Section 46. Every bank doing business in the commonwealth, which for the purposes of this section shall include any bank, except an internet bank as defined in section one and any national bank, national banking association, federal savings bank, federal savings and loan association and federal credit union, shall honor and cash a check presented by a pensioner or retiree, whether or not such person has an account in such bank, if the following conditions are met: (a) the said pensioner or retiree is a resident of the commonwealth; (b) the said pensioner or retiree provides adequate information for identification purposes and is registered with such bank; (c) any such check has been issued to the pensioner or retiree presenting the same as a social security, supplemental security income, supplemental security income for aged, blind, and disabled or retirement benefit by the federal government or any agency thereof, or by the commonwealth or any agency or political subdivision thereof; and (d) any such check is for an amount not exceeding two thousand and five hundred dollars.
The commissioner, by regulation, shall establish a procedure to be employed by any bank, as defined in section one, whereby pensioners or retirees may be registered therewith for the purpose of having such checks cashed. The regulations shall require, but need not be limited to, the following: (1) every such bank shall provide for the registration in its main office and any branch thereof of any pensioner or retiree requesting the same by means of an application card containing the application date and the name, address, date of birth, social security number and handwritten signature of the applicant as well as any other information which the commissioner may deem necessary, or by any other method and under such conditions as the commissioner may approve; (2) every such bank shall have the authority to verify all information required to be submitted to effect such registration; (3) upon verification, which shall be completed within thirty days of the receipt of such application, the applicant pensioner or retiree shall be so registered and shall be forthwith provided by the bank with an identification card, in such form as the commissioner may approve, entitling him to such check cashing privileges; (4) the presentation of any such check for cashing shall be restricted to the office or branch of any such bank in which the registration of the said pensioner or retiree was effected; and (5) every such bank may assess a charge for processing the said application and issuing the said identification card in an amount equal to the actual cost incurred therefor as determined by the commissioner to be fair and equitable, and no other charge shall be assessed for such check cashing purposes.
Any bank which fails to cash any such check of a pensioner or retiree registered therewith in accordance with this section or which otherwise violates the provisions of this section or any regulations promulgated thereunder shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars for each such violation.