Larry tells Consumerist that when he tried to pay for gasoline with his credit card recently, the station attendant didn’t just ask to see his driver’s license. She asked to keep it while he pumped gas. Have you run across this in your own travels? What would you do?
I’m from the NYC area and I am currently visiting Miami. I use a credit card for most purchases, and I was initially surprised to discover how many merchants here in Miami ask to see your driver’s license when making a purchase. As I said, I’m from NY (certainly a big city!) so I am no stranger to cities, fraud, etc, but the pervasiveness of this request surprised me. It’s not that big a deal to me to show my id, although I know this has been the subject of debate on Consumerist recently, so I’ve generally just let the merchant look at my ID to verify my identity.
In most cases, this has been uneventful, but there was once particular noteworthy incident that I am going to tell you about. A few days ago, I went to buy gas at [redacted], a local discount gas chain. The station I stopped at did not have a pay-at-the-pump credit card reader, so I went inside to give them my credit card so that I could fill up. The woman inside asked for my credit card (fine), and asked for my driver’s license (ok), but she then wanted to hold onto my license while I went outside to pump my gas. This request really surprised me (thoughts of identity theft ran through my head), so I replied that she could look at my license but she could not hold it. She said sorry then, no gas and handed my license and credit card back to me. I said fine and went elsewhere to purchase gas.
Now, I’m ok with leaving the credit card with the person while I pump, but the thought of leaving my credit card *and* my license seems too much to bear.
What do other consumerist readers think? Would you leave your license in the hands of some unknown person in a plexiglass booth while you pumped your gas?