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Banks can make 'reasonable' ID requests

July 22nd, 2009 10:06 AM by Ron Mastrodonato

Banks can make 'reasonable' ID requests

Q: Dear Dr. Don,
Where are the banking laws in regard to cashing checks? One bank has a new policy where noncustomers must provide Social Security numbers along with occupation, address, two forms of I.D. -- and a fingerprint! That's just to cash a check. This is outrageous. Is it legal?
-- Rob Rigmarole

A: Dear Rob,
It sure does sound like overkill to require all those things to get your check cashed. I'm going to assume that the check was drawn on the bank in question and that's the reason why you went there to cash it as a noncustomer.

Here's an excerpt from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's FAQ page, "Answers About Cashing Checks":

Why doesn't a national bank have to cash a check that is drawn on them?

There is no federal law or regulation that requires national banks to cash checks for noncustomers. Most banks have policies that allow check cashing services only for customers who have an account with them in order to protect both themselves and their customers from forgeries.


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Posted by Ron Mastrodonato on July 22nd, 2009 10:06 AM


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