While it’s likely that when you decide to pawn an item, you choose a pawn shop with which you do regular business and share a mutual trust, this is unfortunately not enough from a legal standpoint. You need to provide legitimate identification to the shop at the time of the transaction. What follows is a list of acceptable types of ID for pawn transactions. Please note that these are the regulations for the State of Texas, and that your own state may have different requirements for ID.
1) Drivers License
Easily the most common form of identification for most people, this is any vehicle operator’s license valid in the state. Ordinarily these ID cards will be enough identification all by themselves for most pawn shops, as they have a picture and a unique, government issued ID number.
2) Military Identification Number
There are several types of Military ID cards, the bulk of which are dependent on the person’s current status as military personnel. Regardless of that status though, the statute in the Finance Code of Texas governing pawn tickets as part of pawn transactions (371.157, visible here) simply states that a military identification number is all that’s necessary. Therefore, it’s possible the pawn shop may ask for another form of ID, specifically one containing a picture.
3) Other Government Issued Identification
There are a variety of other forms of ID that may be acceptable, and the above statute doesn’t go into great detail. The rule of thumb to follow is that the ID must be government issued, and should clearly identify you in some way. If you’re lacking a driver’s license and identification with a picture is requested, a passport would be acceptable under most circumstances.
While it would be nice and easy if everything worked on a handshake agreement, providing your identification to the pawn broker protects both yourself and the pawn broker–it’s proof that you are the individual who completed the transaction. Next time you’re ready to pawn, don’t forget your ID!