Can Stores Require an ID for a Credit Card?

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As a general rule, merchants don’t ask to see your ID when you use a credit card. The policies stores must follow for verifying credit cards and customer identities are set by the agreements they have with the credit card providers. American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa each have their own rules that merchants are supposed to follow.

Credit Card ID Policies

Merchants are supposed to verify the validity of the credit cards either by phone or with an electronic computer check. The clerk taking your order is also required to compare your signature on the sales slip to the one on the card. MasterCard and Visa don’t permit stores to ask you for identification unless the signatures don’t match or you haven’t signed your card. American Express lets merchants check IDs, but prefers they follow the same policy. Discover allows ID checks when you make a credit card purchase. If you are required to show identification in a way that violates these policies, Visa says to contact the bank or other card issuer. MasterCard has an online website where you can submit a complaint. American Express says to contact customer service to report the incident.