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This opinion was issued in the third quarter of 2000.
Mass.Gen.Laws chapter 93, section 105(b)(1) states that no person, firm partnership, corporation of other business entity accepting a check in any business or commercial transaction as payment in full or in part for goods or services shall require, as a condition of acceptance of such check, that the person presenting such check provide a credit card number, or any personal identification information other than a name address, motor vehicle operator license number or state identification information of such person and telephone number, all of which may be recorded; provided, however that the person, firm, partnership, corporation or other business entity accepting such check may verify the signature, name, and expiration date on a credit card; provided further, that in complying with a request to provide a telephone number, the number, person paying with a check may provide either a home or daytime telephone number.
The applicability of this section is triggered by the activity of accepting a check in any business or commercial transaction as payment in full or in part for goods or services. Therefore some entities may be outside the scope of the statute.
It is the position of the Division that a bank would not generally be subjected to said section 105 because, in the ordinary course of business, a bank is not a seller of goods or services. In the limited instance in which a bank does sell a service and accepts a check from a consumer for said service then said section 105 would be applicable, as the bank, in that limited instance, is a corporation accepting a check in a business transaction as payment in full for a service it provides. If a bank is not subject to said section 105, the Division is unaware of any banking law or regulation which would limit the information that could be requested. Please note that the applicable law, Mass.Gen.Law chapter 93, is not within the jurisdiction of the Division. The Commissioner of Banks is not mentioned in the statute as the regulating authority. It is advised that the Public Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General's Office be contacted to determine if the answer is consistent with the position of that office