Are Georgia retailers required to accept payment by check?

March 6, 2017

Dear Consumer Ed:

I prefer to pay for my purchases by check, but it seems there are very few stores and gas stations in Georgia that accept checks.   Are there any regulations that require Georgia retailers to accept payment via check?

Consumer Ed says: 

No, retailers are not legally required to accept payment via check.  When you buy something at a store, you are entering into a contract. The terms of that contract are what you and the store agree to. If the store wants to accept cash only, it may make that a term of your agreement. While many businesses will take a check or credit card, there are business reasons for accepting only cash, especially for a small business. Credit cards cost the store money, and checks can bounce.  If method of payment is important to you, you should check with the retailer before attempting to make a purchase.  And be sure to ask about any applicable restrictions (for example, retailers often require you to show a form of  identification such as a driver’s license or credit card if you are paying by check. Note that the merchant is allowed to record your driver’s license number but not your credit card number).