Mastercard Says Merchants Can't Require Additional ID, Except In Specific Circumstances

A MasterCard spokesperson has confirmed, just like we’ve been telling you all along, that a store cannot refuse to sell you something solely because you refuse to provide additional identification along with your MasterCard. The only time it’s ok is if it’s required for shipping, or when you’re at a gas pump or making orders via internet, phone, or mail, in which case they can use the MasterCard Address Verification System (AVS). But if you’re in a store, right in front of them, in the flesh, it violates their MasterCard merchant agreement. Consumers experiencing this can fill out a Merchant Violation form found in the FAQ/Contact US part of Full statement, inside…

As provided Rule 5.6.3, Additional Cardholder Identification, of the MasterCard Rules manual, a MasterCard merchant must not refuse to complete a transaction solely because a customer who has presented a valid MasterCard card refuses to provide additional identification information, such as a personal ID, except as MasterCard specifically permits or requires.

A merchant may require additional identification if the information needed to complete the transaction, such as for shipping purposes. For transactions at unattended terminals such as card-activated gas pumps or transactions conducted on the Internet, by phone, or by mail, a merchant may request address information in order to use the MasterCard Address Verification System (AVS). By using AVS, the merchant can confirm that the address information provided matches the information that the card issuer has on file. Additionally, if the MasterCard card is unsigned, a merchant must request personal identification (but not record it) and require the cardholder to sign the card before completing the transaction.

If a cardholder encounters a MasterCard merchant that refuses to honor a MasterCard card without additional identification information, the cardholder may complete the Merchant Violation form found in the FAQs/Contact Us section of The MasterCard Rules manual is also available at on “MasterCard Worldwide Rules”).


Daniel F. Balistierri
MasterCard WorldWide

(Photo: Sam Wilkinson)