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Buying a Car With Help From Big Brother (Friday, October 18, 2013)

I've been trying to buy an SUV for years, since the Mustang doesn't drive in the snow real well - or if it even looks like it might snow at some point in the near future. But I've always managed to put it off. Of course, now that we're in Colorado, and being reminded that I've already got the Mustang stuck a couple times, I figured it was finally time to actually do it.

We test drove a bunch of cars, and I don't need to go into that drama. But finally, today, we found a used SUV that we both liked, that was fairly cheap, and in great condition, and decided to buy it. So, I went to the bank, withdrew cash to cover the purchase price of the car, and went back to the dealer to do the paperwork.

Imagine my shock when they asked for my social security number. I explained to them that since I was paying cash, there was no need for them to run a credit check. After going through increasing levels of management, a gentleman came out and was able to explain to me (and provide documentation) that the credit check wasn't actually about credit, but rather to verify my identity, and make sure that I'm not on any government watch lists, and that this requirement came about as part of the "Patriot" Act.

That really pissed me off. Of course, it wasn't the dealer's fault. But I pointed out that it was unlikely that the watch lists are archived by social security number, and we all realized this was a two step process - use the credit check to make sure you are who you say you are, and then make sure that the you that you are isn't on the government lists. So I said, how about we verify my identity without checking me credit. So he smugly asked for three forms of government issue picture ID (that'll get him, he thought). Well, I just happened to have three forms of government issue picture ID on me, to his surprise, and he accepted it.

So as usual, when someone insists that you have to give them your social security number, usually that means they just haven't thought about why they need it, and if you waste enough of their time, they'll figure out a (slightly) less intrusive method of doing whatever it is they have to do.

They were also really nice and patient about it all. The truck is great, and we got a great deal. I suppose I should give credit where it's due and recommend Frontier Honda in Longmont. Good guys, particularly Chris Loan (yes that's really his name).

—Brian (10/18/2013 10:34 PM)
(3 comments)

Comments

What did you guys end up getting? A CRV? We got a Subaru Forester and really like it.

-- Tracie (10/22/2013 11:52 AM)

Hey Tracie! Cool that you still visit my blog. We got a Toyota Highlander. I'd love a Forester, but that's a bit more than we wanted to pay for a third car.

-- Brian (10/22/2013 9:13 PM)

You're in my Feedly, since the death of Google Reader!

-- Tracie (10/28/2013 1:17 AM)

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