Don’t Show Your ID If Paying With A Credit Card!

Stores are increasingly asking shoppers to see their ID or drivers license when paying with a credit card, in order to curb losses from fraudulent charges.

Sounds pretty smart and safe, right?

Well, you may want to think twice before handing over your ID the next time you pay with your credit card. In today’s world, all that personal data can be a pot of gold for an employee gone bad.

So, if you’re asked just refuse. Mastercard, Visa & Discover actually forbid stores from requiring an ID if the card is signed on the back. American Express doesn’t forbid stores from asking for an ID, but does discourage them from asking.

Here are some links where you can find the various cardholder clauses and print them out.

Can Stores Require an ID When I Pay by Credit Card?

The MasterCard Merchant Rules Manual provides as follows:

A merchant must not refuse to complete a MasterCard card transaction solely because a cardholder who has complied with the conditions for presentment of a card at the POI [point of interaction] refuses to provide additional identification information, except as specifically permitted or required by the Standards. A merchant may require additional identification from the cardholder if the information is required to complete the transaction, such as for shipping purposes. A merchant in a country or region that supports use of the MasterCard Address Verification Service (AVS) may require the cardholder’s ZIP or postal code to complete a cardholder-activated terminal (CAT) transaction, or the cardholder’s address and ZIP or postal code to complete a mail order, phone order, or e-commerce transaction.

MasterCard actually has an online form you can fill out to report merchant violations of this rule. Go to and check the box: “The merchant/retailer required identification.”

The Rules for Visa Merchants provides:

When should you ask a cardholder for an official government ID?

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. Laws in several states also make it illegal for merchants to write a cardholder’s personal information, such as an address or
phone number, on a sales receipt. (,
Rules for Visa Merchants, page 29).


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