Are They Using Your Driver’s License…To Steal?

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — More and more retailers are asking for, and swiping, your driver’s license.

But as Sandra Mitchell reported on the CBS 2 News at 11 p.m. Thursday, some of those retailers are using your license for the wrong reasons. And, its not illegal!

Many stores use a Southland company to track returns. You can request a return activity report from the company as well.

If so, and you would like a copy of your return activity report from The Retail Equation, please send an email to:

In order to ensure your privacy, please include in your message to The Retail Equation your name and a phone number where The Retail Equation can reach you.

When a representative from The Retail Equation calls they will ask for your return transaction ID number and the last four digits of your ID number. The Retail Equation prefers to call you so that you can avoid sending this private  information via email.

  • Colleen Grace

    When i buy wine at Target they ask for my Drivers License–I am 60 years old–clearly over 21 so I don’t believe that this is all about checking the age of the customer. And why can’t we just show our DL anyway? Why do they need to scan it? This is so bogus.

    • jimi guy

      BIG BROTHER is here and noboby cares!!

  • Bill Benton

    Tell these retailers to get lost, and take your business elsewhere!!! This is invasion of privacy.

  • Meggee101

    Target also asked youfor your License when you buy cough or cold medicine that is not on the list that needs to be reported because the ingredents are used to make Meth. I asked there pharmist if what I was buying was on the list and she said no. That it is why it is on the self and not behind the counter. She sis not know why Target wants your license for all cold Medicine. They are collecting data and using my info. This needs to stop now if they do not have to swipe it by law that they are breaking the law.

  • Walker

    I PURCHASED (NOT RETURNED) a video game two weeks ago at Target in the Inland Empire. They asked for my ID. I am 40! The clerik said it was so that “if I was to shoot up the world they had proof I purchased the game.” The following weeks I had a clothing return (with tags still attached and my original receipt) at KMART. The clerk said she did not need my receipt just the debit card I used. Sure enough she pulled up my info.

  • Hill Billy

    looks like someone switched the video to a fire video…. what happened to the license story?

  • Cats4Mom

    Target also may require driver’s license scanning when you pay your bill in the store. The second time this request was made, I refused, mailed my check, and they cashed it. Macys also likes to scan driver’s licenses for even small purchases if you hold a Platinum card. At the Manhattan Beach store, a clerk actually yanked my license out of my hand and scanned it without my permission. I did not renew the card and no longer shop at Macys.

  • Mary

    The Walking Store in Costa Mesa would not process my return until I handed my driver’s liscence to the clerk. He did not swipe it, but copied and entered my information into his computer/register, saying it would not be stored in a central location. I tried to get the return done without handing over my liscence, but he would not accep my original sales slip and credit card alone. This is the first time this happened in this store. I have returned things over the years with no problems before. I was very uncomfortable about giving him my information. He also asked for my phone # as well. I told him it MAY be illegal to do what he is doing…. I’m not sure though.

    • carmela

      Mary , I went through the same thing. I am taken aback by this practice. I cant get a straight answer anywhere!

  • RetailPawn

    The only people this story will affect will be the retail employees who are going to have to deal with customers refusals to provide information. Dont you understand that retail workers could care less about your information and are just doing what they need to to work with the systems that their employers have given them. If you want to make a stand and change policies, making a fuss with the person at the return counter or even the manager IS NOT the way to do it. When retail workers tell you they can not process returns without your ID, they really cant. If you want things to change, leave the retail employees alone and put your energy into complaining to corporate. I find it very irresposible of CBS to run a story like this, encouraging people to not give information and go against stores current policies. At this point in time, it is only going to cause anger and frustration for BOTH the customer and employee.

    • Dan

      d u m b a s s ! Of course the retail workers don’t care….thats not the point. What is the COMPANY doing with my personal information? Are they selling it to credit bureau’s?

  • J Wu

    I went to Kohl’s and purchased a pair of boots. It is about $20. The cashier asked me for ID. I handed him my CA driver license. He scaned it. I questioned about his action. I was told that it is a standard practice for the company. I came home and called the store manager, I was told that it is Kohl’s policy to scan your driver license when you purchased any item from the store. I never went back. Keep your coupon, Kohl’s!

  • JWu

    I called the Kohl’s customer service dept. at headquarter because the store scaned my driver license when I was purchsing not returing item. I was told by the supervisor Mrs. Harrison, that Kohl’s scaned your driver license any time. The store should scan your driver license, we just start to enforce the law. If you have any question about the practice, you should write to Kohl’s credit P.O. Box 3043, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 3201, Legal Department. She also told me that she is very aware of CA 1798.90.1. It looks like our congress woman Jackie Speier need to do some thing for us ASAP.

  • Ted Baxter

    I work at Kohl’s. They don’t ask for driver’s licenses for purchases to scan. They only use your D.L. number for non-receipted returns and do not swipe it. If this is going on at a Kohl’s, it’s the store itself doing that, not company mandate.

    • Nonya Bussinezz

      I was at Kohls last night returning some baby shoes i bought a couple hours befor and because they did not fit, i wanted to return for a dress at the same price, they wanted my Drivers license i said i would show them it allowing them to see its me but not going to allow them to scan it they said they have to , register is requesting it and we can not over ride it, Oh yes i did have a reciet / proof of purchase, they said if it was 24hrs later it would be different i was out raged, Our licensee and social security is the key to EVERYTHING violating our right to privacy so your wrong.

  • tom

    Why not say you do not have a driver’s license and pull out your official state i.d. card with a photo on it. Why does anyone need a driver’s license in a retail store. there are lots of folks who do not drive.

  • van

    I did an exchange at “the children place” and they asked me for my driver license. They won’t let me do the exchange if I don’t give them my driver license if I wanted to do the exchange. I felt like I was a thief when they demanded me to give them my driver license or else. I was so shock. I made my purchase with cash. I’m a honest consumer. I can’t they would dare to put my driver license information into their database to see how many returns/exchanges I made to make sure I’m not a thief. It is called a retail store. Things get bought and return. If they don’t like it they should have a retail store in the first place. They should change their store policy, if a customer doesn’t have their receipt they shouldn’t get nothing back. Why make us honest consumer suffer for other fraudulent shoppers.

  • Charles Pushrod

    Don’t shop at stores that attempt to scan your driver’s license. It’s only a matter of time before they lose your information to hackers, just like what happened to Sony, Citibank, and countless others.

  • karen

    I just returned an item (didn’t fit my daughter) at Children’s Place and they requested and swiped my DL. I called the corporate office to complain about the policy and all they said was ‘thanks for your comments’. I too have received several emails from other retailers saying that their system was hacked into and a 3rd party now has my information. It’ll just be a matter of time before I get the same email from CP. I will no longer shop at Children’s Place. Their loss – I used to spend a ton of money there. How can we get this law fixed?

  • Denise

    I have seen I.D.’s scanned for liquor purchases but for crafts? My first (and last) experience occurred at a Michael’s store in Glendale on 1-6-12. I was returining a $1.00 item (unopened) that I had paid cash for and had a receipt. I was asked for my I.D. which I presented and then asked to remove it from my wallet. I asked the clerk why she needed my I.D. for return of a $1.00 item. Without my permission, she scanned (swiped) my I.D. (CA DL). This is clearly an abuse of business practice and not in conformance with the purpose of CA Civil Code 1798.90.1. Obviously, a lawsuit against a business engaging in inappropriate scanning practices is needed here. Until such time, exercise your options to either accept or refuse scanning or bypass businesses that insist on scanning your I.D. Inform the business’ corporate office, in writing, of your objection to the practice.

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