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Is the dealership mandated to collect your SSN if you are paying for the car in cash?

Discussion in 'Dealers & Pricing' started by crazyhorse, Oct 16, 2009.

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  1. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Junior Member

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    I have a question for all the dealers on this forum as well as for folks who paid for their cars in cash (i.e., no financing from the dealer) -

    I recently bought my Prius II for cash from an IL dealer. As I was concluding the deal he asked for my social. I reiterated that I was buying for cash and I didnt want my credit pulled since I was planning to refinance my mortgage and didnt want any hits at this time. He said that it was a requirement of the Patriot Act and he HAD to do it.

    Since I had driven all the way to the dealership and my wife was starting to get irritated, I gave him the social and then we moved on.

    Later I mentioned this to a friend who also recently purchased a car for cash and he said he never gave his social. So my question to all dealers is - what is the real scoop? Did he just pull my credit to snoop around? to try and sell their financing which I clearly did not want?

    The reason I am posting this is 'coz I probably gave the dealership low marks on "Integrity" and the sales manager called me and was all pissy about it. He too reiterated that it was a govt requirement to get the SSN. I want to know what the truth is.
  2. swerthei

    swerthei Junior Member

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    I dealt with two different dealerships while buying my 2010 Prius. The first gave me the exact same story: even though I was paying cash, they insisted on getting my SSN and running a credit check, saying that it's some kind of government regulation related to the Patriot Act. I argued for quite a while about this, but they were adament about needing my SSN, and I eventually gave it to them. The second dealer did not even ask for my SSN, and ran no credit check - it was a much smoother process.

    So either the first dealer was just giving me a bunch of BS because they couldn't figure out how to deviate one iota from their script, or the second dealer violated a federal law during my sale. I do not know this for certain, but I strongly suspect that the first dealer was the one behaving wrongly, and that there is really no such requirement.
  3. ALICASPIANI

    ALICASPIANI New Member

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    I purchased prius III, I was asked for S.S.#, I offered the dealer I will pick the car when the check is cleared by my bank.
    Anyway, I provid them my S.S.#.
    I was told by dealer that, all dealers must provid info to IRS & Department of H.L.S. for cash deal.:eek:
  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Large cash transactions are red flags for security issues and tax evasion. Here is an excerpt from the IRS regulation:



    Tom
    1 person likes this.
  5. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I paid by personal check, and have no recollection of being asked for SSN. But the banks have similar reporting requirements, even for large personal checks pre-Patriot Act, and they already have SSNs, so I'm presuming the reporting was performed from the bank, not from the car dealer.

    The dealer did require some other ID from me.
    1 person likes this.
  6. PriusLewis

    PriusLewis Management Scientist

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    I believe this started with the changes in laws for the War On Drugs in the late '80's, and our freedom to make legal purchases without government intervention was further eroded by the so-called "Patriot" Act.
    fotomoto and dave77 like this.
  7. djasonw

    djasonw Active Member

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    Unfortunately you do have to provide a SS# for transactions over 10k, but under no circumstances does the dealer have a right to run your credit report if you are paying cash. I'd definitely complain as inquiries on your credit slightly effect your credit score (though not by much).
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  8. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Nadir of Wrongness

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  9. DaveShepherd

    DaveShepherd Member

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    I wrote a check (on a home equity line of credit) for my Gen III two months ago. I left the SSN line blank, and the finance manager had no problem with it. I don't know what I would have done if he had insisted.

    Incidentally, as you can see from my location, I live in the hometown of federal regulation, and I bought my car from the biggest Toyota dealer in Fairfax City, Virginia. They obviously did not feel that they had to insist on having my SSN.
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  10. bestmapman

    bestmapman 2010 Prius waiting on 2015

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    Here is what I did in a similiar situation. I reversed the last two numbers. In my situation everyone was happy. They got a SSN and I didn't give mine out. If they would have checked or it really mattered, then it is a common mistake that I make by getting those two last numbers confused. It happens to me all the time. Stupid me.
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  11. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Junior Member

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    In my case the sales person asked me to sign a disclosure that I am GIVING him permission to check my credit. So this leaves me with no protection since I have authorized him to do so.

    The dealership kept me cooling my heels for almost 2 hours despite the fact that the car was there and all he needed from me was a personal check. At one time I just wanted to finish it and get out of there and that's why I jumped the gun and didnt question him further. Lesson learned. Never again.

    For those of you who guard their credit reports like I do, remember this incident and stay firm if the dealer insists on getting your SSN.
  12. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Is that a car with federal plates I see pulling into your driveway? :D

    Tom
  13. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    In VA the SSN's of those on the title are required along with proof of current insurance and a governmental picture ID in order to register the vehicle. If some are missing then the transaction can't continue.

    As regards drawing credit we only do it when the buyer specifically authorizes us to do it. However we make it clear that if the buyer is buying the vehicle with a personal check that we are going to verify who they are via the credit bureaus. If there's a problem in doing that...then no delivery.
  14. crazyhorse

    crazyhorse Junior Member

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    Thanks. I was really looking for a Dealer's perspective on this thread. Most other replies have been from buyers like me.



    This I can understand. I had to enter my DL number (or the SSN in lieu of if I didnt have an in-state DL) when I had to file the forms to register the vehicle with the DMV.



    So exactly what additional info is the credit union going to provide that will verify my identity that I cannot provide myself with a Driver's License or better still a Passport? Unless I see something clearly written on the IRS or some other Govt website that states that dealer's need to pull a car buyer's credit, I simply cannot accept that the dealer was following rules. It sounds more and more like it was a defined process and no one out there had the intelligence to question the rationale.
  15. chinna

    chinna Junior Member

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    Ok, I thought I was only the one who had to provide these details. It happend with my other car purchase. Dealer insisted he need to have SSN and I filled the SSN, but I did not sign the credit check requirement. We had almost an hour argument, I said show me in print the rule and regulation ( Patriot act) where it mentions you need to run credit check for no-loan transaction. They searched some books, and gave up. I told them if that is case, if you have run credit check, I am going to walk out. So finally they did not check credit, but they will hold my personal check and want a Cashier check with-in 5 days and took the delivery. So gave them Cashier check 4 days later and collected my personal check from them.

    I strongly believe that there is some mis-understanding of the rule, and they are doing it thinking better to be safe than sorry.

    BTW, I would not have taken the vehicle delivery if they insisted.
  16. DianneWhitmire

    DianneWhitmire High PRIUStess

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    While some of these required things are dealer-mandated, we are required by law (yes, thanks to the Patriot Act after 9/11) to have a soc sec # or passport info for cash payers. That's green cash.

    A personal check is not cash. Nor is a cashier's check. Cash is green with lots of presidents on it. Anything over 9999 is reported to the IRS on a specific form we are required to do.

    As a dealership, when it comes to cashier's checks and personal checks, these are documents that are, really, a piece of paper with a signature on them. They can have a stop payment done at any time before we cash 'em. Some stores prefer to guard their assets differently. Some stores will write a vehicle contract as an option contract so they have a contract to get funded by a bank if you decide to play games with the money and stop payment. Before you balk, I worked somewhere for 9 years that did things like that because it happened a few times, so a few weasels spoil the trust issue for many.
    Dianne
  17. wtb

    wtb New Member

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    Yes, dealerships are mandated to collect your SSN or TIN number if you are paying cash or cash equivalents (cashier's check, money orders, traveler's check) of more than $10,000. Here's the definition of "cash" per IRS website.

    What does “cash†mean for the purposes of Form 8300?
    Cash is money. It is currency and coins of the United States and any other country. Cash is also certain monetary instruments - a cashier’s check, bank draft, traveler’s check, or money order - if it has a face amount of $10,000 or less. Personal checks are not considered cash.

    Cashier's check is not consider cash if it has a lien attached to it.
  18. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    Readers should note that large personal checks are reported to the IRS by the bank, not by the dealer, according to rules that long predate the Patriot Act.
  19. DaveShepherd

    DaveShepherd Member

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    This is consistent with my experience. I wrote a personal check (on a home equity credit line) and was not required to give my SSN.
  20. DeadPhish

    DeadPhish Senior Member

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    The bureaus will confirm primarily that the buyer exists and is not a dead person. Then it confirms address but most importantly to us it confirms that the buyer is capable of buying a $20000 - $40000 vehicle. If for example the buyer has been in the bureaus for 18 mo's with a high credit of $1500, all on store credit cards, doesn't own a home and looks to be 40-50 yrs old????

    Hmmmm where were you for the first 39 yrs of your life?

    However the credit bureau verification is done normally when the buyer is giving us a personal check for all or part of the purchase with a check from another source for the balance. If it's during working hours we can call his bank, assuming it's in-state in order to verify that the check is good. What happens if it's Sat, Sun, a holiday or after 6 PM on any weekday??

    Side note: It used to be that one's SSN was the key number in all verifications. This is no longer true. The SSN and DL# are both collected, sent to the Feds via the registration process and the two numbers must match the person buying the vehicle. If one doesn't match the other and the name of the buyer then the registration will be blocked and someone will be visiting the buyer.
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