Just like the rest of you, I am a member of the credit nation. I very seldomly carry cash. More often than not, if I’m purchasing something, I use my bank card/debit card. On the back of my card, in the spot reserved for the cardholder’s signature, I wrote C.I.D. This is a tip to the cashier to ask to see my identification and make sure I’m the same chap who is on the debit card. I am not exaggerating here…in the past two weeks, I’ve used the card a number of times, both in uniform and in my civilian attire. The only time I’ve been asked to present matching identification? When I’m in uniform. WTF?

Uh, Mr. Purveyor of what is most likely some shit I don’t really need, what kind of elaborate scheme do you think I’m running here? Look at my fucking shirt…see that name there? Yeah, the one that matches the name on the card? I’m the same cat, man. Figure it out. Did you think you’re breaking up some devious plot designed by terrorists to slowly defraud the U.S. Government one pack of Stride gum at a time?

My plan has been foiled (at which point, I take six months to grow out a handlebar mustache, wax that bitch down good, then grab it between my thumb and evil pointer finger and wait for my oddly human dog to wheezingly snicker), you bastard. I cleverly entered the lair of my sworn enemy, donned his very uniform, showed up for his shift, took his bike, even wrote a few tickets. I was hoping to lure you into a false sense of security by doing all of these things and then I was going to enter your humble Stop-n-Rob and make off with the goods (in the form of the aforementioned gum and possibly *gasp* some sunflower seeds…I may even combine the two because in my twisted mind, the flavor combination would probably be orgasmic). Your brilliant deduction has saved us all. If Jack Bauer is ever killed, please apply for his position. You would do him proud.

I don’t carry my ID when I’m in uniform. I figure the fact that my name is one my shirt and I have a badge and a gun is enough. The real kicker? When I tell the cashier I don’t have ID and then I point at my shirt, they just shrug and say okay. Hey, Jag-off, what’s the bloody point of asking me for it if you’re not going to enforce any kind of standard? Man, I could totally take over the world.

When I’m in civilian clothes, though? Nothing. I could have just hit the real MC over the head with a brick, taken his bank card, and headed off to begin my little crime spree. Does Betty behind the counter at Best Buy give a shit? Nope.

Again, I ask you, WTF?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

17 thoughts on “C.I.D.

  1. 1) does it really only take 6 months to grow a handle bar mustache? I say longer, and if I wasn't married to you, I'd tell you to put your money where your mouth is.

    2) Stride and Sunflower seeds together? *barf*

  2. 1) your card isn't valid unless you've signed it, and "C.I.D." almost certainly isn't your legal signature.

    2) do you mean to say you operate a motor vehicle on public streets without your driver license on your person?

  3. Most retail clerks only have very basic training along the lines of "paper or plastic?" or "would you care for fries with that?" They're occasionally pleasant zombies just counting the minutes until break time. They talk to each other and mostly ignore you.

    I've had CID on my card for years and 90 percent of the time they do not ask for ID, no matter if I'm in uniform or not. I've had to point out to the same clerks four or five times that they should check but they never do. I just get the deer in the headlights look.

  4. Goodness, no. I meant to say I typically leave it on the bike. It would be terribly irresponsible of me not to carry my ID. I just don't carry it in to the store with me.

    Anything less would be uncivilized…

  5. In England, all the clerks make a really big show of comparing the signature on the slip to the card. Like you couldn't do a decent forgery after 15 minutes of practice.

  6. I have CID on my card, but most transactions are handled by myself at the register.. ie: i swipe and type the pin in myself. Very rarely will i be asked for my ID.

    One common question i get asked is "credit or debit". My answer is "I dont care" and they'll usually process it as debit. I assume thats because the debit process has to have some customer interaction, ie, i have to know my pin number to process the transaction. I could just as easily say credit and they wouldn't bat an eye.

  7. Visa charges a percentage of the purchase price, but debit is usually a flat fee. Its a great way to reward good service- use debit. If the store ticks you off, make it a credit transaction and let Visa steal some of their margin.

    The smart retailer just says "Is debit ok?"

  8. I have "show ID" on mine and I know wally world is the evil of everything but they ask everytime….

    Most other stores don't…..

    I think the clerks get off asking a uniform cop for his drivers license….. pay backs or something…..

  9. I may be very literal since on some of my credit cards I do not have CID (some one might think I was El CID)
    I have 'See I.D.' and on one I have 'Check I. D.'

    I also have a credit card that I use most often (CitiBank) that has my picture and signature on the front though the signature is small under the picture. The thing is the picture is from 1976 when I got the card and has never been updated.

    I think that all Credit Cards should have the picture and the signature on the front.

    I am surprised that you do not carry ID when on the job. The badge/gun/name tag are enough for 99% of the people, but I would think that there is some protocol around that requires you to have ID.

  10. Mwheatley, what does my signature look like?
    You don't know, neither does the clerk, the whole reason for checking a photo ID.

    It's on the back of all my cards. I love it when the clerk asks for the card, looks at the back where it clearly is written in red to check my ID and they "compare" the signature.

    But I do comment on those who do check. I'm with you MC.

  11. I've done some retail work. No one gets mad at me if it says CID and I don't ask. They get royally pissed if I ask and they don't have ID. Retail cashiers get yelled at often enough for crap that they have nothing to do with, they'd like to avoid more if at all possible.

  12. Just a couple of comments, from my time in retail (and some training programs put on by Visa)…

    1. Failing to sign the credit card puts you in violation of your cardholder agreement; theoretically, the merchant would be justified in refusing to accept the card, even with photo ID.

    2. Accepting an unsigned card puts the merchant in violation of his/her agreement with the card companies; again, theoretically, the companies would be justified in declining the sale.

    3. This is specifically for AmEx: the card specifically states it is not transferrable, and only the holder whose name is embossed on the card may use it (Visa and MC generally let immediate family members use Mom or Dad's cards). A rather sharp (but sleazy) attorney sent his secretary, with his AmEx, to buy several computers for the office. The secretary signed her name, the boss got the bill, called AmEx, said "that's not my signature", and the store got a charge-back for the equipment. (Of course, subsequent investigation by AmEx found the attorney had done this numerous times, so AmEx filed fraud charges against the guy, but the store still didn't get paid for 12 full computer systems).

    Having said all that, Alex has a point, too: folks who have "See ID" on their cards tend to get REALLY pissed if you ask, and they left their wallets home. Whwn I was on the PD, I arrested one customer at a CompUSA after he lunged at a cashier who wouldn't accept his "See ID" card without seeing the ID (the customer had left his license home). Silly bassard fought like mad, too… took four of us to subdue him.

  13. I have CID on my card and I used it a good four months before anyone asked me for any sort of ID.

  14. Unfortunately, using a credit card that you have not signed is technically fraud.

    Fortunately, I haven't found a legal definition of "Signature".

    Also, nobody actually checks signatures anymore. Twice I have written, in cursive, the word "Duress" when I was being pressured to sign something that I did not consent to.

  15. Years ago I worked in Retail. (Never again, but that's a whole post of its own.) Once a customer presented an unsigned card, and when I challenged it he explained that he didn't sign any of his cards so that a thief couldn't learn to forge his signature! When I pointed out that a thief could simply sign the card in his own handwriting, his jaw dropped. He signed the card on the spot.

  16. It's not technically fraud, or technically anything.

    Technically, the merchant's agreement with their bank (and therefore card issuer) prohibits them from asking for ID.

    This is why, even when you make a note on the back, they almost never do it… some will humor you, most just don't care, because it's not their money.

  17. Happy, here's how the system is designed to work.

    They send the card to you at your residence. Once you get it you call the 800 number to activate it, and you sign it at that time.

    From that point on as long as the signature on the back of the card matches the signature on the charge slip the transaction is valid and the store where you made your purchase will get their money.

    If you go to make a purchase and haven't signed the card the merchant is supposed to require you to sign it at that time.

    The merchant agreement the store has with the credit card issuer specifically prohibits them from asking for photo ID of any kind, and from requiring a minimum amount to be charged. I know this because I've read and entered into one before.

    Can you find a loophole in this? Sure. And any merchant accepting a purchase without a proper signature is violating their agreement and may not be paid for the charge if it was done fradulently.

    Point being is that I as the merchant don't ever have to have seen your signature before nor even see a picture of you for when you present a pre-signed card and then your signature on the charge slip matches the one on the card that's sufficient authentication (in terms of the merchant agreement) that you are the person who is authorized to use that card.

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