Is it legal? Some Myrtle Beach restaurants now hold your ID while you eat

·2 min read

Some Myrtle Beach restaurants along Ocean Avenue are now requiring a credit card and ID, such as a driver’s license, to hold onto before you can sit down to eat.

One restaurant, RipTydz Rooftop Grille & Bar, implemented this policy earlier this year according to general manager Dave Goodbread.

Lori Ferrero, who was visiting from Myrtle Beach, said she left the restaurant after being told by staff that an ID and credit card would be required to hold onto during seating. She made a Facebook post that has garnered hundreds of likes and shares with many who agree that holding an ID is problematic.

“I do understand their reasoning, but if a customer has cash, they shouldn’t have to give your driver’s license and credit card for them to hold,” Ferrero said. “Too much scamming and identity theft going on.”

Another restaurant, Beach House Bar and Grill, enforces this policy with the summer season in order to keep people from dining and dashing.

“We have a big problem during the summer months with a lot of people walking out on their tabs,” Cameron Van Buren, a manager, said. “If they are not comfortable with that option, we have a “pay as you go” option. You can just order things, and it’s like grabbing a drink and then paying for your drink as soon as you get it.”

While there are no laws forbidding this type of policy, different credit card companies have different rules about merchants asking for an ID at the time of purchase.

Visa does not allow an ID requirement

A merchant is permitted to ask for an ID but cannot require it as a condition of Visa card acceptance. The exception to this rule is if Visa has granted the merchant permission to require an ID under certain circumstances for fraud control, according to the Visa rules listed online.

Mastercard does not allow an ID requirement unless necessary

A merchant can request but not require additional identification as a condition of purchase, unless the information is needed such as for shipping, according to its rules listed online.

American Express allows an ID requirement with unsigned cards

A merchant can require an ID if they are presented with an unsigned card. The merchant is supposed to ask the customer to sign the card, and to then provide a form of identification in order to match the signature.

When you present an ID and a credit card, your personal information is at risk. If a merchant refuses to honor your card if you don’t show ID, you can alert your credit card company by calling the number on the back of the card. It’s recommended that if you don’t plan on providing an ID, your credit card should be signed, according to, a personal finance website.