California Civil Code
(a) A check casher shall not charge a fee for cashing a payroll check or government check in excess of 3 percent if identification is provided by the customer, or 3.5 percent without the provision of identification, of the face amount of the check, or three dollars ($3), whichever is greater. Identification, for purposes of this section, is limited to a California driver’s license, a California identification card, or a valid United States military identification card.
(b) A check casher may charge a fee of no more than ten dollars ($10) to set up an initial account and issue an optional identification card for providing check cashing services. A replacement optional identification card may be issued at a cost not to exceed five dollars ($5).
(c) A check casher shall provide a receipt to the customer for each transaction.
(d) A check casher may charge a fee for cashing a personal check, as posted pursuant to Section 1789.30, for immediate deposit in an amount not to exceed 12 percent of the face value of the check.
(e) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000) for each violation, which shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California by the Attorney General in any court of competent jurisdiction. Any action brought pursuant to this subdivision shall be commenced within four years of the date on which the act or transaction upon which the action is based occurred.
(f) A willful violation of this section is a misdemeanor.
(g) Any person who is injured by any violation of this section may bring an action for the recovery of damages, an equity proceeding to restrain and enjoin those violations, or both. The amount awarded may be up to three times the damages actually incurred, but in no event less than the amount paid by the aggrieved consumer to a person subject to this section. If the plaintiff prevails, the plaintiff shall be awarded reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. If a court determines by clear and convincing evidence that a breach or violation was willful, the court, in its discretion, may award punitive damages in addition to the amounts set forth above.
(h) This section shall become operative December 31, 2004.