The spread of Gestapo-style “papers please” demands not backed by any law by police and private industry alike must be stopped. Police lie, lie, and lie again to claim you can be arrested for not having ID, but they are legally permitted to lie about this or anything else. Don’t believe the lies of the police, there is not one state in the entire US with a law criminalizing refusal to carry ID. The part of Arizona’s racist SB 1070 law that would have required migrants to carry immigration papers was overturned in court, even the Phoenix police department says so on their web site.
Never carry ID if not driving a car! Again, unless you are driving a car (not just a passenger), you cannot legally be arrested for not having ID anywhere in the US. In MD, DC, and Va, there is not even a law making it a criminal offense to refuse to tell the police who you are (even if you are under arrest for a felony!), so long as you do not give a false answer. Give no answer, not a false answer, to any police question you do not intend to let them have the true answer to. Exercise your right to stay silent and never carry papers that snitch for you while you remain silent!
When a merchant demands ID to take a credit card, ALWAYS refuse!
Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and American Express all permit merchants to ask for ID but explicity forbid them from turning down the sale if you refuse to provide it. If the merchant defies this contractual obligation, refuse to continue the purchase, walk out, and report them to the credit card company for violating the merchant agreement.
Of course, if you think you might ever need to be able to deny having made the purchase, do not use credit cards, use cash only. You will also find merchants are far more cooperative when old-fashioned cash is staring them in the face, as their is no way short of counterfeit money they have to worry about later. My advice? Don’t use debit cards at all, don’t have credit card accounts if you can get by without them because these cards are almost as good as ID anyway in tracking who buys what. There are exactly three ways to buy untraceable ANYTHING: Cash, bitcoin and its competitors, and prepaid credit cards bought with cash from a vendor not requiring any verifiable personal information to activate the card.
If a merchant goes so far as to demand ID or any personal information for a cash purchase of a tangible item, demand they sell it without that information and walk out with your cash if they refuse! During the early 2000’s Consumers Union caught some Radio Shack outlets refusing to sell to cash customers who declined to share personal information , a practice that quickly changed when Consumers Union went public about it.