Is a bank allowed to make a photocopy of my driver’s license, passport and ATM card during cashing a check as a part of verification?

UPDATED: Mar 23, 2012

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Is a bank allowed to make a photocopy of my driver’s license, passport and ATM card during cashing a check as a part of verification?

I was cashing a personal check and as a part of verification they make a photocopy of my drivers license, my foreign passport and my PNC Bank visa card. They told me that they will store it for 90 days. I don’t have account with them so I’m not their customer. They didn’t as for my permission, and they make photocopy in 100% size of original documents. Also, is it true that it is illegal to make photocopy of a foreign passport (my Polish passport)? I have found that they can by photographed only.

Asked on March 23, 2012 under General Practice, New Jersey


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I believe it may be illegal to make a photocopy of such international documents unless you are an agency handling travel documents. This is not for the bank to do. If they have a strict policy regarding cashing checks for non customers, there are other ways to do it or simply refuse. What you need to do is file a complaint with the bank's regulator and hope that this move will be sufficient to help you get the better result you need and the destruction of those documents.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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