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)


Edit Your Comment

  1. thetango says:

    “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.”

    But … what if you’re buying beer? :)

    (Okay, I know … there are _laws_ in place that say you must show ID when purchasing alcohol …)

  2. TheDude06 says:

    When is mastercard going to get off their ass and educate the retailers?! they all do it in the name of “protecting fraud”, when in reality, it protects them from no fraud, as they still get their money even if the card is stolen!

    that is, as long as the clerk verified the signature… which they never do…

    I hate it when people shoot themselves in the foot, and make my life more complicated at the same time.

  3. SKURRY says:

    I always say “Thank You” when someone asks for my ID. Other than forgetting your ID at home why would you refuse to show it? I don’t let them enter my info in the computer or anything

  4. But if the pump is unattended, how do you show your ID to the attendant? My brain hurts.

  5. Corny.fleur says:

    If you don’t have your card signed they can ask you to sign it. This is clear. How about if you have “Ask for ID”? You show your ID–can they still ask you to sign the card? Does anyone knw MasterCard’s take on this?

  6. 44 in a Row says:

    This is clear. How about if you have “Ask for ID”? You show your ID–can they still ask you to sign the card? Does anyone knw MasterCard’s take on this?

    If I remember correctly, “Ask for ID” is the same as an unsigned card, as far as they’re concerned, in that the signature box needs to contain a valid signature.

  7. B says:

    @Git Em SteveDave wants to go Tranny watching w/Lindsay: In this scenario, you would have to enter your address into the pump kiosk, which is used for verification, but hopefully not stored at the gas station. I’ve never seen this happen, but I suppose in a way it’s no different than entering your billing address online when ordering with a credit card.

  8. MadameX says:

    Several years ago, I had some credit cards stolen from my apartment without my knowledge (a “friend” of a “friend”). If just one person would have asked them for ID when they were running up my card, it would have made my life SO much easier. They also stole bank statements and my identity while they were at it, and ran rampant with all of it until my credit card company finally called me to report suspicious activity. It took me 8 months of diligence to clear my credit report of all the fraudulent BS.

    So yeah, I don’t mind at all when they ask me for ID when using a credit card.

  9. timmus says:

    Only mom & pop stores will get into trouble for requiring ID. Wal-Mart, CVS, and Home Depot make so much money that MasterCard will turn a blind eye. You really think filling out a complaint form with MasterCard against one of those stores will do anything?

  10. @B: How do you enter your address into a numeric pad?

  11. johnfrombrooklyn says:

    So if a 45-year old black dude shows a credit card that says “Tiffani Amber Thiessen” on it, the retailer isn’t supposed to ask for i.d.?

  12. vildechaia says:

    How about when, using a credit card, the gas stations ask for your zipcode at the keypad on the pumps? Or when Walgreens asks for your zipcode when using a credit card? Is this acceptable? Anyone?

  13. B says:

    @Git Em SteveDave wants to go Tranny watching w/Lindsay: Very slowly.
    I would hope the kiosk would have a full keyboard.

  14. 1)

    The merchant does not sign the MasterCard agreement, the merchant signs an agreement with a Merchant Bank. Each Merchant Bank sets their own rules.

    For example, Bank of America (a Merchant Bank) says the merchant can check ID for fraud protection:


    “Verify signature
    …….. If suspicious, ask for an ID and verify the signature on the ID to the signature on the credit card.”

    2)”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.”

    Key points: “solely because” “except as MasterCard specifically permits or requires”

    As noted above, MC does permit ID checks and can even require ID checks. Just as importantly a merchant can refuse to accept the MC due to lack of ID and other factors.

    So we are back to the beginning of the whole discussion. Merchants can and will check ID, MC will permit the merchants to check ID (under certain circumstances) and the Merchant Banks make all the rules and their rules are final.

  15. littlemsemperor says:

    @johnfrombrooklyn: I’m sure it was so necessary to mention “black” in your example? Why not “45-year old dude”?

  16. ringo00 says:


    Close, you may have noticed that at some gas pumps, when you pay with a credit card it asks for your zip code. This is called “ZIP in ZIP out”. It checks the zip code against the mailing address for the card.

  17. Grive says:

    @thetango: Then the issue is with that law.

    The Merchant would not be refusing sale because you didn’t provide ID with a credit card, but because you didn’t provide ID on a transaction that requires it by law.

    Basically, if they’re forced to ask for ID even if you’re using cash, then it has nothing to do with the Mastercard agreement.

  18. Grive says:

    @vildechaia: If it’s automated (as in, you need to put that in the pump) then yes, it’s legal and allowed. If a person does it without a very good reason (say, confirming the pickup area for a courier service), then it’s wrong.

  19. gavers says:

    I don’t understand how MasterCard can dictate this. It seems stores have a right to refuse service to anyone. So because you accept MC you have to sell to anyone presenting a MC?

  20. unoriginal says:

    @gavers: Yes, their merchant agreement that the retailer signed with Mastercard states the terms and conditions underwhich they must accept it. If they were really concerned with it they could simply out out of their deal and not accept MC anymore. But I think that would be pretty shortsighted and very stupid to do in terms of revenue.

  21. DeeJayQueue says:

    @littlemsemperor: Yeah, it kinda was. See, he made 3 characterizations there,

    and compared that to a

    so though he could have left out any one of those three characterizations, he chose not to. He’s not getting cries of “Sexist! Sexist!” or “Ageist! Ageist!” so lets not throw the race card into a simple comparison. The scenario works the same in reverse. Not everyone on the internet is a racist troll.

  22. se7a7n7 says:

    @gavers: because Mastercard has rules of conduct. If the customer is in a store and dropped trow, then they can refuse service, even if they have a Mastercard. Their rules basically protect the Mastercard cardholders.

    A couple of weeks ago I went to see a movie and and the girl their asked for my ID. I said you don’t need to see it. She said she does and says that it’s not signed. I point out that it is in fact signed, the ink is a little faded but you can defiantly see it. She begrudgingly says OK and practically throws the card back at me. Then she says they are supposed to ask for ID. I say confidently, I assure you that you’re not. Walked away with sense of pride as my son was there to watch the whole event.

  23. pmcpa2 says:

    Actually, this isn’t completely true.

    If a Customer’s card is not signed, then the merchant may require additional forms of ID. If the customer refuses, then the merchant should refuse the sale, as the card is not valid unless signed.

  24. kyle4 says:

    Every purchase over $200 at Wal-Mart they ask you for ID on you credit card and keep it if you don’t show them. How could you get around this? Carry the Mastercard print out with you?

  25. johnva says:

    @gavers: Mastercard can dictate it because stores aren’t forced to take Mastercard. In other words, the stores voluntarily agree not to refuse service for that reason in exchange for the contractual privilege of accepting Mastercard. It’s no different from any other contract people voluntarily enter into.

  26. ionerox says:

    @se7a7n7: Neat. You are proud for telling off the poor ticket clerk, who’s performing her job as her employer has told her to, A more effective tactic may have been to complain to the movie theater manager, or to the owner or the movie chain management.

  27. DH405 says:

    @ChaunceyZoso: Wait. You’re tacking spam onto your comments. WTF?

  28. emington says:

    I think it’s reasonable to ask for ID on purchases over a certain amount. Where I work (my 2nd job which is retail) we ask for ID on purchases over 400$ and check signatures diligently. If your card is not signed, I am not supposed to accept it. These are the rules told to me by my bosses. But I’m lenient and if the card is not signed usually I ask to see a government issued piece of id (that seems a little anal, maybe, but giving me another credit card with the same name does little to convince me). So show me your driver’s license and if it matches the name on the card and the photo matches you, we’re cool. Most people find this request reasonable and I don’t see why everyone is up in arms about this.

    se7a7n7: What’s the problem with looking at your ID? The girl is only trying to do your job and you bit her head off. If she can’t see the signature, she’s going to need to verify the card somehow.

  29. se7a7n7 says:

    @ionerox: @emington:

    To be clear, I did not talk to the girl in a rough or insulting manner at all. I was merely standing up for for my consumer rights. The signature was/is still clearly visible.

    There was really no need to go and find the theater management or launch a email carpetbombing against the Theater company because I calmly and diligently handled the situation right there.

  30. newfenoix says:

    I will not show my ID period! I will not punch in my zip code, period! Because it is nobody’s damned business. That’s the reason that I don’t shop at Radio Shack and Home Depot.

    I have seen a lot of stupidity in my years in law enforcement and retail management. I have seen Master Card and Visa bar merchants from accepting their cards. I have seen employees get fired for asking for ID. The last time that I saw this happen was at a Wal Mart. Wal Mart does follow Master Card’s and Visa’s merchant agreements. And by the way, I don’t show my receipt either.

    I know, some of you are thinking that I am being unreasonable, but my privacy is my privacy. We have lost enough of our rights and this is my way of sort of fighting back. And yes, I have fired people for demanded ID’s for credit cards.

  31. jodles says:

    forever 21 asks for id with every credit card purchase, ever. it’s kind of annoying but i don’t mind it.

  32. mxjohnson says:

    Here in Southern California, it’s pretty much SOP to demand an ID, grocery chains excepted. I politely remind them of the terms of their merchant agreements, but I’ll still show my ID if they press. Then I file a complaint, and kudos to MasterCard for making it easy. (Visa requires a phone call or a letter.) And a few weeks later, the merchant no longer demands to see my ID.

    A couple people have asked why not just show ID, and I have two responses.

    First, in general, the credit card companies charge the merchant for each transaction. The amount they collect covers reimbursements in case of fraud. Visa and Mastercard decide how to balance security and convenience, not the merchant. And I don’t think it’s fair if my local retailers are keeping the lid on fraud down, while those in other parts of the county are not. If the credit card companies wanted to allow merchants to check a photo ID, they could do that, but I hope they’d charge less for those verified transactions. After all, they charge less when the merchant swipes the card personally, and more for a transaction when the card is not physically present.

    Second, I don’t always have my drivers license with me. I shouldn’t need it unless I’m, you know, driving. I pay for the convenience of having credit cards with every purchase I make. I recently walked to our local Lowes, tried to buy about $30 worth of stuff, but was denied because I didn’t have my ID. I had to walk back home, then drive back to Lowes and then back home. Was that a waste of an hour of my time? Or a waste of gas? Whichever way, it’s not supposed to work like that.

  33. AdamJacobMuller says:

    Anyone know what the rules here are for American Express?

  34. Grive says:

    @pmcpa2: You might wish to read the article.

    Just a heads up.

  35. I just checked the MasterCard and Visa sites. Nowhere on the sites is a copy of legal document entitled “merchant agreement”. When a merchant agrees to accept CC’s the merchant signs a “merchant agreement”.

    Per Bank of America (a Merchant Bank) says the merchant can check ID for fraud protection:


    “Verify signature
    …….. If suspicious, ask for an ID and verify the signature on the ID to the signature on the credit card.”

  36. mannyv says:

    There’s a rule, but there’s no penalty associated with violating this rule. “If this happens to you, fill out this form. Hopefully it will make you feel like you’ve done something productive and cost you a bit of money for the stamp and envelope. Have a nice day!”

  37. Jesse says:


    I saw that too. However, that seems to contradict the procedure in the VISA Card Acceptance manual:


    “If you are suspicious about the transaction or feel you need additional information
    to insure the identity of the cardholder, make a Code 10 call .” (29)

    I think the overall theme here with the whole ID policy is that a) Nobody’s on the same page and 2) it shows that merchant procedures are not covered properly on many levels from the Bank down to the retail establishment.

  38. Jesse says:

    On another note, I’ve been asked for ID before on VISA check card transactions at Wal-Mart since I would bypass the PIN based DEBIT option.

    I am surprised that the credit card industry here in the US have not moved on to the smart card type systems they use over in Europe.

  39. @Jesse:

    Note the link is labelled merchant “guide”.

    Does not say “contract”, “agreement” or “rules”, nor does the “guide” have a signature slot for the merchant’s signature.

  40. Scatter says:

    Why should I care if they ask to check my ID before ringing up my order?

    What if you dropped your credit card on the way out of a store and someone picked it up and tried to make a purchase before you even realized that you’d lost it? I bet you’d be grateful then if the transaction was blocked because the thief didn’t show ID. People just like to argue about everything.

  41. TheDude06 says:

    @Scatter: If that happened, the retailer would match the signatures, and reject the card.


    Match the signatures, verify the card, and let the transaction go through. One you reported the fraud, the credit card company would STILL PAY FOR THE FRAUDULENT PURCHASE! This is what you pay for with all those fees!

    Dollars lost by you: $0
    Dollars lost by retailer: $0

  42. Joe S Chmo says:

    Treating your customers as if they are criminals is no way to treat your customers.

    This is what I learned in a VISA chargeback class a few years back: the ‘don’t ask for ID’ deal is there because the MERCHANTS did not want to have to prove the signature matched exactly if a customer was in a hurry and signed the receipt sloppily. The receipt just has to be signed. You could even sign it Easter Bunny and that would be valid.

    I cancel my purchases when they ask to see my id but only after they insist that they have to see my id. I also ask for the manager to explain why I am canceling the sale. I then follow up with an email to the company which always results in an apologetic phone call promising more ‘retraining’ of the employee.

  43. murphy1701 says:

    The fact that there is so much dissent on this matter is the exact reason why I usually don’t care about checking the backs of credit cards when I am checking customers out. I will only check the back of the cards if the customer is upset that I did not. Half of the time the cards have no signature or the signature is worn off. Also, I seem to be in an area where there can be a lot of people with the same first and last name so checking ID is not 100%.

  44. @TheDude06:

    Note true. There is no free lunch, the merchant always pays for the fraud.

  45. Derp says:

    @Corny.fleur: I work for a retailer, and in an FAQ Mastercard and Visa sent out, they treat “SEE ID” and its varients as a signature and allow you to ask for ID.

  46. farker says:


    I am so glad our store uses the “customer swipes card themselves” style machines. Before them we had to swipe the cards ourselves, as well as manually enter the purchase amount (led to lots of mistakes)

    We were never told to check ID, which makes sense, because how can you expect a person paid $7/hr to expertly examine signatures, which would hold up lines, etc.

    While it would be some measure of protection for fraud, it isn’t the responsibility of a store to protect customers from identity theft or fraudulent charges.

    On a side note, if a customer requests for me to check their ID against their card signature, I will gladly do so.

  47. @Corporate-Shill: The merchant does not sign the MasterCard agreement, the merchant signs an agreement with a Merchant Bank. Each Merchant Bank sets their own rules. For example, Bank of America (a Merchant Bank) says the merchant can check ID for fraud protection…. Note the link is labelled merchant “guide”. Does not say “contract”, “agreement” or “rules”, nor does the “guide” have a signature slot for the merchant’s signature.

    I’m going to deal with Visa, since MasterCard has now unequivocally refuted your claim. If you will bear with me, I will demonstrate that you are mistaken. First consider the disclaimer on the Card Acceptance Guide:

    This guide contains information based on the current Visa U.S.A. Inc. Operating Regulations. If there are any technical differences between the Visa U.S.A. Inc. Operating Regulations and this guide, the Visa U.S.A. Inc. Operating Regulations
    will prevail in every instance. Your merchant agreement and the Visa U.S.A. Inc. Operating Regulations take precedence over this guide or any updates to its information.

    In other words, as you almost pointed out, it’s a readable, non-binding summary of the Visa USA, Inc. Operating Regulations. Let’s take a look at the regulations. Please read Volume 1, Chapter 1, where you will learn that a merchant accepting the Visa card is governed by these operating regulations. Section 4.2.C.1.c says that all merchant agreements must comply with the regulations, so if there is a disagreement between the merchant agreement and the regulations, the regulations shall apply. Thus, we can safely neglect the merchant agreement for the remainder of this discussion, and I will soon show that your quote from Bank of America (which is notably not from a merchant agreement) will be overruled.

    If you now will follow with me to Section 5.2.B.3.a, you will find that “A Merchant that wishes to accept Visa Cards must accept any valid Visa Card in its category of acceptance, as specified in Section 5.2.B.1, that a Cardholder properly presents for payment.” Moving on, we’ll turn to 5.2.J, “Cardholder Identification and Card Verification”, where you’ll will see that a merchant is required only to verify the signature and verify that the scanned number matches the number embossed on the card, as we all know. Finally, we arrive at section 5.2.1.j.b., which should settle your assertion (emphasis theirs):

    An Acquirer must not, as a regular practice, require a Merchant, and a Merchant must not require a Cardholder, to provide any supplementary Cardholder information as a condition for honoring Visa Card or Visa Electron Card, unless it is required, or permitted, elsewhere in these Operating Regulations.

    Thus, it can’t be done, except when specifically allowed elsewhere in the regulations, as you mentioned with MasterCard. I welcome you to search through the regulations and find where the exception is that allows a store to ask for identification when a valid card is properly presented. That exception you claim doesn’t exist. I found only one exception: 5.2.J.3., which deals with the procedure for handling unsigned signed cards or signed only with “See ID”. Otherwise, If identity is uncertain, then 5.2.J.2. says that performing an authorization is the appropriate action.

    In summary, if I have properly presented a valid Visa or MasterCard, a merchant may not ask to see my ID. End of story.

  48. @Michael Belisle: Minor correction to the penultimate sentence:

    “In summary, if I have properly presented a valid Visa or MasterCard, a merchant may not ask to see my ID as a condition of acceptance.”

    They can ask all they want, and I should be able to say no with impunity.

  49. SayAhh says:

    Funny thing happened the other day buying breakfast at Denny’s. I bought breakfast to-go and the total was under 6 bucks, and the cashier had a puzzled look on her face when she swiped my card and did not see a signature “line” on the merchant copy.

    Mind you she never asked for ID, but her supervisor came over and ask me to sign it anyway because Denny’s (not Dennis, heh, heh) needs a signature, even though it says right there on the ticket “NO SIGNATURE REQUIRED.”

    It probably cleared automatically because it was under ten dollars, much like at many other shops, but since she’s probably used to seeing every credit card transactions having a place for the customer to sign that she REQUIRED one from me, as well. I should’ve refused and asked for a chargeback, but I was hungry :)

    On the other hand, it probably didn’t help that I didn’t tip (it was for take-out, geez) but I’m 100% sure that’s not why the incident had occured.

    BTW, you know how signing an “X” is valid for a legal contract? Well, if CID is how you sign everything (it could be your name, alt. form of “Sid”) or your initials but also your signature, then SCREW ALL YOU MERCHANTS! lol j/k

    I’d pay so see someone named Charles Irwin Dell sign his name CID, so when a minimum-wage-earning Wal-Mart clerk refuses the card or asks for ID and sees that he signs his driver’s license the EXACT SAME WAY (i.e., CID) he can ask him/her “are you f#$%ing happy now?” (Not knocking on min. wagers, but rather the Wal-Mart company.) Yes, I WOULD pay to see the clerk’s face after “CID” rubs it in :)
    On a separate note, I remember from watching old Hong Kong police movies that when a criminal yells “C.I.D.!”, it mean the same thing as “5-0” or “COPS!”

  50. SayAhh says:

    @Michael Belisle: you rock!

  51. BlackFlag55 says:

    Mr. Belisle, well done. And this, amigos, is why I try to pay as much as I can with cash.

  52. ZukeZuke says:

    Why does this story kind of infer that it’s a GOOD thing they cannot require you to show I.D.? I say “Thank you” everytime I’m asked. I WANT them to check and make sure nobody else is using my credit card, which has a pretty high max. In fact, like some others here, my card has “See I.D.” on the back where the signature should be.

  53. superlayne says:

    Hell, they should just put pictures of the cardholders on the damn cards. Cut down on fraud and make all of this arguing moot.

  54. unoriginal says:

    @BlackFlag55: But credit cards can be a “Good thing” if used properly. I use mine to pay for almost everything that I can because I like the various bonuses I get with my card for spending money with them as well as the extended warranty coverage that Visa offers on my purchases. Of course this really only works if you can pay them off each month and luckily I have been able to do that so far.

  55. Trojan69 says:

    It is just stunning to read some of the posts that claim that any acquiring bank (the ones who sign up merchants) may abrogate the Visa/MC regs. About anything.

    If the exception isn’t written in the master operating agreement, it ain’t gonna fly. BofA is a major force in the industry for sure. But it doesn’t dare take on Visa/MC on the issue of making a typical transaction more restrictive. This is especially true as cardholders are beginning to ratchet down their spending. The fraud issue is a real one, but it has long been decided that the losses incurred are dwarfed by the convenience factor for the cardholder.

    I worked in the industry. I know what it is like when a Visa/MC audit/inspection turns up a non-compliance issue. Does the fear of God ring a bell?

    Thanks to this site for the definitive follow-up! Great job.

  56. eelmonger says:

    @Michael Belisle: Yes, we’ve all read that part of the guide, but your first quote says “Your merchant agreement and the Visa U.S.A. Inc. Operating Regulations take precedence over this guide or any updates to its information.” So what a lot of people are wondering is if specific merchant agreements allow this behavior or not.

  57. autobahnaroo says:

    Err…. I live in Detroit, so I get ID’d for both my debit card and my Mastercard. I definitely do not mind, and would never complain because if I lose either card, I do not want someone to be able to go and use it without them carding the person.

  58. Jesse says:


    That document I linked clearly entitled “Rules for VISA Merchants.” It’s on page one of the PDF file.

    Yes, generally the merchant deals with a bank, not directly with VISA. However, VISA deals with the bank, allowing them to process transactions for their institution over the VISA network. Thus, the Bank and subsequently it’s customers are obliged to abide by VISA’s rules.

  59. @eelmonger: If you keep reading my tediously long post, I mention that section 4.2.C.1.c of the binding regulations (not the guide) says that all merchant agreements must comply with the regulations. The second block quote settles the issue with basically the same message as Balistierri. So, no, a merchant agreement cannot allow this behavior since the regulations prohibit it.

  60. emich27 says:

    I want to change the back of my card from “See ID” to “What part about ‘See ID’ don’t you F***ing get??” because I’d say 1 out of every 50 merchants actually fulfill my “See ID” request. Many of the places I go do not even ask for a signature anymore (some BS about less than $25 or something). I actually commend companies and workers that ask for additional ID when using a Credit Card. It’s the people who get bent out of shape about it that deserve to have their cards and identity stolen.

  61. @emich27: If your signature isn’t also on there (skip to the rest of this paragraph if it is), then I imagine no merchant has done what they’re supposed to do: ask for your ID, and then force you to sign the card before accepting it. What part of “not valid unless signed” don’t you (f***ing) get?

    The new thing about not requiring a signature for transactions under $25 isn’t BS. It’s in the rules. The world would be a better place if merchants trained their employees to follow the rules instead of making up their own. Checking IDs is a false sense of security that doesn’t prevent fraud.

  62. caskstrength says:


    The various statements being made about the merchant not having to pay for fraudulent charges is completely untrue. Once a legitimate cardholder discovers that his or her card number has been stolen, all fraudulent charges on that card typically go into a “chargeback” phase. A chargeback means that the full amount of the transaction is refunded–in other words, the merchant is never allowed to retain funds collected from fraudulent charges.

    So, the merchant always loses in cases of fraud. While it might be tempting to say “big deal” in cases where the fraud has occurred at a huge, national chain store, imagine how crippling just a few high-value chargebacks might be to mom and pop shops selling high ticket items.

    Food for thought the next time one feels tempted to throw a consumer rights hissy fit when asked to show ID.

  63. fearnofish says:

    “mractor at 04:48 PM on 06/13/08 Reply by Email *

    @Corny.fleur: Yes – the card must be signed to be valid. By writing “See ID” on the back the card is still invalid and must be signed – except now it is defaced. Merchants have not learned this tidbit yet, so they will most likely take the card with your ID, but I would request a replacement card so that it can be validated with a legible signature.”

    I would like you to cite your source for this information. I have heard both way from people who think they know but have not been able to find it in writing as a ‘law/regulation’. So please cite your source.

  64. fearnofish says:

    Disregard my last post. I didnt read all the posts before I posted it. I apologize. Thanks to the person who posted all the rules and regulations.

  65. emich27 says:

    @Michael Belisle: Actually, my card IS signed and it asks to “See ID” next to my signature as well. And it’s not a false sense of security – anyone can forge a signature, but an ID confirms the card is mine by matching my name and my face.

  66. SinisterMatt says:


    Who’s to say, though, that the merchant is going to match signatures? Nine times out of ten, especially at places where you can swipe the card yourself, they don’t look at the card, much less compare the signatures . They just swipe it, take the receipt and give it to you. I’ve only ever been carded when they take the card and run it themselves, and then only a very few times.


  67. AlexPDL says:

    I also wish they WOULD ask for ID. Why would anyone be against this? It can’t really be because its “annoying” or because it “wastest time”… if that were the case then the reasoning is flawed. I am sure the no ID crowd waste a LOT MORE time explaining to an 18 year old clerk that the Credit Card Agreement does not require ID verification in each instance. I want to show my ID. I’ve hard my card stolen and its NOT FUN. Here in CA they usually ask for ID. A lot of clerks have gotten sloppy and don’t ask as much as they used to. They should verify our identity!