General Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

For those of you who have jobs that require you to check ID's, what do you do if you encounter a post-op transexual?

Asked by KatawaGrey (21305 points ) October 24th, 2010

I am curious because, where I work, we have to check ID’s whenever someone pays with a credit or debit card to make sure the person paying with the card is the person who owns the card. As you can imagine, a post-op transexual may not only have a different name but look relatively different from the picture on an ID. When I asked my manager what to do in such a situation, she said that if the last name was the same and the picture on the card and the person standing in front of me looked enough alike, I could take the card. However, I know that some transexuals have extensive plastic surgery as well. When I put this concern to her, she said that if someone says they had surgery, I should accept the card, the reasoning being that no one would make that up, which I am inclined to believe.

I do not mean to offend with this question, but I am curious about how other companies and/or professions handle this if ID is needed in a business transaction.

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20 Answers

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
anartist's avatar

This is soooo hypothetical. If, on the rare chance that you are exposed to this situation, take your supervisor’s advice and don’t worry about it.

funkdaddy's avatar

Unless I’m mistaken, that person would most likely get a new ID to go along with their new persona.

It doesn’t seem this would be any different than a name change or (according to the law) an address change, where you’ll be issued a new ID.

lillycoyote's avatar

I read the question now. I imagine one of the first things a post-operative transexual would do would be to take care of the legalities, such as a legal name change, new drivers license, etc. I’m not sure what the laws are but states generally like the information on your drivers license to be accurate. Legal name, correct gender, current address, etc. I doubt that you will encounter a post-operative transexual who hasn’t taken care of all that.

And what @funkdaddy said. If a woman gets married and takes her husband’s name then she has to go through all that too. I can’t see that it would be much different.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@lillycoyote: I’m talking about driver’s licenses specifically though we also accept school ID’s, military ID’s and other forms of official ID with both name and picture. I started thinking about this because I keep getting cards from women who have gotten married recently and the last name is different on their cards. It got me to thinking about someone who would not only have a different name but also look different. If they are newly post-op, they may not have gotten around to getting new cards or may be in the process of doing so.

@anartist: My assistant manager actually did encounter a post-op transexual who was in the process of getting everything changed over. It may seem unimportant to you, but we have this policy to keep people from using stolen cards even if the thief is a twelve-year-old who took Mom’s debit card and I wouldn’t want to be the one who makes the mistake that loses someone a lot of money.

lillycoyote's avatar

@KatawaGrey Yeah. I think it can be something of a tedious process legally changing your identity for whatever reason, so maybe it takes some people longer than others, but people usually get around to it within a reasonable time because it can be difficult to manage banking, bills, wills, writing checks, insurance policies, deeds, credit cards, etc. if all the information doesn’t match up. I don’t think you ever really get the full picture of how many legal and financial documents and other things that an ordinary person generates until a name change or a death.

Katexyz's avatar

Well the process varies a lot state to state, but one can always be issued a US passport card with proper name and gender, if one can provide documentation from a medical professional of one’s gender identity. This can be done at any point in time. Some states also allow drivers license changes along the same lines. Save either of those options almost every state allows drivers license, and birth certificate changes after SRS. I explain all this, because it means that your concerns are almost certainly not with these individuals, but pre-op individuals who have yet to fill out appropriate legal paperwork for whatever reason. In this case, I would say that taking your manager’s advice is probably a good idea. If the debit/credit card matches the drivers license, and the person looks mostly similar, meets the same height, and eye color, things like that, it’d be safe to assume it’s the same person.

lapilofu's avatar

I apologize that I don’t have a useful answer to the above question, but I wanted to respond to some of the other responses.

I have at least two good friends whose genders (in appearance and identity) are at odds with what is on their cards (both visually and literally)—so it’s can’t be that uncommon a situation.

One of them in particular has been transitioning for a couple years and is only now finally scheduled to have a legal name change hearing in February—which is indeed four months from now. Which indicates to me not only that it takes some people some time to decide to go through the legal process, but that they are then subject to the retardation of the legal system.

lillycoyote's avatar

@lapilofu Yes, of course, in my own answer above I said: “If a woman gets married and takes her husband’s name then she has to go through all that too. I can’t see that it would be much different.” But, on reflection, I imagine it’s probably quite a bit different. I guess I was thinking more terms of there always being issues with IDs when a person’s circumstances and status changes so that people deal with the changes in legal status fairly quickly and people who are required to check IDs deal inconsistencies. But I think I may have been naive to believe that changing ones name and gender on legal and financial documents would be as simple as changing ones name in the case of a marriage. But it also seems that it may not be so much a matter of deciding to go through the legal process as it is a matter of there just being so many steps. As I mentioned in my comment above ” I don’t think you ever really get the full picture of how many legal and financial documents and other things that an ordinary person generates until a name change or a death.” When my father died the paper trail seemed endless. When my best friend got married she was going to use her maiden name for her middle name since she didn’t have one, she was an NME, and take her husband’s name as her last name until she started the process and found out what a big pain in the ass it would be and just decided not to pursue it. I suspect the normal bureaucracy that anyone faces is part of it and of course, gender change? That’s a big one. Quite a bit different that filling out a change of address form, for sure.

skfinkel's avatar

I like your boss’s take on this—his (her?) default is trust.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Although this has never happened to me, I had a job for many years that required me to check ID for selling alcohol, tobacco, and gambling. I often thought about what I would do if it were to happen, and basically decided I would go with my gut if the situation should ever arise. Never asked about protocol.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I worked with a client that went through the male to female process. We acted as adults and just handled everything in a dignified manner. If you want to discuss this further Katawa, send me a PM.

john65pennington's avatar

Most states require a new photo on your drivers license, in this type of situation.

Tell you boss to check with your states DMV and ask this question. you need to know this.

MissPoovey's avatar

I worked checking ID’s for alcohol. We have encountered this question. Let’s face it, if your id and you do not match, then you cannot use it. You cannot fly, buy alcohol, gamble (well they may let you lose, but if you win enough, I bet they deny it), vote, or drive.
Do not let this question throw you, the rules are there for a reason. Do not take someone’s word for anything, ID’s are required for a reason. To protect someone’s account (in your case). The person using the id should be happy you are protecting them from a loss, not offended your doing your job.
Paying with cash is still legal and accepted at all stores.
JMO and experience.

downtide's avatar

I have my legal name and title change already even though I’m still pre-op, and my ID all still shows female. When I need to show ID I show my passport (which still shows my old name and gender) in conjunction with my name change documents. Once I have my Gender Recognition Certificate, which I will get post-op, I’ll be able to get my pasport changed to “male”, so then everything will match.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@downtide: Thank you for answering. Honestly, I think that would be the best to protect the card owner but I can see how someone who is in the process of getting everything changed over might not want to carry all that documentation I would imagine it’s not an easy document to interpret.

@MissPoovey: Honestly, if I had my druthers, I wouldn’t accept cards from anyone with different names on their cards. It drives me crazy that I have to accept cards from women who have gotten married and haven’t gotten all of their cards changed over. However, since I do accept these cards, I should accept the cards of other people who have gotten their names and/or appearances changed. I also have trouble if someone, say, lost a huge amount of weight since they took their picture or, worse, lost a bunch of weight, got a new hair color and grew a full beard or shaved it off.

Such are the concerns of a cashier…

MissPoovey's avatar

Being a married woman, contrary to my handle, I have had to change cards, lic. and hassle with SSA, IRS and dept. stores. If you, as a cashier, see my card come across your counter without proper ID please do not take it!

JilltheTooth's avatar

If the ID doesn’t maych, you could also ask the person for the signature that would match the ID,for comparison, just to confirm s/he is who s/he says she is. Sometimes that might help. :-)

KatawaGrey's avatar

@JilltheTooth: A disproportionately large number of people don’t actually sign their cards! They don’t even write “see ID” they just leave the strip blank! It’s ridiculous. We’re allowed to match signatures if there’s no ID but I get cards with blank strips about half the time.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Ah, my answer was predicated on them having an ID with….oh. Now I get it. I’m not firing on all synapses today, sorry, MyMouse. <thumps forehead>

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