How to fix the signature on a debit card.
December 22, 2004 7:34 PM   Subscribe

The signature has worn off of my debit card. Should I resign it? With what? Or, should I just get a new one from the bank?
posted by graventy to Society & Culture (24 answers total)
This happens to me a lot. I usually just don't bother, and 80% of the places I use it at don't check. And the other 20% just ask for another form of identification.

I stopped resigning because it just seemed to wear off faster and faster each time. But I guess YMMV.
posted by sbutler at 7:38 PM on December 22, 2004

Has the signature worn off or has the strip where you sign the card worn off? I think you're fine to re-sign it if the ink has just come off, but the latter could be mistaken for a fraudulent/stolen card.

Regardless, you've got nothing to lose by requesting a new card from your bank.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:40 PM on December 22, 2004

When my first wore off, I got another one from the bank. But then that one wore out, too, within six months, so I just resigned it with a black sharpie. I use it often, and no one has ever given me any crap about it.
posted by Zosia Blue at 7:41 PM on December 22, 2004

Best answer: Sharpie is your friend.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:03 PM on December 22, 2004

Wore off? It's almost impossible for me to get the thing signed in the first place!
posted by ParisParamus at 8:15 PM on December 22, 2004

heh. i used my card so much, not only was my signature obliterated off the back but so was the name/logo of the bank on the front. maybe 1 in 10 cashiers checked it. i just called my bank and got them to send a new one...
posted by hamfisted at 8:22 PM on December 22, 2004

i had my wallet stolen once. since then, i never sign my cards. this usually results in them checking my I.D. that is a good thing.
posted by glenwood at 9:10 PM on December 22, 2004

Ok, say I steal your wallet and all of your credit cards are not signed and then I sign "Glenwood" in my penmanship on the back of your cards... Now if anyone does compare the signatures, they match.

I know they don't all check the signatures, most of the time you can swipe the credit card yourself and they don't ask to see it, but I do what I can.

I stopped signing my cards with my name. I simply put in LARGE black letters ASK FOR ID.

But to answer this AskMe: Sign it again in Sharpie or keep your photo ID handy in case they ask for it.
posted by jerseygirl at 9:33 PM on December 22, 2004

You know that your card is invalid unless and until you sign it, right?

on preview: You know that putting ASK FOR ID leaves your card invalid, unless that's your actual signature, right?
posted by oaf at 9:35 PM on December 22, 2004

My signature strip wears off pretty easily. Most places don't check, the ones that do just ask for a drivers license.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:36 PM on December 22, 2004

Yep. I know. No one has ever ever given me trouble with it, oaf.
posted by jerseygirl at 9:42 PM on December 22, 2004

I put a new strip of non-glossy Scotch tape over the signature area every few months and re-sign it. Seems to work.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 11:37 PM on December 22, 2004

I put "ASK FOR ID" on the back of my cards too... only I never get asked. Guess it must be the fact that my picture is on the card.

Seriously though, you're either going to get asked for ID or not. No one really checks for an accurate signature because as already noted, you can barely sign those things.

If your card gets stolen, anything bought it covered and you'd probably have worse problems at that point anyway.

Now if only we could get them to stop asking: "is that credit or debit?"
posted by o0o0o at 11:54 PM on December 22, 2004

Scene: Me in State Store (state run monopoly liquor retailer in PA).

I present unsigned credit card. Cashier sez "I can't accept this card, it is not signed." I sign card, cashier compares my signature on the card to the receipt which I had signed 30 seconds earlier. Viola, signatures match and I'm good to go. Makes sense to me!
posted by fixedgear at 3:27 AM on December 23, 2004

I'm with jerseygirl. In Sharpie, "Ask for Photo ID." Then I get asked all the time, and having forgotten I signed it that way, am startled. It's madness, I tell you (holidays're gettin to me)
posted by theora55 at 7:59 AM on December 23, 2004

fixedgear - have you posted that story before somewhere? I've read of that exact scene happening elsewhere. In fact, that's the archetype for me now of "credit card signature" stories (not that that's a genre), and I thought of it as I opened up these here comments.
posted by Alt F4 at 8:50 AM on December 23, 2004

When I worked in retail (my entire working life until August of this year) I often ran into people throwing shit fits when I asked for ID in order to accept their credit card. I never understood this. Would they rather I just allowed anybody to wrack up their card?
posted by raedyn at 9:58 AM on December 23, 2004

And then there's my bank. The signature on the back of my card rubbed off long ago. Years ago. But since I usually exclusively use the ATM it hasn't been a problem.

On the rare occasion that I go inside to see real live tellers, they always look up my sig on their computer system to see if what I signed matches their database. Their database still has my signature card from when I got my first account there when I was 8 years old. So they give me a hard time because my signature has changed. Well, big reakin' surprise. I've signed new sig cards there 3 freakin times trying to get them to update it so it's less of a hassle, but it never seems to make it to their computer system.

I've become accustomed to forcing the teller to look at the date on the sig card, the date I became their customer, my current ID showing I'm raedyn and ask if they seriously expect me to still sign like I did when I was eight.
posted by raedyn at 10:04 AM on December 23, 2004


I'm one of those filthy five dollar noobies, so I couldn't have posted it here before. I don't recall posting it elsewhere, though I did tell folks. It makes more sense if you live in Pennsylvania and are familiar with State Stores and the folks that they employ, but it absolutely happened.
posted by fixedgear at 10:24 AM on December 23, 2004

I worked at a bank for 5 years, and I'm with Jersey Girl on this. I write CHECK ID with a Sharpie on the back of my credit cards in large block letters, even though that's not proper procedure. It's nice to see I'm not the only one. Even my mother who worked in a bank for 35 years thinks it is an odd thing to do. Most of the clerks that read it and ask for ID act like I'm a criminal and check it carefully which is the intended purpose. FixedGear's story has also happened to me at a WalMart in Washington.
I also found it odd that people took such offense about being asked for ID. I usually looked for errors rather than fraud. The biggest problem was JR's and SR's getting their mail or cards mixed up, and of course it would be the bank's fault if nobody noticed.
posted by Yorrick at 10:41 AM on December 23, 2004

You know that putting ASK FOR ID leaves your card invalid, unless that's your actual signature, right?

It might be "invalid", but it will still be accepted for payment at 99.9% of merchants, which makes it valid enough for most people. I mean, it's not like the signature police are going to come and arrest you for using a technically invalid credit card.
posted by mr_roboto at 1:09 PM on December 23, 2004

Also, these days many (if not most) places allow you to swipe the card yourself. No questions asked.
posted by o0o0o at 9:53 PM on December 23, 2004

I don't write "check id", I just draw a line in fat black Sharpie. And when they ask for id (if they ask for id, it seems more rare now) I thank them and say that's why I did that. I've never had anyone turn my cards down and I've been doing this for 10+ years.
posted by dness2 at 10:29 AM on December 24, 2004

It's okay to re-sign the card if the original signature is completely gone. It's not a good idea to write "CHECK ID" (unless that's your signature) because a merchant can actually cut your card on the spot if you present the card: the signature on the card ("CHECK ID") won't match the signature on your ID ("Jane Consumer") should the merchant actually check your idenification.

"I also found it odd that people took such offense about being asked for ID."

This is extremely inconvenient for me as I typically don't carry identifcation, nor do I wish to do so. I understand that the merchant is hoping to prevent being defrauded, but in my case both they and I are walking away from a legitimate transaction when it happens.
posted by majick at 10:44 AM on December 24, 2004

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