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do you carry id all the time

 
author & internet detective
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I went to Staples today to pick up a purchase I had sent "ship to store."* Normally, when picking something up you show the charge card you used to make the purchase. They said it is their policy to require state id. I had my work photo id and charge card. I think I embarrassed the manager by making a scene because he gave in. My argument was that the order pick up form doesn't say to bring id at all. Interestingly they don't ask for photo id when making the purchase in the first place and that's what charges the card.

The manager's argument was that everyone carries government id all the time and it is "common knowledge" that you should have id "in this day in age". And that if you are stopped by a police officer you are required to show it. (which is not true - you can identify yourself in another way) . I work near World Trade Center ("ground zero") so there is lots of talk about security. But that doesn't mean you need a drivers license to walk around.

I know this is regional so I'm curious what it is like in other states and countries. Do you carry your id with you all the time?

In California, many places require government id to use a charge card. (on vacation I always have it anyway). But even then, you aren't required to have it. You could choose to pay in cash.

* I learned never to do that again. The first time they lost my order and then today we had the id discussion.
 
Marshal
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Yes, when I'm outdoors I almost always have my wallet in my pocket, and it contains my driver's licence and health card. When I go running I don't carry my wallet, but I do carry those two pieces of ID. Maybe this is one of those things which is different for men and women -- am I right in guessing the Staples manager was a man?
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Paul Clapham wrote: am I right in guessing the Staples manager was a man?


Yes. But why would that matter? Because for a man everything is already in your wallet and the wallet goes everywhere?
 
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Because of where I live, I drive to and from work every day - my license therefore lives in my wallet. Even if I walk up to the shops, I am still carrying my wallet, so my license is with me, even though I am not consciously taking it with me.

There are a couple of shops here (and more in Las Vegas) that require photo ID in order to use a credit card. But it is just photo ID, not a government ID. And as you pointed out, it is still plausible to use cash.
 
Marshal
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"Where are your papers!"

Seriously, when I leave the house (except for something like walking the dogs) it's always to drive somewhere, so I always have my wallet, which has my driver's license. There is nothing within walking distance of my house.
 
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Having and carrying a federal ID card (which has a photo) is required where I live. I don't take it when I go running, or when I go to the corner store, but pretty much at all other times.

In general, I think it's good practice to show a photo ID when you pick up something to prevent fraud.
 
Paul Clapham
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:

Paul Clapham wrote: am I right in guessing the Staples manager was a man?


Yes. But why would that matter? Because for a man everything is already in your wallet and the wallet goes everywhere?



That was what I was thinking, yes.
 
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Here you're required to have ID on you at any given moment. I usually carry my passport in my coat, except when I go out for a party, then I just have my wallet with my driver's license.
 
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You are not required to carry ID in the US. THe manager is wrong. Most people in the US carry ID because most people have to drive to go anywhere, and you have to carry your license with you when you drive. People who live in areas that have a good coverage of publioc transport (like NY) are in the minority and probably don;t need to carry ID with them all the time.
 
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We have no requirement to carry ID. I don't drive, so when I do need proper ID I need to carry my passport. But most of the time I'd just have credit cards and a work (University) ID card on me.
 
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I always carry my ID except when I go for a run (like others in the U.S. have said).

Asking for an ID to use my credit card always bothers me. I am 100% sure the clerk could not spot a fake ID from a real one, and these days it doesn't take much of an investment to buy the right equipment to make a convincing fake one.

What retailers are SUPPOSED to to is validate the signature on the slip matches the signature on the card. None ever do. I have signed the slip with the name "Peter Tork" before, and it was never challenged.

Personally, I'm more worried some clerk working for minimum wage will use info from my ID to steal from me. It's not that hard to train your brain to memorize the vital components on a DL...By showing them my ID, they have my Credit card number, the security code, my full name, address, and until recently, my SSN...
 
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Interesting. I live in the UK and I don't carry any "official" id at all. My wallet contains credit/debit cards, European health insurance card, car breakdown member card, and cash (sometimes). I don't think I've ever carried my driving licence with me but then I don't have a modern card licence, just the old A4 size paper one which makes it less convenient.
 
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Required by law, so yes. I used to have a passport, but I never used it and it's inconvenient to carry around. I switched to an ID card, which is only valid within the EU, but it does fit conveniently in my wallet.
A driver's license is also an accepted form of identification, except for in a select few cases, and I also have that on me at all times.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Thanks for all the comments. This was helpful. I hadn't known the Netherlands requires id.

I find it interesting that people carry it "everywhere except for on a run" - which means they do not in fact carry it everywhere.

Jayesh: I know the manager was wrong. The thing is that this wouldn't have bothered me had the pick up email (or order email) said to bring a drivers license. I do have one.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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The manager's argument was that everyone carries government id all the time and it is "common knowledge" that you should have id "in this day in age".



I don't think that the manager was wrong; based on my experiences in the USA his statement seems accurate. Assuming that "everyone" is interpreted in the usual way, meaning not absolutely everyone but the overwhelming majority, and "should" not meaning "legally required" but rather "as a matter of practicality", since one needs it so often.

That doesn't mean he can insist on one when the notification didn't state one would be needed, but then, he didn't.
 
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If people all carried ID at the time it wouldn't be a big deal to require it for voting.
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:The thing is that this wouldn't have bothered me had the pick up email (or order email) said to bring a drivers license. I do have one.


I agree. This is what was included in the pick-up notice for some computer hardware I just ordered - quite clear what I need to bring.

For your protection, the owner of the credit card MUST be present to pick up the merchandise. When you arrive at the store, please follow the signs for INTERNET ORDER PICK-UP to pick-up area.

Please have the following ready when picking up your order:
1) Order number (a printed copy of this email with the subject, if possible)
2) Valid photo ID with signature panel: government issued photo ID, driver's license or Passport is acceptable. No student IDs.
3) Credit Card: this MUST be the same credit card as the one you placed your order with.
 
fred rosenberger
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Ron McLeod wrote:I agree. This is what was included in the pick-up notice for some computer hardware I just ordered - quite clear what I need to bring.

For your protection, the owner of the credit card MUST be present to pick up the merchandise. When you arrive at the store, please follow the signs for INTERNET ORDER PICK-UP to pick-up area.

Please have the following ready when picking up your order:
1) Order number (a printed copy of this email with the subject, if possible)
2) Valid photo ID with signature panel: government issued photo ID, driver's license or Passport is acceptable. No student IDs.
3) Credit Card: this MUST be the same credit card as the one you placed your order with.


Shouldn't that have been on the ORDER form? I mean, once you've placed the order, it's too late to find out you need a "government issued photo id" if you don't already have one.
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Thanks for all the comments. This was helpful. I hadn't known the Netherlands requires id.


This requirement was introduced maybe 10 or 15 years ago, and at that time there was some controversy about it, because it reminded some people of the Second World War, where it was also required by the German occupiers.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Jesper de Jong wrote:...where it was also required by the German occupiers.


Just introducing what they're used to from home... :-)
 
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Identification laws and practices by country aside, the ID (company policy) requirements for credit cards has been common for a long time. It is generally used to make sure that the person using the credit card is actually the person who owns that credit card. Considering that ID theft is running rampant, it is probably a good idea.

Henry
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Henry Wong wrote:
Identification laws and practices by country aside, the ID (company policy) requirements for credit cards has been common for a long time. It is generally used to make sure that the person using the credit card is actually the person who owns that credit card. Considering that ID theft is running rampant, it is probably a good idea.


Except that Staples doesn't require id to buy something with a credit card. I bought this particular item on a credit card in the store in the first place. I also bought something else using a credit card (that was on the shelf and didn't require an order) immediately before having this argument in the first place.

I don't actually mind requiring government id to use a credit card. They do that in California. And a restaurant in New York did it years ago. And yes, I bought my id rather than pay in cash.
 
Paul Clapham
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Many years ago in California they used to require you to put your phone number on the credit card slip when you signed it. I didn't live there but I went there on business and when I challenged that requirement the restaurant threatened to call the police. So I wrote Disneyland's phone number on the credit card slip and everybody was satisfied.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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We've established I'm touchy about id. Today, i went to the new 99 cents store in the neighborhood. (I won't be going back because it is the same as a closer one. I went once to confirm that.)

As I walk in, there is a sign on the door "10% with government id". That's odd; but ok. They can give discounts for whatever they wish. I had a 10% off coupon anyway from the mailing which is how I found out the store existed.

I bought $7 worth of assorted paper goods. They have a $10 charge card minimum so I paid in cash. I hand her the cash and get asked for id. I did happen to have my drivers license on me, but I'm not showing id to buy something in cash that doesn't have an age requirement! I challenged the request. They decided they didn't need to see id. I hope this was poor training because it came across very oddly.
 
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I agree with you Jeanne, I wouldn't want to show id for a cash purchase with no age requirement.

I've been touchy about id (and cc) for a while, partly because I know that some employees secretly copy cards for cc fraud and identity theft, but also because I think there is simply too much surveillance in the world. If I'm paying cash, it is partly because I don't want a record of that transaction, otherwise it's simply easier to use a credit card or a debit card. So I treasure my anonymity with cash and am loathe to give that up.

I carry my wallet with me when I'm driving or when I'm walking with my bag. Otherwise, I don't have it on me (for doing outdoor sports of any kind, for instance, except long distance hiking - in case I die, and they need to identify me, for instance).

Elisabeth
 
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Otherwise, I don't have it on me (for doing outdoor sports of any kind, for instance, except long distance hiking - in case I die, and they need to identify me, for instance).



Please carry something. I had a friend who went out on her bicycle in her local neighbourhood without ID. She was only carrying her keys. She was stuck by a car ( within a quarter-mile of her home) and thrown off her bike and was put in a coma. The car ran away. The police could not identify her. Some of our friends who talked to her daily started calling hospitals when they could not reach her after two days. They found her and were able to tell the police who she was and get access to her apartment to rescue her cat. She never woke up and died a few days later. If our friends had not actively looked for her she would have gone into an unmarked grave and her family wouldn't have known what happened.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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margaret gillon wrote:Please carry something.


I agree with the always carry something. I always have a credit card. That has my name on it. I also usually have a piece of paper with my name and phone #. And 90% of the time, I either have government id OR work id.

There's a big difference between having *something* that identifies you vs government id.
 
Frank Silbermann
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The legal requirement to carry government ID was something that has been long resisted in the U.S., perhaps because the requirement reminded people of authoritarian regimes where a policeman could go up to anyone and demand "Show me your papers!" Nevertheless, we end up requiring ID for so many special purposes (driving a car, CCW) that going anywhere without ID is just something that we're unlikely to do.
 
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