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Question & Answer

Question: We had numerous calls about the credit card article ("Credit Card Numbers For ID", Vol. I, Num. 6). These two from Florida are typical..."In your article about using credit card numbers on the back of checks, you mentioned our state is considering legislation prohibiting us from using the credit card as a means of identification. Our police department won't even look at a case unless we have taken two forms of identification, and they have told us to use credit card numbers. If we can't use these, what are we supposed to use?"


"I just got my copy of the newsletter with the article about credit card numbers. What are we going to be able to use for identification if we can't use credit cards?"

Answer: We have researched pending legislation regarding the use of credit card numbers on the back of checks. While the federal government is busy trying to pass laws regarding the mandatory identification of potential customers, state laws are taking away the ability to utilize credit card numbers for identification.

The financial institution is caught in the middle of this. The driver's license, so widely accepted as identification, is too easily duplicated/forged/counterfeited/altered/stolen to be of use as a stand-alone form of ID.

Some alternate forms of identification might include check cashing cards from super markets; an armed services card; owner's cards; company or employment ID; business cards; fishing or hunting licenses; passports; blood donor cards; auto, lodge, labor union and fraternity cards; law enforcement credentials; or civil service ID. None of these should be accepted as sure-fire identification. But the comparison of several forms can provide you with a better basis for verifying the identification of the new customer. Remember, if you are not comfortable with the ID presented, your banker's sixth sense is telling you something!

And not-so-good news for you Florida bankers. Our contacts there tell us the "No Recording of Credit Card Numbers" is now law in Florida. Other states are still pending.

Copyright © 1990 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 1, No. 11, 11/90

First published on 11/01/1990

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