New York General Business Law § 520-a. Certain credit and debit card transaction forms required




1. Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation which issues forms used for credit or debit card transactions between the credit card or debit card holder and seller, shall only issue such credit or debit card forms, except for such forms utilized for a special purpose incidental but related to the actual purchase and sale agreement including but not limited to shipping, delivery or installment of purchased merchandise or special orders, which:

a. are carbonless;  or

b. after the transaction is complete, do not render a separate piece of paper, carbon or otherwise, which readily identifies the cardholder by name or number, other than those necessary for use by the seller, credit or debit card holder and issuer to complete the credit or debit card transaction.

2. Any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation which accepts credit or debit cards used for credit or debit card transactions between the credit card or debit card holder and seller, shall only use credit or debit card forms except for such forms utilized for a special purpose incidental but related to the actual purchase and sale agreement including but not limited to shipping, delivery or installment of purchased merchandise or special orders, which:

a. are carbonless;  or

b. after the transaction is complete, do not render a separate piece of paper, carbon or otherwise, which readily identifies the cardholder by name or number, other than those necessary for use by the seller, credit card or debit card holder and issuer to complete the credit or debit card transaction.  No person, firm, partnership, association or corporation which accepts credit or debit cards for the transaction of business shall be deemed to have violated the provisions of this subdivision, if such person, firm, partnership, association or corporation shows by a preponderance of evidence that the violation was not intentional and resulted from bona fide error made notwithstanding the maintenance of procedures reasonably adopted to avoid any such error.

3. No person, firm, partnership or corporation which accepts credit or debit cards for the transaction of business shall require the credit or debit card holder to write on the credit or debit card transaction form, nor shall it write or cause to be written on such form or on any attachment thereto, any personal identification information, including but not limited to the credit or debit card holder's address or telephone number, that is not required by the credit or debit card issuer to complete the credit or debit card transaction;  provided, however, that the credit or debit card holder's address and telephone number may be required on such form or attachment thereto where (i) such information is necessary for shipping, delivery or installation of purchased merchandise or for special orders;  or (ii) the person, firm, partnership or corporation processes credit or debit card transactions by mailing transaction forms to a designated bankcard center for settlement.

4. No person, firm, partnership, association or corporation which accepts a personal check, gift certificate, traveler's check or money order in payment for goods or services used or bought for use primarily for personal, family or household purposes, and which as a condition of such acceptance requires that the check drawer or redeemer of the gift certificate, traveler's check or money order provide a credit or charge card, shall record on such check, gift certificate, traveler's check or money order or elsewhere, the card account number.  Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit any person, firm, partnership, association or corporation, as a condition for the acceptance of a check, gift certificate, traveler's check or money order in payment for goods or services from:  (i) requesting a purchaser to display a credit or charge card as a means of identification, or as an indication of credit worthiness or financial responsibility;  or (ii) recording on the check, gift certificate, traveler's check or money order the type of credit or charge card so displayed and/or the credit or charge card expiration date;  provided, further, that nothing in this subdivision shall require any business entity to accept a check, gift certificate, traveler's check or money order in payment for goods or services whether or not a credit or charge card is displayed.

4-a. a. No person, firm, partnership, association, limited liability company, corporation, or other entity that accepts charge, credit, or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print the expiration date of the charge, credit, or debit card nor shall any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company, or other entity print more than the last five digits of the charge, credit, or debit card account number upon any receipt provided to the card holder.

b. This subdivision shall apply only to receipts that are electronically printed and shall not apply to transactions in which the sole means of recording the person's charge, credit, or debit card number is by handwriting or by an imprint or copy of the credit card.

c. The provisions of this subdivision shall apply to all cash registers or other machines or devices, which electronically print receipts for charge, credit, or debit card transactions, that are placed in service on or after January first, two thousand four.

d. For all cash registers or other machines or devices that electronically print receipts for charge, credit, or debit card transactions in service prior to January first, two thousand four, the provisions of this subdivision shall not apply until January first, two thousand seven.

e. A person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company, or other entity who violates this subdivision shall be given notice with specificity of such violation and be granted two weeks to correct such violation in its entirety.  If such violation is not corrected in its entirety at the end of such two-week period, the violation shall be punishable by a civil penalty of five hundred dollars, and the violator shall be granted an additional one week in which to correct such violation in its entirety.  If such violation is not corrected in its entirety at the end of such one-week period, such violation shall be punishable by a civil penalty of one thousand dollars per week until such violation is corrected in its entirety.  The aggregate penalties imposed on an individual person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, limited liability company, or other entity for violations of this subdivision shall not exceed four thousand five hundred dollars for violations occurring on the same premises.

5. A violation of subdivision one of this section shall be punishable by a civil fine not to exceed one thousand dollars.  A violation of subdivision two, three, or four of this section, if such violation constitutes the first such offense by such person shall be punishable by a civil fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars.  The second offense and any offense committed thereafter shall be punishable by a civil fine not to exceed one thousand dollars.

6. Whenever there shall be a violation of this section an application may be made by the attorney general in the name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having jurisdiction by a special proceeding to issue an injunction, and upon notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and restrain the continuance of such violation;  and if it shall appear to the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in fact, violated this section, an injunction may be issued by the court or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violations, without requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged thereby.  In any such proceeding, the court may make allowances to the attorney general as provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules, and direct restitution.  In connection with any such proposed application the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance with the civil practice law and rules.



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