi Germany Russia or even Franco Spain.
    So stop with the propaganda. “

    No, of course not. Stop reading things into what I said. I didn’t even express a strong personal opinion at all one way or the other about the topic. All I did was to present some FACTS (with a link to additional information and analysis) in response to comments expressing doubt about the constitutionality about laws requiring ID. The presentation of FACTS, with references, is the opposite of propaganda.

    For the record, I think that state laws requiring people to carry ID are probably a good idea, but also think that the way that they are used should be closely watched to make sure that police aren’t abusing them to harass people.

  69. bigmac12 says:

    You should deliver “fully digested” panckes in the paper bag!

  70. hugslife says:

    I like the presumption that a cashier/manager/waiter asking for ID actually give it anything more than a cursory glance.

    Reader Jered is a textbook narcissist.

  71. Caveat says:

    I am sure that if you had LOST your credit card and all sort of unrecognized credit card charges appeared on your bill to pay, you would have been fighting mad (again) saying that the merchant should have checked ID before accepting your lost or stolen card as payment. There should be a database that tracks the amount of times cardholders hassle merchants, and if a level is exceeded they should cancel your credit card. There is NO LAW saying that you have a right to a credit card or that merchants have to accept any of your credit cards. The only law is that they must accept US cash. I am sure you would have complied and shown your ID to the police.

  72. FreeMarketGravy says:

    @differcult: Paranoia’s an ugly color.

    @Jmatthew: Did I miss the part where complying with showing your ID means you HAVE to comply with these fictitious requests to copy information off it or do anything more than show it?

    There’s a lot of places where the snowball theory applies. This is not one of them.

  73. EllenRose says:

    This is, in a way, a “slippery slope” thing.

    I have been given a lot of trouble when purchasing a laptop computer with cash. “Are you up to something?” was the general tone. Now comes the possibility of the same with a credit card. “Are you who you are, or are you up to something?” And of course, there’s the problem of cashing a check.

    Eventually, this could end up in a state of generalized paranoia, with merchants recording who we are, what we are buying, and where we live in a giant searchable database. Cue the security leaks.

    I don’t see why the customer doesn’t have as much right to paranoia as the merchant here. And I’m not sure I want to have my movements and activities followed. But as these things go, once they have my credit card they have it all; so why not give ’em your drivers’ license? Of course, if you don’t like the looks of the clerk, you might ask for theirs …

  74. Zombilina says:

    “y wife then showed her Visa(same account number) and her ID, and was fully embarrassed and outraged that they were trying to have me arrested because THEY refused to accept payment.”

    You know, if my husband were to throw a fit like that in the middle of a restaurant, I’d be pretty embarrassed too. I’m with everyone who thinks this is just ridiculous.

  75. Buran says:

    @Jaysyn: Good to know, but I should also have stated that that does vary by state. I’d like to see someone double-check the FL requirement, though — one person says it’s true after all, but I’d also like to see the law in question, since that sounds strange — kids under driving age for instance have no real reason to get a state ID card .

  76. Doctor_Flarb says:

    The only reason to ask for photo ID is if the card isn’t signed on the back. It’s interesting that there’s no mention at all (in this story) about wether the card was signed on the back or not…

  77. Wormfather says:

    @AnderBobo: He doesnt have to carry cash, IHOP should check the signature, beyond that, if someone used his card, he’d most likely be like damn. Call the credit card company and move on. It’s not that big of a deal.

  78. PinkBox says:

    We are already required to show our IDs for certain purchases, so why all the upset for showing our ID for others?

    I’m asked to show mine all the time, and I really think nothing of it.

    As for the Florida law requiring you to have your ID at all times… that seems like overkill. Does that mean I should keep it strapped to me while swimming?

  79. AnderBobo says:

    @Wormfather: He turned it into a huge deal where it escalated to him almost getting arrested. Like if you are that much of a credit card commando, just keep 20 bucks on you at all times to pay for the smaller (IHOP) purchases. It sounds as if he enjoys hunting out merchants who ask to see ID just so he can hope on the self-righteous pony and ride off into the sunset. I kind of wish he had been arrested “Officer visa said I DO NOT have to give you my fingerprints, what about my PRIVACY?!”

  80. azntg says:

    @Caveat: Why would I wish that the merchants checked for ID when I’m not liable for any of the fraudulent charges?

    ID checks can be red herrings. As I’ve commented in countless other articles regarding this issue, even official state issued IDs can be forged (I was there to eyewitness it unfortunately).

    Furthermore, in certain cases of ID theft and credit card fraud, ID check is also useless. Crooks can create a card in your name and plus add their alias as an authorized user. Fat lot of good the ID check would’ve done for you! Just ask my mother, who had one hell of a time trying to fix things up after she was a victim of that kind of ID theft.

  81. Buran says:

    @Wormfather: No, I’m not wrong. There are GENERIC rules on the website, but did you see the part where it states that the SPECIFIC agreement or other “standards” supercede the one on the website?

    Like I said, how are these people magically familiar with the actual terms and magically know better than the STORE’S OWN EMPLOYEES what the rules are?

    Also, stores have the right to refuse service to anyone, so if they believe you are trying to defraud them, that’s within their right.

    They aren’t denying you because of your race or any other protected class. They’re denying you because you are behaving in such a way that indicates that you are likely trying to defraud them; after all, if it’s really your card, you wouldn’t have a problem proving that you’re the person named on it.

  82. Wormfather says:

    Oh and another thing, the only people who take a bath in the case of a fraudulent transaction is the issuing bank. A merchant would have to have over 6% of there transactions in two consecutive months be fraudulent before they would inccur any penalties (in almost all cases that’s a result of internal fraud). The only way the consumer can be liable is if they never checked there bill and waiting forever to report it lost or stolen.

  83. Geekybiker says:

    I can’t remember the last time I had to show ID for CC use at a restaurant. Heck, most of the fast food places don’t even make you sign anymore.

  84. eben56 says:

    What I find amazing is that if someone on this site complains about a bank’s fees or method of computing penalties, every one is all over them how they “signed the agreement” “you should have read the fine print”…. But when a business violates the terms of the agreement they signed everyone is “just show the ID” etc, etc.
    Just another example of how business has trained the masses that only the consumer has to follow the rules.

  85. Buran says:

    @jblake1: IF they copied it down, which they don’t 99.9% of the time.

  86. mikelotus says:

    @sponica: i mind. how do you know most don’t mind? Have you taken a scientific survey?

    And why is it that so many fools seem to think that its OK for the merchant to violate their agreement with the credit card companies? If they don’t want to follow the terms, then they should not offer the service. VISA, MC and AMEX should put the hammer down on these fools once and for all. And the problem is that IHOP. I have never been asked for an ID in an IHOP before.

    And why would anyone believe that you are required to carry an ID in Florida at all times? For one the Supreme Court has said no. And my great-grandparents in Florida had no license or equivalent ID. Everyone does not drive believe it or not.

  87. Buran says:

    @Wormfather: Nope — they charge the transaction back to the merchant, who is out the charge PLUS a chargeback fee when the real cardholder signs an affadavit stating that the charges are fraudulent.

    I’ve had to do this before, wish I didn’t know this firsthand…

    IHOP is protecting themselves from financial harm here.

  88. Buran says:

    @eben56: We’ve already explained it, and they’re not the same thing. And yes, if you sign something it’s your own fault if you don’t like the consequences of what you agree to.

  89. BlackFlag55 says:

    I now carry cash only when dealing with mechants. Twenties only because I’ve had merchants refuse to take hundreds. The whole business with credit and debit cards has not been an asset to my daily life, but instead has presented me with daily opportunities for ID theft, skimming numbers, fraudulent activity on my name, and potentially draining the debit card account. This miracle of modern banking has not worked in my favor, instead has put me at risk. I’m back to cash-money.

    But the point of honor is that Mastercard rules the Rules, and the Rules explicitly state no ID required. Simultaneously, Mastercard seems utterly passive about enforcing their own rules. That’s the quandry. Merchants say Mastercard does chargebacks for failed, fraudulent transactions while at the same time Mastercard’s rules state the cardholder does not have to present ID. It’s a Mastercard bureaucracy probelm. Playing both ends against the middle. You get to carry the water for both sides of this argument.

    Personally, I’d like a Swarrm at this iHop. Give us the location of the restaunrant, and as many of us who can get there should show up, eat, and pay with a Mastercard and no ID.


    One person is can be intimidated. Several hundred with cell phone cameras and Mastercard CS on speed dial is a problem.

  90. ousterj says:

    This ‘your papers please’ behavior by Merchants must not be tolerated. If polite requests do not elicit change then I believe that “Informational Picketing” can be a powerful tool for consumers.

  91. Buran says:

    @mikelotus: *sigh* You haven’t read the multiple comments that explain why you can’t go by what you read on the website.

    Do you work for IHOP? Tell us what the real deal is. If not, then you really literally don’t know what you’re talking about and should not behave as if you have IHOP’s proprietary (probably under NDA, too) information.

  92. Wormfather says:

    @Buran: I think you’re missunderstanding a consumer’s recources here, they have no right to sue, but they have the right to file a complaint with MC/Visa and have visa levy a $500 fine on them per occurance (they will, they love those things)

    If a merchant thinks that a transactioin is fraudulent they have to make a code 10 call to MC/Visa for verification. That’s it. So merchants should check the damned signatures and let me be on my merry way because I’m not giving you my address ht, wt, eye color, driver’s licence number nor am I revealing whether or not I’m a doner.

    Further more, fake IDs arnt that hard to come by and even still if this transaction turns out to be fraud no one’s comming to ask you if you checked my ID and you’re for the umpteenth time not protecting me, I’ve got nothing at stake in a fruadulent transaction (been there, got the t-shirt).

    Could I show you my ID, most likely, but I dont have to and I’m not going to and the law doesnt force me to.

    You say you accept cards but then after I’ve eaten, decide that I need ID or else, your bad. If I’m purchasing goods and you then say not without ID, fine, I’ll leave but I’m making a phone call when I get home.

    Oh and look in your credit card aggreement, there’s nothing about you having to show an ID.

  93. AnderBobo says:

    @BlackFlag55: I wouldn’t be surprised if IHOP had you all arrested in that case. IHOP is only doing this, b/c they are able to. If the OP had a huge issue with this he should have taken it to Mastercard directly and filed a complaint against this particular merchant. Just b/c you have a Mastercard card doesn’t make you some rogue field agent that gets to spout of rules and regulations, complee the transaction, file a complaint and then don’t patron the business.

    Give me a break, if a company you enjoy wants to protect their own selves with a simple verification so they can continue to provide you with a service, why make it that much harder for them?

  94. RagingBoehner says:

    When I was a waiter some people would hand me both their license and their credit card. I didn’t need their license so I’d just hand it back to them. “But it says SEE ID on the back!” they’d say. Well you can write check dental records or shoe size on there too — I’m not going to do it just because you wrote it.

  95. Youthier says:

    I’m glad that you included that picture of the policy if we’re going to keep having these “they want me to show ID” posts.

    Can you find a scan of the “unsigned cards are invalid policy” as well? That would eliminate about 20 of the comments in this thread.

  96. Wormfather says:

    @Buran: “they charge the transaction back to the merchant, who is out the charge PLUS a chargeback fee when the real cardholder signs an affadavit stating that the charges are fraudulent.”

    That is simply untrue, they is a fee (typically around 2%, the same as if they issued a refund). The only way they’re paying the whole thing is fi they dont respond to the information request sent by the issuing bank. The issuing bank is going to want to see a receipt with a signature, if not, you the merchant has to pay. For fraud with a signature there is a little process that I used to be in charge of that requires a merchant violate the chargeback program 2 months in a row (based on % of volume) once you’re in violation the MC/Visa (MC’s rules are tighter) release a monthly publication to the issuers noting that “These Merchants are in violatioin of the Excessive Fraud Program and must accept chargebacks for fraudulent charges)

    I’ve very passionate about this here.

  97. Justin42 says:

    @AnderBobo: Actually, I do sign my card, but put SEE ID very large right next to my ID.

    Still, I get asked for ID probably barely 50% of the time.

  98. Justin42 says:

    (erm, I mean “SEE ID” next to my signature)

  99. SadSam says:

    Um there is no law in Florida that requires someone to have an ID with them at all times. Yes if you are driving you have to have a driver’s license although you can get around that if you are nice. I don’t carry my ID with me – if someone asks me for ID when I’m purchasing goods or services (besides alcohol) I say no thank you. If they press I tell them I don’t have it with me and generally the request is withdrawn. If not I’ve walked out of stores and left my planned purchases (at this point scanned and bagged) behind. Is it Nazi Germany to ask for an ID with a credit card – no – but I don’t have to go along with it. I don’t shop at stores that ask for ID or receipts, etc. and I let them know.

  100. Buran says:

    @Wormfather: You can complain. That doesn’t mean they’ve actually done something wrong. I can file a complaint about getting a ticket for running a red light but that doesn’t make me right, the cop wrong, the light green, or the ticket void. They’ll just laugh at my ignorance and arrogance.

    And you seem to be another one of those who thinks they know the actual agreement and is under the misconception that the stuff on the website is just a basic informational document and can be and is superceded by individual contracts … and forgets that a store has the right to refuse sale for anything other than protected class (race etc).

  101. Buran says:

    @Buran: is NOT just a basic informational document.

  102. Buran says:

    @Wormfather: And if the signature is not the actual cardholder’s signature, then it’s the store’s fault for failing to verify the transaction.

    Like I said. I’ve been through this.

    I’m very passionate about this here.

  103. katra says:

    @Wormfather: You realize that many stores DO have a minimum for credit card purchases, right? Sure, you can charge $0.50 on that card, but if they have to pay a quarter in processing fees, the business is not worth it.

  104. jjeeff says:

    Here are the two choices you present to IHOP:
    1) Pay with cash and leave zero tip
    2) Accept credit card with no ID and leave appropriate tip

  105. InsaneNewman says:

    But they’re not allowed to. That’s the whole point. Minimum charges are a violation of MC/VISA’s terms.

  106. AnderBobo says:

    @katra: Per the MC/Visa agreement merchants are not allowed to designate a minimum purchase amount. So if I want to buy a piece of gum for 25 cents they are required to accept my visa purchase.

    So many gas stations etc. have a minimum which I really don’t ever argue over. Although I was at a gas station with like a 5 dollar minimum and their ATM was broken and I had no cash and they still wouldn’t waive it to allow me to buy a water. I did the whole “you have to ” argument but just gave up and left.

  107. DrGirlfriend says:

    I am continually amazed at the things that people will suddenly get off their asses to stand up for.

  108. dragonvpm says:

    This is mainly directed at the folks talking about protection from identity theft. There are reasons why the procedures for physical cards tend to be different than those for electronic transactions.

    If you’re using the physical card, the standard “ID verification” method is supposed to be checking the pre-existing, in-ink signature on the back of the card with the signature on the charge slip and having the card swiped so the charge can be authorized. That’s the entire point to having a signature strip on the back of the card. Otherwise they could forgo with that and insist that you always carry your state issued ID card with a signature.

    If you do show your ID when you present your card you are potentially setting up a situation where an unscrupulous employee could glean your address and use that in conjunction with the information they already have from the card to ring up electronic transactions sometime in the future.

    Is that likely? I haven’t heard of it happening too much (but it does happen). I’ve also heard enough stories about employees taking down card info when they take it to the back (remember all merchant terminals can be used by manually typing the number into the machine so they could easily go to town if they have a few friends who work retail). Therefore I’m usually reluctant to use my card in any situation where I can’t monitor it the entire time. At a restaurant, I’ll usually walk up to the register so I can have it rung up in front of me and I’ll sign the slip there.

    Basically, there are a lot of surprisingly creative dishonest people out there. In this day and age, criticizing someone for being more paranoid than you is condescending and a bit dumb. We can each be as paranoid as we feel the need to be and we each assume the risks inherent in that behavior, don’t knock someone who is willing forgo a little retail convenience for a little extra financial security.

  109. dweebster says:

    Sorry to bring this up, but at least in America we have the “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects…” and showing every goddamn clerk who decides they “need” to see something of mine they don’t have a right to see is simply something to resist.

    Unless I can ask and receive from that same clerk and/or manager their home or mailing address, DL#, etc – then take the friggin’ card that you post on your window as accepting. Some people have pretty photographic memories, I don’t need your stalker cashiers or managers showing up at my house to oogle my girlfriend or molest my kids.

    Someone trying to use an unreported stolen credit card for $17.50 in waffles is likely very rare, your 15-30% interest rate covers the occasional bank losses just fine, and the hell if I’m going to be a “good german” and watch my democracy slip into something more sinister one pancake breakfast at a time.

  110. dweebster says:

    @DrGirlfriend: It’s about friggin’ time, too.

  111. Orv says:

    @Buran: Sometimes these are local ordinances, too. Usually they’re meant to discourage vagrants.

  112. chrylis says:

    @lesspopmorefizz: I refuse to show a photo ID for credit-card transactions primarily as a matter of principle. When companies all over the place are using the “it’s policy” excuse to screw customers over, it makes me want to ensure that they’re playing by the rules, too.

    This especially perplexed me when a local chain store tried this. First, you’d expect them to know better (and I’m sure their manager got a call from corporate after I complained to VISA)… but even more amazing, this store has self-checkout kiosks where you can use a credit card without anyone ever seeing the thing!

  113. Baz L says:

    *sigh*. Ok, these should be the options:
    1. if this is something you really believe it. Take a stand and a ride in the back of a cop car.
    2. shut up and show the ID

    Why are we taking option 2. and still coming and cry about it later?

    If you are so concerned about this, why are you caring your DL around anyway? Why not just say you didn’t have it? No one cares about your stupid ID OK. Not to mention you flash your ID dozens of times in other situations, what’s the difference?

    Stores are rationing rice, gas is 3.50 a gallon, … and THIS is what we want to take a stand for?

  114. sethom says:

    The card ID thing is so crap. I gave my wife’s credit card the other day and they asked for ID, I showed them my ID, a totally different name. They don’t even check for real.

    It’s funny too my wife and I own a retail store and I’ve seen high end clients hand their credit card and license without even asking. Granted we ask for an address and phone number usually.

  115. stuffedcrust says:

    I found this on another site when searching for information on amex regarding IDs:

    “MasterCard wants to hear about merchants who break their rules. Send the name and address and an account of what happened to:

    MasterCard International,
    c/o Radio City Station,
    P. O. Box 1288,
    New York, NY 10101.

    The merchant’s bank will get a stiff letter, ordering it to investigate and bring the offending store into line – or pay a $2,000 fine.”


  116. Orv says:

    @dweebster: You have the right to not show your ID, it’s true. But the store also has the right to choose not to do business with you.

  117. dh86sj says:

    I always thank the clerk when I’m asked to provide ID. In fact, I have “SEE ID” written on the back of my cards. Now, I know that technically this means they’re not valid. However, I would like to think that if I lost my card it would be a small measure of protection.

  118. Sasquatch says:

    I am personally happy to show my ID when asked for it during a
    credit card transaction. It shows that the business is serious about
    preventing credit card fraud, and in fact makes me more prone to
    frequent that business. Then again, I’m not a paranoid lunatic who
    thinks that showing my ID is akin to being shaken down by the gestapo.

  119. Letsgohokies says:

    I found this on Visa’s site regarding minimum purchases. Someone was talking about those not being allowed a little ways up.

    “Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items. They also are not permitted to charge you a fee when you want to use your Visa card.

    If you run into a problem like this with a merchant, please notify the financial institution that issued you your Visa card. These institutions have access to the appropriate Visa rules and regulations and can help you document and file your complaint. You’ll find their address and/or telephone number on your Visa statement. Their telephone number may also appear on the back of the card itself. “

  120. @lesspopmorefizz: Yeah, I was going to say the same thing when I read this article. We see a lot of stories here about people refusing to show ID when paying by credit card, and I have yet to see any explanation as to why people are so against proving that they are indeed the cardholder. Is this some weird paranoia, just some misguided attempt to “stick it to the man”, or is there some logical, reasonable argument for not showing ID? (Ditto showing your receipt when you leave Sam’s Club/Costco/etc. I don’t mind taking 3 seconds to show my receipt on the way out, and I don’t interpret this as an implicit accusation of thievery.)

  121. forgottenpassword says:

    I have been going to ihop (at least once a week) for years, always pay with a credit card (the amount is usually around $8) and never once was asked for ID. Only problem I ever had with my local ihop was one turd of a shift manager who apparently thought I was taking advantage of ihop buy one meal.. get one free coupons available in the newspaper (4 coupons came in one newspaper). I had 8 to use & would use 2 a week. The miserable SOB made up some bullshit that the coupons were not for “to go” orders, but nothing was said on the coupons specifying this.

    Well, I WAS PISSED! I contacted corporate complaint dept via email & got a phone call from someone there saying that I was correct & that the shift manage was wrong. And that the manager of the Ihop would be contacted about this issue.

    I used the rest of my coupons with no trouble.

  122. stacye says:

    It’s pretty surprising to me about how many people DON’T know their rights.

    To the people who keep saying you MUST have an ID on you at all times: NO, this is FALSE. You will only get in trouble if you refuse to identify yourself verbally. Please read up on Stop And Identify Statutes: [en.wikipedia.org]

  123. forgottenpassword says:

    so… wtf happens if all you have on you is your credit card? Automatic trip to jail?

  124. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @specialed5000: So yes, for now it is constitutional (or at least not directly tested) for states to pass laws requiring people carry ID at all times, and many of them have.


    There’s no Constitutional problem with a law requiring a person to identify himself to a police officer when that police officer is detaining and questioning him regarding a specific crime. In fact, This kind of law exists in several states, and has been upheld by the SCOTUS (For example, the Hiibel case mentioned above)

    But there is an enormous difference between that and being required to carry some form of identification papers, or to present them upon demand.

    So unless someone can provide a link to an actual statute, I’ve got to call BS on this. There is no state in the US that has a law requiring citizens to carry identification papers on them at all times.

  125. MasterShazbot says:


    Sure, you can charge $0.50 on that card, but if they have to pay a quarter in processing fees, the business is not worth it. everywhere I’ve worked credit card fees are a % of the transaction. Debit is another story, that was a flat rate

  126. AMetamorphosis says:


    Well then I make thousands of dollars a year worth of purchases that are not valid yet I don’t worry about any further identity theft and Visa & Mastercard seem to have no problem with this.

    Please tell me how a signature on the back proves that I am indeed the cardholder ?

    Especially when most signature lines are worn off and completely unreadable.

    My attorney suggested the method I use after the fiasco of having my wallet stolen and other than that one merchant, I have never had anyone give me a hard time for this.

    I’m not saying that you should HAVE to show an ID to use the card, I choose such a method to protect my identity. Visa & Mastercard sure didn’t care when I had to fight all the erroneous charges.

  127. I’ve been wrestling back and forth on this issue over the past several months, and having worked in retail I feel very close to the issue… but I believe I’ve come down on the side of ID being required.

    Now, I realize that IHOP breaking the card merchant agreements is not a good thing, but personally I believe that the merchant agreements should be changed. The epiphany for me was a few weeks ago when I went to Best Buy to purchase something for my job. I was using the company credit card, which doesn’t have my name on it, and I don’t have any way of proving that I am authorized to use it. So I go to Best Buy to get a $400 external hard drive, I take it to the counter, swipe my card, and I’m sure that I’m going to be stopped… but I’m not! A $400 transaction with a swipe… no PIN, no ID, she didn’t even ask to see the card.

    If my credit card were stolen, I would want someone to ask for ID in a situation like this. Again, I am not defending the fact that IHOP broke clear rules from Visa and MC in black and white, I’m just suggesting that with ID theft on a huge upswing, maybe we should change the rules a bit to protect everyone.

  128. Saboth says:


    I’m not sure why the customer can’t sue.

    You see, the restaurant not only asked to see ID, but they lied to law enforcement, stating the customer was attempting a “dine and dash”, when that absolutely did not occur. Basically falsely accusing a person of theft when they offered legitimate compensation for the service.

  129. Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

    SEE ID on the back of a card is a pain in the arse for cashiers. I worked a booth at a festival once and there were a lot of those cards used. Half the people had to fiddle around wasting time getting it out, putting it back, not to mention my time “checking it”. What if it didn’t look like them? Was I going to call the cops? Heck no.

    Personally, my license shows me 20 lbs heavier and with a pixie blond haircut (my hair is mid-back and brown now). I look NOTHING like that photo now. Yet some merchants ask for it, I show it, they accept it. Stupid, just a waste of time.

  130. boosterts says:

    The people who come here and say that IHOP is just trying to fight credit card fraud might be completely correct. They could also do this 100% by not accepting VISA and Mastercard. The fact is that they have chose to accept these forms of payment and have to follow the rules that go with them, even unpopular ones like charging $0.45 to a customers VISA or accepting a Mastercard with no ID.

    If they want to combat these problems they are perfectly able to within the merchant agreement, but no one should look down on an individual for refusing to get less convenience or protection than is being advertised by VISA and Mastercard. I don’t have to show ID to make a purchase and I can charge whatever amount I want even $0.01. Stores can ask for and ID, but by their agreement they cannot refuse if the request is not honored. If they have a problem doing this they should rethink their decision to accept these forms of payment.

    FYI – IF you write see ID and don’t sign your card then it is not valid. If there is a chargeback on that item then the merchant won’t be able to fight it. Signitures they need to check. IDs they cannot demand.

  131. I think people should be a bit more forgiving about this kind of stuff. IHOP isn’t being a bully; they asked for ID for a credit card and the person refused leading to the assumption that it was a stolen credit card. (After all, most normal people would show ID.)

    I think it’s appropriate to inform the general manager of the store about the merchant policy and ask them to check with corporate about it, but then I think it’s not unreasonable that you show ID to a manager who is less likely to steal your identity.

  132. rellog says:

    @specialed5000: Please name the states that REQUIRE individuals to carry ID… There aren’t any. IF you drive, you can be held to carrying your driver’s license, but you do not HAVE to carry some form of ID…

  133. pantsonfire says:

    I am personally grateful when a clerk asks for my ID. As to whether or not you may be arrested for failure to show the police identification, the answer to that question apparently falls into a bit of a gray area. The Supreme Court ruled in one case that the Fourth Amendment allows you to simply say no to any sort of search absent a warrant or probable cause (Terry Stops). Yet in another case the USSC upheld the arrest of a man simply for failure to identify himself. So I guess it depends a great deal on the judgment of the officer.

    the whole story here: [www.reason.com]

  134. Wormfather says:

    @Buran: I worked for MasterCard as the Merchant Fraud Control Analyst for 3 years.

  135. sgodun says:

    *sigh* This is bullshit. Just another whiney consumer unwilling to put forth the smallest amount of effort for the greater good. This is the type of person who won’t show a receipt when leaving a store simply because he doesn’t want to. Never mind the fact that such actions do reduce theft and fraud. No, that doesn’t matter. “Jered” just wanted some attention, nothing more.

    You KNOW that “Jered” would be the absolute first person to bitch and moan if his credit card were stolen and used to pay for the thief’s IHOP meal. I can hear it now: “Why didn’t IHOP check his ID?!?”

    Personally, I love it when a store checks ID with credit card purchases. It shows that they’re concerned about credit card fraud enough to take a small extra step to help ensure that the right person is using the card. Kudos to IHOP; I think I’ll go there for dinner tonight and pay for it with my MasterCard, just to balance out this stupid story.

  136. Mr. Bungle says:

    Here we go again. Personally I would rather just go about my business and not be bothered with having to argue with people. Why did his wife show her card and ID if it was such a big deal to him? And why did she file a complaint when she willingly gave them the info they wanted?

  137. AMetamorphosis says:

    Commical: Someone with a stolen credit card CHOOSING an IHOP for a meal.

    Baby, if I’m gonna piss away my karma with a stolen credit card for a meal, Morton’s here I come … ( grin )

  138. salguod_senrab says:

    @katra: and such minimum fees are also against the terms of the agreement and can also get the merchant in hot water with MC or Visa. A bunch of those signs have come down in our neighborhood after some judicious complaints to the card companies.

    What’s interesting to me is whether the police would have been right to do anything. My take on this:

    1) If IHOP just posted the card symbol stickers, but nothing else, the diner is in the right.

    2) If IHOP posted the rule about requiring ID, then IHOP would be in the right, but only vis-a-vis the diner. The diner could still complain to MC or Visa, who could then enforce their agreement.

    Another poster indicates that merchants have the right to refuse service (except for race). True. However, after a restaurant serves you, they can’t make up new rules about how you’re allowed to pay.

  139. delphi_ote says:

    The signature issue isn’t the problem here. The issue is threatening to call the police. It would be different if the man wasn’t willing to pay, but rational people could’ve come to an agreement.

    This is absolutely terrible management and customer service.

  140. Mary says:

    @sponica: Agreed. When working retail I was almost always thanked when I asked for ID on a credit card transaction, but our store’s policy was to only ask for ID if the card was unsigned, illegible, or had “see id” on the back.

    I personally sign the card and THEN write “please see ID” in the corner. And then promptly forget and am confused when people ask because 90% of the time they don’t.

    This just goes to show there is no such thing as a common consensus. I’d say most of us would rather have to show ID so our accounts are safe, where a handful of people would rather not show ID and protect their privacy or whatever.

  141. Mary says:

    @dweebster: “Some people have pretty photographic memories, I don’t need your stalker cashiers or managers showing up at my house to oogle my girlfriend or molest my kids.”

    You are seriously afraid of this? Really?

  142. Juggernaut says:

    The “Police State” comments are really getting kind of lame… ya know? I mean what are you – a wanted criminal, a tax revolutionary or FLDS?

  143. thalia says:

    I love how people complain about people asking for their ID with their credit card payment, but then when their credit card gets stolen and used at a local shop, they become outraged and say, “But why didn’t you check their ID???”

  144. hazelwoodfarm says:

    @AnderBobo: I hate the people who have nothing to hide. Because they give everyone else a presumption of guilt. I have nothing to hide either. I just don’t like it when authority figures feel the need to circumvent the Fourth Amendment.

  145. Coder4Life says:

    uhhh.. JUST SHOW THE FREAKIN ID. you idiots..

    I hope you peopel get arrested.. Seriously..

    They are trying to protect you from Identity Theft.

  146. Supernaut says:

    For FYI, here’s Visa’s policy:


    From page 29:

    “Although Visa rules do not preclude merchants from asking for cardholder ID, merchants cannot make an ID a condition of acceptance. Therefore, merchants cannot refuse to complete a purchase transaction because a cardholder refuses to provide ID. Visa believes merchants should not ask for ID as part of their regular card acceptance procedures.”

  147. Orv says:

    @Juggernaut: I just think it’s funny that people think IHOP asking for ID is the leading edge of a police state.

    They should be spending their time protesting something that really is a threat, like wiretapping or CCTV cameras in public places.

  148. calvinneal says:

    @Jaysyn: There is no national id law. State id laws are unconstitutional. Florida has such a law? Its unconstitutional. Your only obligation in this country is to identify yourself to the authorities. That can be verbal. The police don’t want to deal with this crap.

  149. AMetamorphosis says:

    To those of you that think this is similar to the ” show a receipt @ Walmart ” you’re wrong.

    If I ask a mechant to check my ID against my credit card I am protecting my accounts and doing the merchant a favor by protecting their payment.

    If a merchant asks to see my receipt AFTER I purchased an item the merchant is only protecting themselves. ( While insinuating I am a thief. )

    I care about my identity & possible theft. I don’t give a rat’s ass about Walmart’s poor security measures.

  150. Veeber says:

    @differcult: If they’re really that dumb do they have the capacity to execute this nefarious plan?

    It seems that there are much better ways to steal your info.

  151. mgomega says:

    Some folks are understandably touchy about showing ID. Personally, I’ve written “ASK FOR ID” in the signature bar of my card (no one ever asks – sad). But I’ll bet my card limit against yours that you’ll be the first person to be absolutely incredulous that Best Buy actually sold $10,000 of electronics to the guy who stole your card without thinking to ask for ID.

  152. StevieD says:

    As a Merchant I am responsible for any transaction involving stolen/fraud CC, EXCEPT when I have an active CC Fraud detection program in place that includes state issued photo ID verification.

    If I choose to ignore the policies I must accept the risk.

  153. @DeeJayQueue: Yes, in my state I’m required by law to have proof of insurance in my car at all times, and I still get 10 days or so to show up with it in court if I forget. Ditto license.

    And you know what, people? Sure, it’s “not a big deal” and these agreements are “never properly enforced” — right up until the company wants to screw the CONSUMER. Consumers have just as much right to demand companies abide by the letter of the law, or the official contract policies. God knows the companies do when it’s to their benefit.

    And it isn’t that far from this to “papers please.” I was just in an 8-month long dispute with a local government body I did some work for, that refused to pay me until I provided my social security card, on the grounds that my passport was inadequate proof of right to work in the U.S., federal law notwithstanding. :P

  154. @lesspopmorefizz:

    Will someone who disagrees please explain to me why you are opposed to showing ID when using your credit card? I’m not criticizing, but I really just don’t understand this guy’s reasoning, and I’d like to.

    Probably because a picture of my face is on the front of my VISA cards.

  155. Checking ID? How about they check the signature? I can’t remember the last time that a merchant actually looked at the signature. Wait, yes I can. That was when I was at the USPS and had to deal with the rules lawyer to the rules lawyer who works there.

    Speaking of which, maybe someone can answer me this: if they do go to compare the signature and it’s signed but it’s so smeared as to be ilegible, can they refuse to take the payment then? The aforementioned rules lawyer to the rulers lawyer indeicated if he couldn’t read it, it wasn’t signed and he can’t accept an unsigned card. Wondering if this is legal or not. In this case I offered to show ID but to no avail and I had to come back later when I had cash.

  156. RagingBoehner says:

    @lesspopmorefizz: Mostly out of laziness. I especially like retailers that now don’t require a signature even if the purchase is small enough. It speeds up the transaction time, lowering checkout lines and generally making my life easier.

    I don’t think I’ll ever complain that a merchant didn’t check ID if my card got stolen. After all, isn’t that why you have a zero-liability guarantee? Report the card missing and there’s no problem.

    Also, a lot of retailers will copy down your info and add you to their mailing list. Very uncool.

  157. Bobg says:

    I always compliment the clerk for checking my ID. Why should I get mad when they are trying to protect me from someone using my card illegally?

  158. @nursethalia:

    thats a strawman argument. If a store has a policy then the store needs to follow it at all times. If I am forced to abide by it, then I’d be doubly pissed when I see that the company can’t be bothered to follow it’s own rules.

    One doesn’t invalidate the other.

  159. freepistol says:

    my husbands debit card has his picture on it. cashiers start to ask for id, and then are like… well i know this is yours, your picture is on it. its nice, and they really pay attention, one cashier was going to refuse to sell me something when i used the card, but he was right beside me and was like “yea, shes my wife, she can have a pretty for herself on my card”

  160. Buran says:

    @dweebster: Those clerks aren’t government agents, so they’re not barred from it.

  161. Buran says:

    @Wormfather: Goody for you. Still doesn’t change my experience.

  162. Buran says:

    @Eyebrows McGee: That’s for driving, though, not just walking down the street. You have to be licensed and insured in most states to legally drive, but you need nothing to just be out in public other than driving etc.

    Your SSN is required in some government transactions too…

  163. trujunglist says:



  164. Shannon says:

    Welp, someone isn’t getting a tip!

  165. APFPilot says:

    Do you actually know anyone who has said that? I choose not to show ID, I have zero liability when someone uses my card with out my permission so I really could care less.

  166. thelushie says:

    @specialed5000: Facts are not a strong point of the Consumerist’s comment areas.

    I consider “I am not going to show my ID because I don’t have to. Its my ID. So there!” petty. There are so many more important things you can take a stand for. In fact, just about everything is more important than this.

    And to think that just because someone is working at IHOP, they want your identity so they will risk their jobs to write down your information is just stupid. Get your elitist heads out of your collective asses and wise up. These are the same people who will say their social security number loud and proud with about 20 people standing around. Dumbasses.

  167. jimconsumer says:

    @AnderBobo: I too think that being so righteous in the “I refuse to show my ID b/c it says I don’t have to, how DARE YOU” argument is kind of old and annoying.

    Sure, until the idiot behind the counter memorizes your driver’s license number, address, etc, and uses that information to steal your identity. It happens all the time. This is why people are being more and more cautious about who they show their ID to. If you have no legal need to see my ID, you don’t get to see it, and IHOP has no legal need. This protects me should your employees be dishonest.

  168. SpaceCowgirl01 says:

    I live like two blocks from that corporate headquarters in Glendale… want me to go bang on the door and demand they write you back? :P

  169. thelushie says:

    @SadSam: And then everyone else in line gets to laugh their asses off at you. Who knows, maybe you left something on the counter that the person behind you wants. But I am sure you don’t care. Trust me, the company will not miss your business.

  170. Orv says:

    @jimconsumer: They’re far more likely to skim your credit card number. If you’re that paranoid about dishonest employees, you really should be paying cash.

  171. Pithlit says:

    @nweaver: Not true. They can only charge it back to the merchant if the signatures don’t match. Which is why they aren’t supposed to accept your card if it isn’t signed. I worked in the fraud control department of a major credit card. Showing ID can in fact endanger you further and open you up to ID theft.

    I don’t show my ID, which is usually not an issue, but if the merchant insists, I don’t make the purchase. Thankfully it’s never happened in a restaurant. The guy is in the right, and IHOP is wrong.

  172. @Buran: Well, sure, but my point was that even when it’s “required” they still give you 10 days if you don’t happen to have it on you, in response to all the “who doesn’t carry their ID?” folks.

    I can certainly imagine walking to the nearby Blockbuster or Walgreens without my ID, and God knows the Walgreens IDs me when I try to buy toilet paper!

  173. paymogo says:

    This happened to me, too!

    Last week I called to place an order to go at the IHOP in Brooklyn. I wanted to pay in cash, but they told me I had to give them a credit card number b/c some people order food but never pick it up. My debit card account’s overdrawn (whoops), but I have a copy of a family credit card, so I just gave them that since they insisted on something.

    When I arrived at the restaurant to pick up my grilled cheese ($7), I waited at the counter for several minutes until a hostess came and asked to see my card and an ID. I said I didn’t have ID to match the card because it was a family card.

    The hostess told me that what I was doing was illegal and she would have to call management! I offered to pay in cash, but she gave me a hassle and said again that it was illegal and that she had told me on the phone to have an ID ready.

    A manager came out, and she too told me that what I was doing was illegal and that I needed an ID. Then she asked how come I couldn’t just pay in cash? I said I had offered to, but the hostess nixed the idea. The hostess (who was still standing right there) said, “No, I didn’t.” I walked out at that point and left my food behind. So rude!

  174. @Buran: Oh, and my SS card (not number, card) was NOT required for that transaction. Says right there on the I-9 — you can give one item from column A (passport) as proof of ID & residence and proof of right to work, OR you can give one from column B (ID & residence; drivers license) and one from column C (right to work; SS card, work visa, etc.). It even says right there on the damn form that employers can’t limit which forms of ID employees can provide as long as they’re on the list.

    The woman was a serious hyper-bitch about it, too, or I might have given in. But once she was bitchy to me, I got all adamant. I’ve NEVER used my SS card for I-9 purposes, and I’ve been working since I was 16. She just kept making shit up about how it was required by law. Every time I talked to her she had a new fake reason.

    (And what possibly annoyed me most of all was that I had made the point to her that I was a lawyer and I was well-aware of the law, and she didn’t care. But when I finally said, 8 months into the battle, that I had retained legal counsel, THEN she’s all “Oh, let me fix this for you.” Why should the threat of outside counsel work when the threat of ME BEING MY OWN TICKED OFF COUNSEL DOESN’T? GAAAAAA!)

  175. silentluciditi says:

    Honestly, if they’d just do away with those asinine customer swuiped card readers that everyone clamored for only a few years back so many problems would be solved. Most of the time it’s just dumb because they cashier see you swipe a card, then hands you a receipt to sign, and in many cases doesn’t even give the receipt a glance to double check. In fact, recently when asked my boyfriend produced his ID and apologized for the name being hard to read through the wallet’s plastic sheild. The clerk told him that it wasn;t a problem, she just wanted to make sure his ID picture looked like him. yeah, now there’s a GREAT way to prevent identity theft!

    Seriously, get rid of the customer swipe machines, go back to handing over your card, signing it, and the clerk verifying your signatures and THEN handing back the card. Geez, I remember the days in retail when we got our asses chewed out because we ASKED for ID, not because we didn’t.

  176. This is from in.gov, but the information is general and applies anyway:


    “You can be asked for ID only if you proffer a card that isn’t signed on the back. Then the merchant can ask for identification and require you to sign the card immediately.

    A merchant can ask for your address when you order by telephone. There it’s used to authorize the card, absent a signature….

    MasterCard wants to hear about merchants who break their rules. Send the name and address and an account of what happened to MasterCard International, c/o Radio City Station, P. O. Box 1288, New York, NY 10101. The merchant’s bank will get a stiff letter, ordering it to investigate and bring the offending store into line – or pay a $2,000 fine.

    Visa enforces the same rules as MasterCard. ‘When we hear about a violation, we ask the bank that signed the merchant to get together with the merchant and see that the practice is stopped,’ Visa representative states. To report a merchant, send a letter to the bank that issued your Visa card.

    American Express also prohibits merchants from asking for IDs. ‘All a merchant is supposed to do is take an imprint, make sure the signature matches and swipe the card through the terminal, to get authorization.'”

  177. Difdi says:

    @lesspopmorefizz: Showing your ID to someone who has handled your card puts all the data needed to steal your identity, at least as far as online transactions go, in the hands of the person you showed your ID to.

  178. Pro-Pain says:

    First of all, I NEVER accept cards that say SEE ID. That’s idiotic, I don’t care what your reasoning is. I’m not a fraud detective and I flat out don’t care. Nor, does any other minimum wage cashier. In this case, just show the ID though and be done with it, really…

  179. joellevand says:

    @Leiterfluid: Thank you! As an ex retail slave, I hated when people would present an unsigned card because it’s “more safe” than a signed card and then complain when I said the card agreement says it is not valid unless signed.

  180. cookmefud says:

    @Pro-Pain: if you’re not a fraud detective, then why bother looking for the signature in the first place?

  181. Pro-Pain says:

    @ cookmefud – you got me.

  182. Now if they want an ID when you pay cash, that’s a problem.

  183. Craig says:

    Add me to the list of people who think refusing to show ID is arrogant and selfish (since it often impacts others around you). Refusing to surrender your ID, on the other hand, is completely justifiable.

  184. whuffo says:

    What’s strange about this whole thing is the idea that a criminal who is using a credit card fraudulently would be taking it to IHOP so he could steal a $12 meal.

    Here’s a tip for you: if fraud is intended, they’re going for something they can pawn or resell. Electronics, cameras, jewelry. Big ticket items, not trivia. The criminal will charge all he can as quickly as he can because he knows that the card will be disabled very quickly. They’re not going to be sitting at an IHOP for an hour when they could be using the same time to run that card to the limit at the mall…

    This tale is just some self-important people at a second-rate restaurant taking matters into their own hands when a customer doesn’t submit to their demands.

  185. omyard says:

    Is the the same website that get’s outraged when retail stores stop customers to check the receipt? We get a flood of posts saying it’s against our rights to show a receipt.

    Yet we shouldn’t blink an eye when places want us to show ID for a purchase? We should just do it because it’s not a big deal.

    I’m confused. So we’re suppose to stand up for our rights on one topic, but completely bend over for another? What gives?

  186. Do_They_Get_It says:

    As someone who has called someone in for theft of service, I am very interested in how the police handled the situation at the scene.

    In my case, I was allowed to remove all parts I installed and they did not require me to reinstall the defective parts I removed..leaving system as I found it, not working but not sabotaged either ( I had left the defective parts for homeowner to see as I always do).

    MC/Visa agreement is very specific and the manager wanting to quote store policy was just wrong. The store policy arises from the fact they have very little protections and they wish to keep down their costs because they do not have benefit of address verification, but they can require their merchant services company to insist on the the CSC for all transactions that would bring down their costs some and perhaps give managment a clue. The policy of presenting ID’s came at a time when CC security was very low and fraud was very high, it has been outlawed in some states and as this poster pointed out, against the very Merchant Policies.

    It’s an IHOP and for the most part, this is not the place big-money perpetrators of fraud target.

  187. spamtasticus says:


    What law are you reffering to that requires you to have an ID in Florida? I live here and have never heard such a thing

  188. Do_They_Get_It says:

    I also need to add, most government agencies cannot and will not accept a card that simply says, “see ID” in signature strip. This is a violation of your user agreement and as we know, we do expect the governement (local or otherwise) to know the rules and follow them.

    You can sign the card and add, “see Photo ID” if this makes you feel more secure but no agency that has signed a merchant agreement can in good faith accept a card simply signed “See Photo ID.” Those that do, I guarantee they are employees who aren’t even aware of what is included in the merchant agreement nor do they even know that merchants are required to pay percentages for each and every transaction, and that percentage flucates if debit card, corporate card, with address verfication, without address verification (which is why you can’t use your credit card at high ticket item places such as car dealers over a certain amount just so you can get your “miles”.)

    Credit cards are in in business of making money, and not just on those who carry a balance but from the merchants who agree to accept them in the first place.

  189. lol they also do that in 99 cent stores Or in the 99 cent store they require that you purchase is a minimum of 20 dollars All of the above is against MC and Visa policy. If I want to buy a 99 cent toy I have the right What “usually” happens is that the credit card company say either abide by the rules or you cant use our services anymore.

  190. @omyard: But they are not checking the receipt at IHOP they want ID and Walmart does not ask for ID when you use your card.

  191. @Craig: If someone is going to use a stolen card they might even use a fake id hmmm The store is covered in case of fraud so they need to just take the card and keep it moving .

  192. @nursethalia: Or just use the cerdit card that has your photo on the card .

  193. @Pro-Pain: Oh yea I forgot about that If the card is not signed the store should ask for ID This was a method that people would use in case their card was lost or stolen .

  194. arcticJKL says:

    I think Visa etc. should change their policy to require and ID. That would end this issue and make the cards safer.

  195. Baz L says:

    Let’s compare this to something else, that we are more familiar with:
    As a black male, I’ve been stopped by the cops on more than a few occasions. I’ve been asked dozens of questions and asked for ID, etc. All for walking down the street wearing sweats and “looking suspicious”.

    In everyone of those cases, I had a choice:

    1. Assert my rights and refuse to show my ID to the cops. Possibly get a badge number and report to God knows who. Go through a lot of drama so that some cop gets a slap on the wrist.
    2. Do what the hell they say, and go home.

    If you want to be the Rosa Parks of Master Card, then fine. But, you don’t conform then go bitch about it later. That’s my stance.

  196. Concerned_Citizen says:

    File a suit in small claims court for the maximum amount against IHOP and the manager for this. You’ll win a couple thousand bucks and odds are the manager will be fired.

  197. evilhapposai says:

    The person checking you out or running the credit card is more likely than not the lowest paid employee in the store and well below poverty levels (I’m looking at you Walmart). Would much more likely to steal your information from your ID to make more money and we all know what high standards of character these retailers hire (again, looking at you Walmart)…..I think I will keep my ID yo myself from now on thank you.

  198. mijo_sq says:

    As a person working in retail/management, I find it funny when people complain about having to show ID.

    Things I’ve seen while working…
    1) Family members using other family members creditcards. (obviously having your kids buy a few hundred worth of liquor isn’t so bad is it??)
    2) Someone who obviously doesn’t own that creditcard. And when pressed, cannot show ID. Except an empty women’s wallet filled with creditcards.

    And the best one I’ve seen.
    3) Customer’s card declined the first transaction we ran. Then after trying to run a different card we find out, the second card was not theirs. We checked twice for ID, since we noticed the names were different.

    As I said it’s funny for people to complain about this. I try to prevent fraud at the first level, not facilitate growth.

    btw. Out of the hundreds of transactions we run (per month), I’ve had very few chargebacks….well unless you count those where their plant died…..*It ain’t my fault you don’t water your damn plant :P*

  199. xsmasherx says:

    @Saboth: Really? Cold war… Germany? What?

  200. rdunlap says:

    Ironically, showing ID at random times is a regular part of life in contemporary East Jerusalem, even for Americans. So much for the Nazi (or Cold War :-) ) Germany comparisons…

  201. Sven.T.Sexgore says:

    Although it is technically against the merchant agreement I don’t feel asking for ID is some sort of horrible thing – and a company does have the right to refuse a sale. Calling the cops because they didn’t want to accept your tender on the other hand is going too far.

    Put up a sign stating your own store policies or have the customers pay before eating is the way to go. Avoids all this trouble.

  202. blkhrt1 says:

    Also, merchants can’t limit you to a minimum transaction. Such as “no credit cards allowed for purchases under $5.00”.

    9.12.3 Minimum/Maximum Transaction Amount Prohibited
    A merchant must not require, or post signs indicating that it requires, a
    minimum or maximum transaction amount to accept a valid MasterCard card.

  203. ninjatales says:

    To all the morons who’re saying he should’ve done the logical thing instead of bitching around:

    If the person doesn’t need to show his fracking ID, why the frack would he have to show it?

    As for me, I don’t sign my cards so I have to show my ID which is no big deal but geez you assholes. If the law says you can take a dump in your house, you have the right to take a dump in your house.

    Sometimes, you just have to stand up to your ideals. Can’t cower forever.

  204. dantsea says:

    At least one company now makes software for integrated point of sale systems that, when a credit or debit card is swiped through the reader, requires the cashier to follow up by swiping your ID or DL through the reader.

    And there it is, your credit card data, identification information and purchase information all wrapped up in one neat package.

    How do those of you saying “just show the damn ID already” feel about that?

  205. Lucky225 says:

    This is Jered. After reading the comments, I would like to add clarification. My cards are SIGNED. I would like to explain why this is such a big deal to me. For one, the name on the card does not always match the name on your ID. When I got married, I took my wife’s name. While I was waiting for new cards to come in the mail, my old cards still had the old name, and I had no ID to prove that I was “me.” The visa rules do say that the contract with the acquirer supercedes the rules. But here’s the thing, the acquirer has a CONTRACT with visa that says they won’t make a contract with merchant’s requiring ID as a condition of acceptance. MasterCard is the same way, and they even let consumers file complaint’s on their website, which I did. Also, the visa I have has the paywave feature, which allows you to just wave the card over the reader, the merchant never sees your name or the card or anything when using this feature. So when IHOP gets paywave, I can guarantee they won’t be asking for ID, I’ve never been asked for ID on a paywave transaction. Gas pumps, Redbox rental machines, etc.. Don’t ask you for ID. The merchant is NOT protecting you. You are only liable for $50 of credit card fraud, and most cards have ZERO fraud liability, you call the card company, fill out an affidavit and get a new card, done deal. The merchant is trying to get around their OWN contract with the acquirer to PROTECT THEMSELVES — which they aren’t even doing, if the card is fake it could have anyones name on it, and fake id’s are easy to come by. If the merchant is worried about fraud, they shouldn’t accept cards. When I see a merchant with MC/VISA decals, I expect that I should be able to use that card as payment, especially after I already ate the product, there wasn’t even any signs acknowledging their breach-of-contract-policy!

  206. haggardprincess says:

    It is against the law to not have identification. Cops do not normally pursue your everday normal person for this. If you are homeless or otherwise on the fringe of society the police can & will arrest you for this. (Happened to me) They can hold you for up to 72 hrs. with no charges.

  207. dantsea says:

    @haggardprincess: It is not, however, against the law to decline to provide said identification to the cashier at IHOP.

  208. Uriel says:

    I don’t see you being forced to show ID without being charged with something. If a cop asks to see your idea, ask him if he’s charging you with something, or if he has probable cause. Unless your state has some sort of wacky laws, that’s about it.

  209. @haggardprincess: “It is against the law to not have identification.”

    It. Is. Not. There are toddlers running around ALL OVER THE COUNTRY without valid ID.

    You are forbidden from participating in certain common societal acts if you refuse to have ID (driving, voting, collecting social security), but you are not required to have ID.

  210. mike says:

    @lesspopmorefizz: I think it’s the principle of the thing. IHOP and other merchants are supposed to accept the payment, even if you refuse to show your ID.

    If IHOP really wanted you to show ID, they can ask for an exception (at least I would assume so).

    Short of that, IHOP shouldn’t take credit cards.

    I don’t mind showing my ID either…but at the same time, I completely understand this.

    I think we should carry a copy of the merchant agreement with us at all times so that we can point it out to the store.

  211. jeskimo says:

    Sorry this is such a long post, but
    here’s the FL Statute regarding Identification Cards – They’re not required, just an “urban myth”.

    The 2007 Florida Statutes

    Title XXIII
    MOTOR VEHICLES Chapter 322
    DRIVERS’ LICENSES View Entire Chapter

    322.051 Identification cards.–

    (1) Any person who is 5 years of age or older, or any person who has a disability, regardless of age, who applies for a disabled parking permit under s. 320.0848, may be issued an identification card by the department upon completion of an application and payment of an application fee.

    (a) Each such application shall include the following information regarding the applicant:

    1. Full name (first, middle or maiden, and last), gender, social security card number, county of residence and mailing address, country of birth, and a brief description.

    2. Proof of birth date satisfactory to the department.

    3. Proof of identity satisfactory to the department. Such proof must include one of the following documents issued to the applicant:

    a. A driver’s license record or identification card record from another jurisdiction that required the applicant to submit a document for identification which is substantially similar to a document required under sub-subparagraph b., sub-subparagraph c., sub-subparagraph d., sub-subparagraph e., sub-subparagraph f., or sub-subparagraph g.;

    b. A certified copy of a United States birth certificate;

    c. A United States passport;

    d. A naturalization certificate issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security;

    e. An alien registration receipt card (green card);

    f. An employment authorization card issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security; or

    g. Proof of nonimmigrant classification provided by the United States Department of Homeland Security, for an original identification card. In order to prove such nonimmigrant classification, applicants may produce but are not limited to the following documents:

    (I) A notice of hearing from an immigration court scheduling a hearing on any proceeding.

    (II) A notice from the Board of Immigration Appeals acknowledging pendency of an appeal.

    (III) Notice of the approval of an application for adjustment of status issued by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    (IV) Any official documentation confirming the filing of a petition for asylum or refugee status or any other relief issued by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    (V) Notice of action transferring any pending matter from another jurisdiction to Florida, issued by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    (VI) Order of an immigration judge or immigration officer granting any relief that authorizes the alien to live and work in the United States including, but not limited to asylum.

    (VII) Evidence that an application is pending for adjustment of status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States or conditional permanent resident status in the United States, if a visa number is available having a current priority date for processing by the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    Presentation of any of the documents described in sub-subparagraph f. or sub-subparagraph g. entitles the applicant to an identification card for a period not to exceed the expiration date of the document presented or 1 year, whichever first occurs.

    (b) An application for an identification card must be signed and verified by the applicant in a format designated by the department before a person authorized to administer oaths. The fee for an identification card is $3, including payment for the color photograph or digital image of the applicant.

    (c) Each such applicant may include fingerprints and any other unique biometric means of identity.

    (2)(a) Every identification card shall expire, unless canceled earlier, on the fourth birthday of the applicant following the date of original issue. However, if an individual is 60 years of age or older, and has an identification card issued under this section, the card shall not expire unless done so by cancellation by the department or by the death of the cardholder. Renewal of any identification card shall be made for a term which shall expire on the fourth birthday of the applicant following expiration of the identification card renewed, unless surrendered earlier. Any application for renewal received later than 90 days after expiration of the identification card shall be considered the same as an application for an original identification card. The renewal fee for an identification card shall be $10, of which $4 shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund and $6 into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. The department shall, at the end of 4 years and 6 months after the issuance or renewal of an identification card, destroy any record of the card if it has expired and has not been renewed, unless the cardholder is 60 years of age or older.

    (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if an applicant establishes his or her identity for an identification card using a document authorized under sub-subparagraph (1)(a)3.e., the identification card shall expire on the fourth birthday of the applicant following the date of original issue or upon first renewal or duplicate issued after implementation of this section. After an initial showing of such documentation, he or she is exempted from having to renew or obtain a duplicate in person.

    (c) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, if an applicant establishes his or her identity for an identification card using an identification document authorized under sub-subparagraph (1)(a)3.f. or sub-subparagraph (1)(a)3.g., the identification card shall expire 2 years after the date of issuance or upon the expiration date cited on the United States Department of Homeland Security documents, whichever date first occurs, and may not be renewed or obtain a duplicate except in person.

    (3) If an identification card issued under this section is lost, destroyed, or mutilated or a new name is acquired, the person to whom it was issued may obtain a duplicate upon furnishing satisfactory proof of such fact to the department and upon payment of a fee of $10 for such duplicate, $2.50 of which shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund and $7.50 into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. The fee shall include payment for the color photograph or digital image of the applicant. Any person who loses an identification card and who, after obtaining a duplicate, finds the original card shall immediately surrender the original card to the department. The same documentary evidence shall be furnished for a duplicate as for an original identification card.

    (4) When used with reference to identification cards, “cancellation” means that an identification card is terminated without prejudice and must be surrendered. Cancellation of the card may be made when a card has been issued through error or when voluntarily surrendered to the department.

    (5) No public entity shall be liable for any loss or injury resulting directly or indirectly from false or inaccurate information contained in identification cards provided for in this section.

    (6) It is unlawful for any person:

    (a) To display, cause or permit to be displayed, or have in his or her possession any fictitious, fraudulently altered, or fraudulently obtained identification card.

    (b) To lend his or her identification card to any other person or knowingly permit the use thereof by another.

    (c) To display or represent any identification card not issued to him or her as being his or her card.

    (d) To permit any unlawful use of an identification card issued to him or her.

    (e) To do any act forbidden, or fail to perform any act required, by this section.

    (f) To photograph, photostat, duplicate, or in any way reproduce any identification card or facsimile thereof in such a manner that it could be mistaken for a valid identification card, or to display or have in his or her possession any such photograph, photostat, duplicate, reproduction, or facsimile unless authorized by the provisions of this section.

    (7) Any person accepting the Florida driver’s license as proof of identification must accept a Florida identification card as proof of identification when the bearer of the identification card does not also have a driver’s license.

    (8) The department shall, upon receipt of the required fee, issue to each qualified applicant for an identification card a color photographic or digital image identification card bearing a fullface photograph or digital image of the identification cardholder. Notwithstanding chapter 761 or s. 761.05, the requirement for a fullface photograph or digital image of the identification cardholder may not be waived. A space shall be provided upon which the identification cardholder shall affix his or her usual signature, as required in s. 322.14, in the presence of an authorized agent of the department so as to ensure that such signature becomes a part of the identification card.

    History.–s. 1, ch. 73-236; s. 1, ch. 77-14; s. 1, ch. 78-105; ss. 7, 27, ch. 78-394; s. 37, ch. 89-282; ss. 1, 2, ch. 90-150; s. 397, ch. 95-148; s. 33, ch. 95-333; s. 13, ch. 96-200; s. 45, ch. 96-413; s. 73, ch. 99-248; s. 35, ch. 2000-313; s. 70, ch. 2001-61; s. 124, ch. 2002-20; s. 3, ch. 2002-76; s. 1, ch. 2002-259; s. 28, ch. 2003-1; s. 2, ch. 2003-410; s. 27, ch. 2004-5; s. 69, ch. 2005-164; s. 41, ch. 2006-290.

  212. Mariallena says:

    There are 2 things wrong with this posting: the title and the contents.

    First, the title. IHop didn’t threaten to call the police because this dude refused to show his id, they threatened to call the police because he refused to pay. As soon as that problem was solved, i.e. his wife paid, the police option was off the table. If I ran a business and some stupid litigious big-settlement-getter-wannabe loser refused to pay based on such flimsy grounds I would call the cops too.

    Second, the contents. If you read section 1-1 of the Mastercard manual you will see that the rules apply unless there is a “more stringent” agreement between the merchant and Mastercard which obviously IHop, like many other merchants who request id, must have.

  213. dantsea says:

    @Mariallena: All fine and good, except that he attempted to pay twice, and they refused to accept it.

  214. Mariallena says:

    No, he didn’t. He declined to show the id, which is a very reasonable requirement all the IHop customers go through.

    The guy is a greedy litigious loser who was obviously trying to make trouble and sue somebody to get $$$$.

    Did you read that he only offered his Mastercard so that he could file a complaint later?

  215. dantsea says:

    @Mariallena: Yes, I read that in the same article where he wrote that IHOP was offered two different types of payment that were refused because the manager or cashier implemented an arbitrary policy that does not appear to be sanctioned by their merchant agreement. Of course, I don’t actually know if they’re allowed to check ID, same as you… or is there something you’d like to share with the group? :)

  216. hejustlaughs says:


    The whole point is checking ID does nothing to prevent identity theft.

    It does prevent a bum from finding your credit card on the street and using it but you aren’t liable for any of those charges anyway and if you report your card lost it’s not usable anymore.

    If someone does steal your identity. I guarantee you 100% they would never use any of your existing credit cards. It’s much easier to sign up for new ones so you don’t discover you’re being identity thefted till long after they default on the cards.

    Also, if they already have all your personal info. Its extremely easy to obtain an ID with your info and their picture.

    Why do you think showing ID is against the merchant agreements? They know it doesn’t do much in terms of preventing fraud and they want using credit to be as easy as using cash. Having to show ID might deter you from using credit if you were in a hurry.

  217. hejustlaughs says:

    Also, everyone here who thinks the guy should have shown ID might as well not read consumerist.

    Try to be smart consumerists for once in your life.

    Why should this guy be subjected to this IHOP manager’s made-up rules that also happen to be against mastercard and visa’s merchant agreements?

    The #1 reason most uneducated people on this topic claim they don’t mind checking ID is somehow it magically prevents identity theft. I’m pretty mean credit card theft as in somebody steals your credit card and tries to use it. You’re not liable for a cent of those charges so stop living in fear.

    If I owned a store I might as well make you bow down to complete the purchase too so I can judge on how honorable you are.

  218. hunter_ellroy says:

    I read approximately the first 50 comments hoping to discover the reason that Jered believed it necessary to withhold his ID. No such reason came to light. Is this a matter of principle? If so, then why not take the matter all the way? Let ’em call the police; let ’em charge you with ‘Dine & Dash.’ If you have the courage of your convictions, go to court, adjudicate the matter, maybe even do some time. You clearly have plenty of time on your hands. Get the attention of the public and embarrass the credit card companies along with IHOP just like you obviously embarrassed your wife.

    What is the big deal about showing your ID? Because it’s not required?!? Hey! Opening the door for someone else is not required, but it makes the world a nicer place for a brief moment. But instead, you go out and bust the chops of some poor guy or gal working as a server at IHOP just above the poverty level and then turn your self-righteous rant on some entry-level manager.

    Good lord, man. Too much from the never-empty coffee pot? If you don’t like showing your ID, then carry cash for those instances when you have to deal with merchants who are not as astute as you re the world of commercial debt.

  219. chrispiss says:

    The reason they ask is to confirm it’s not a stolen card. It’s for your own safety. The cashier is not going to steal your identify by taking a quick glance at your ID.

  220. hejustlaughs says:

    “I’m pretty mean credit card theft” should be “i’m pretty sure they mean credit card theft.

  221. Lucky225 says:


    No, there are 2 things wrong with your comment.

    1) I tried to pay using a method accepted by the merchant and they refused to accept my card. As I explained in my comments, it’s hard to show ID when your ID has your married name, and the credit card has your other name — Credit Cards don’t always have the name on your current ID, they are meant for convenience, it is an inconvenience when a merchant refuses to accept a valid payment.

    2) Acquirers have contracts with mastercard that they will not create contracts with their merchants that require their merchants to check for ID, as it would be a violation of the merchant rules.

    There is no federal law or State law in Texas that requires a person to have identification. Texas Penal Code only requires you to identify yourself verbally by name, date of birth and address upon request of an officer.

  222. TruPhan says:

    Why does everyone always cave on this? JUST STOP SHOWING THE I.D.

    Also, I might be craving a fight today… =P

  223. Hobart007 says:

    I think that the main complaint that people have is not so much the actual showing of ID or invasion of privacy but rather the fact that a privately owned organization is in effect making rules that must be followed for something as mundane as buying something. The same goes for the receipt checking or anything else. The fact that a private organization is willing and able to contact law enforcement and attempt to have a person arrested to enact their rules, no matter how well-intentioned or ridiculous they may be is the part that bothers most people. Most individuals in this country feel better about the rules that they must live their lives by being made by a government that though is not always honest is for the most part accountable to the will of the people. Who is Wal-Mart or IHOP or any private organization accountable to? What gives them the power or the right to make rules that can result in detainment (illegal or not) and arrest? That is the complaint that most people have I think when it comes down to it. Showing an ID is not a big deal to me but being forced to do so by an organization that believes that it has the right to impose arbitrary regulation on another private entity is. Throughout history much of the huge adverse societal issues have happened as a series of small steps that led to something we shake our heads about as we read history books. The power of private organizations even to the point of rivaling the government on some fronts is something that has been complained about even by our founding fathers (thanks Consumerist). If greater men than I found it to be an issue of concern then it is something that in my mind people should be vigilant against. So really, when you give ID or a receipt you give much more than that. You also give a private organization your permission to take the role of government in that they are willing to detain you or have you arrested for not abiding by their ‘laws’.

  224. strwnderer says:

    I am constantly amazed by the number of people who post to these threads regarding credit card acceptance procedures and stand up for the store.

    The rules are clear: ID may not be required. Period. That is it.

    You certainly could just not sign your card or write, “See ID” on it if you prefer to show ID. Of course there are so many places where credit cards are honored in a self service manner without a clerk that this would not do much to stop someone from using your card. However, in that case you find it more important to show ID than enjoy the “zero fraud liability” that comes with your card. But it’s your choice!

    It amazes me that people will take whatever order they are given and accept lame excuses like “it is for your protection” and blindly follow.

    You put yourself at a major risk of identity theft by showing a clerk your ID. When you present your ID, you have no idea how long a clerk will study it and no idea what the clerk is actually LOOKING AT on your ID. In addition you are allowing the store’s security camera system to record an image of your ID which is retained and may be reviewed by unknown individuals in the store at any time.

    Be very, very careful with this.

    With that said, I do sometimes show my ID if a store insists. After I leave the store, I will complain to the corporate office of the given store. If that does not produce a change in the store’s card acceptance procedures, I will file complaints with the credit card issuer or my bank.

    There are numerous stores in my area who have stopped asking for ID as a result of my complaints, so those who do not think the complaints are taken seriously are wrong.

  225. Mary says:

    @jimconsumer: It happens all the time? In the ten seconds it takes them to glance at the names? Honestly, most clerks don’t even do that, they just ask for the ID to see if you freak out about giving it and then move on.

    Show me news stories where this specific thing has happened. Not identify theft in general, but where the theft has been because of a clerk with a photographic memory or something remembering the address shown on an ID and stealing the identity.

    I don’t find it even remotely likely unless they leave your presence with the card. In which case, you could get cranky. But looking at it while you’re standing there for two seconds? Really? That’s an inroad to rampant identity theft?

    Some people might have valid points in these arguments against showing the ID, this is not one of them.

  226. Lucky225 says:


    read the comments on this page, I clarified why I didn’t want to show ID, and my wife is the one who insisted on paying, I was going to let them call the cops, they were already on the phone with them when she paid. She doesn’t drive, so if I was arrested for dine and dash it would be quite a pickle for her. That is why she paid. I was letting them call the cops, I do stand up for my convictions, but I also respect my wife.

  227. Kevinpalooza says:

    I like how he stresses his wife was embarassed because ‘THEY’ refused to accept payment for him refusing to show ID.

    It couldn’t be that she was embarrassed because she realized what an irrational tool she married for making a scene at an IHOP of all places. Or that he even took her to an IHOP to begin with.

    This guy is delusional and has way too much time on his hands for wanting to hang out at the local IHOP with the cops and servers who only work there because they can’t cut the mustard at Applebee’s.

  228. gpatrick800 says:

    Note, recording any information from a drivers license for a Credit Card or Debit Card signature transaction is against a lot of state laws.

    To All,

    On the Id thing. I am neutral. I don’t mind showing ID but at the same time I do not like merchants violating their merchant agreement.

    On the Charge back. The merchant is protected from fraudulent transaction. If the merchant follows dispute procedures correctly. If the merchant is getting charge back for fraudulent transaction. He needs to find a new processor or bank.

    Ohio, Does require ID to be shown to Police, Public Passenger vehicles, Federal and State buildings. (Side note, I do not know how the Ohio Real ID law would apply to Federal Building. ) The only exception is if your going to get an ID or Drivers license.

  229. judyneric says:

    @unklegwar: in the Visa Merchant Rules, it states the following: “Cardholder Signature. The cardholder’s signature is required for all cardpresent
    transactions. Failure to obtain the cardholder’s signature could result
    in a chargeback if the cardholder later denies authorizing or participating
    in the transaction. When checking the signature, always compare the first
    letter and spelling of the surname on the sales receipt with the signature on
    the card. If they are not the same, ask for additional identification or make a
    Code 10 call.”

    Thus, VISA is telling their merchants to “ask for additional IDENTIFICATION,” if there is a question about the signature.

    VISA also says that ID cannot be required to complete the sale, but it appears that if a business questions the signature, they can absolutely ask for ID.

    From page 76 of the Official Visa Document


  230. Lucky225 says:


    My wife is the one who filed the complaint with IHOP and the one who insisted we go there, tool.

  231. Lucky225 says:


    I’d love to see the law that requires you to show ID to POLICE. You note an exception to entering State buildings as in entering the DMV building to get an ID. So if you’re walking to get an ID and get stopped by police, then what? No one is required to have ID or show it to anyone, only exception may be entering certain places, but you certainly don’t need it when you are in public nor are you required to show it to police if not in such a facility.

  232. MNRider says:

    Had to chime in.

    There is no way I’m giving someone my credit card and my ID. That’s way too much info.

    I’m all for the merchants protecting themselves against charge backs. Here’s the best way, don’t take credit cards.

    I just received a new credit card, funny, I didn’t have to show ID to get the card. My ID is for driving, not for some 19 year old clerk who couldn’t tell if it was real or fake if his cell phone depended on it

  233. ShizaMinelli says:

    I’m not really big on the “blame the consumer” argument, but Jesus Effing Christ just show them your damn ID. What’s the point of not doing so, just so you can have your big, badass, rebellious “I won’t b/c I don’t have to and I don’t want to” argument?!? That’s the same logic that 2 year olds use.

    I get more annoyed when people DON’T check the ID on my card when they say “CHECK ID” on the back. Sometimes I’ll sign a ridiculous name or write on the electronic signature line “Why didn’t you check my ID?”…and they still put it through without a second glance.

  234. Anonymous says:


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

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

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

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


    MasterCard wants to hear about merchants who break their rules. Send the name and address and an account of what happened to MasterCard WorldWide 2000 Purchase St. Purchase, NY 10577. The merchant’s bank will get a stiff letter, ordering it to investigate and bring the offending store into line – or pay a $2,000 fine.

    Visa enforces the same rules as MasterCard. “When we hear about a violation, we ask the bank that signed the merchant to get together with the merchant and see that the practice is stopped,” Visa representative states. To report a merchant, send a letter to the bank that that issued your Visa card or call 1-800-VISA-911.

    American Express also prohibits merchants from asking for IDs. “All a merchant is supposed to do is take an imprint, make sure the signature matches and swipe the card through the terminal, to get authorization.”

  235. abogado says:

    I must admit that although I have not read each and every comment posted on the IHOP credit card/ID situation, it is a sad fact indeed that so many of you fail to see the real facts involved. It is also a very sad statement on the citizenry of this country to have so little regard for your own constitutional rights, and the work of those, including the founding fathers, our elected officials, and appointed members of the United States Supreme Court who have spent so much time, and energy deliberating and ultimately rendering decisions to make certain that our individual rights are preserved.

    Any of the idiots, or “sheeple” that voluntarily submit to showing receipts at Walmart, or gleefully show a state issued picture identification to some low-level clerk, don’t deserve to have the rights grated to you by our illustrious Constitution, and should be automatically relegated to “dumb ass” status and have your particular rights revoked.

    Sure, identity theft is indeed a problem. However, it’s not the job of any corporate retailer to violate your rights in the effort to thwart potential false use of a credit card. The card holder has the ultimate responsibility to monitor the use of his/her card, and in the same vein have the right to dutifully insist that their “RIGHTS” not be violated by a mere store “policy”, which generally have no basis in law.

    But, the bottom line is that if you’re too stupid to make yourself aware of the very laws that are designed to protect you, or choose to ignore them “to not cause a scene” then that is your tight, however sheepish it may be.

    Kudos to those who know their rights under the law, and stand up for them, as if everyone took this stance, there would never be any “door monkey’s” or “robot cashiers” sheepishly obeying stupid and unlawful store policies which are obviously superseded by any/all any local, state, and federal law.

    As stated in these comments, exceptions do exist when you willingly sign a membership agreement contract at such retailers as Costco or Sam’s Club, where somewhere in the “fine print” you have voluntarily agreed to waive your legal rights regarding the searching of your purchased goods and requirement to show your receipt. However, aside from these types of exceptions NO store personal has the right to inspect your purchased goods, see your receipt, or demand that you show a state issued picture ID when paying with a valid credit card, because you did NOTsign a legally binding waiver when you entered their establishment, and no retailer now, or in the future will ever require potential customers to do so, as it would quickly lead to their demise.

    Remember! Knowledge is power… and that’s why some us are attorneys and judges, and others are clerks and/or “door monkey’s” at Walmart. So, always know your legal rights, never surrender them, and NEVER hesitate to invoke them!