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I had a couple of recent experiences where I purchased a Directv DVR . One without a card and another with a card.

Case 1: The unit without a card. I called and requested a card and the tech. told me this receiver is tied to someones account and unless I could get that person to remove it from that account that Directv will not issue a card for this unit. She was very clear about this. It can't be activated and a card will not be issued.

Case 2 for me: after that I bought another used DVR and called Directv and they activated it with the card that was used by the previous owner.

Hope that is helpful to someone.
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