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No, businesses do not have to accept cash

A Verify viewer wanted to know if federal law requires businesses to take cash.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Do you still carry around cash? Several businesses in Charlotte now only accept debit or credit. A Verify viewer wanted to know if federal law requires businesses to take cash. 

You have seen the signs on gas station pumps and even checkout lines saying, "Credit or debit only." That prompted Dan S. to write into Verify. He noticed some establishments in Charlotte are card-only and refuse to take cash for purchases. He heard a rumor about a federal law requiring all businesses to take U.S. currency for purchases. Is this true? 

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No, there is no federal law that requires all businesses to take U.S. currency for purchases. 



"There is no law at the federal level that says that you have to accept cash in addition to credit cards," Mauney explained.

The Federal Reserve states:

"Private businesses are free to develop their own policies on whether to accept cash unless there is a state law that states otherwise." 

"It is legal tender. It is acceptable payment but a business does not have to accept cash. They can take another form of payment," Mauney said.

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Several states have laws that require businesses to accept cash, but right now, North Carolina is not one of them. 

However, some in the North Carolina Assembly are looking to pass a bill that would require businesses to accept cash. That bill passed the House and is now in the Senate. 

Contact Meghan Bragg at mbragg@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit VERIFY.

WCNC Charlotte's Verify series is all about trying to make a difference in the Carolinas by making sure the community has the correct information. WCNC Charlotte outlines concisely what we know and what we don't know. Sometimes the answer can be surprising. Watch previous stories where we verify social media claims in the YouTube playlist below and subscribe to get updated when new videos are uploaded.  

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