Rental Home wants copy of Drivers License?

Sep 10th, 2008, 02:35 PM
Original Poster
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Rental Home wants copy of Drivers License?

We are renting a pretty pricy house on Marco Island for an extended family vacation. The owner is requesting a deposit (of course that is fine!) and a copy of my driver's license.

As they will be paid in full 60 days prior to the rental, as per the contract, I really can't see what business they have with a copy of my DL. You never really know who has access to their files.

I don't want to lose this house, it took us quite a while to find what we were looking for. Is this standard, or should I question it?

emilypaul is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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I would send it to them. It is probably just for extra security in case you burn the place down. There really isn't anything secret on your license. It is a document shown to people everywhere from the airport to the mall. There is your license number, but I don't think that is really a problem for anyone to know. You could black that part out of the copy if it concerns you.
kelliebellie is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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Personally I would refuse. If you are paying by credit card and will have paid in full before arrival they should not require a copy of your DL. If they persist, question why they need it.
nohomers is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 05:08 PM
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Actually, I think they have the right to see I.D., so they have a name and address for you, in case something bad does happen. I'm sure you've shared your license with less reputable people.
Sep 10th, 2008, 05:24 PM
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I would tell them you're concerned (ID theft etc.), ask why they need it and negotiate an alternative. I wouldn't send it either. I don't agree with the last statement. You may have shown/flashed your license to someone for ID, but that's not the same and copying it and giving it to someone to keep.
mclaurie is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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While the request may seem odd it is not out of line since OP is renting directly from owner and not through an agency. Owner wants to verify who the renter is. Paying the rental in full ahead of time is the norm for vacation home rentals but doing so does not protect the owner should renter "trash the house" so request of I.D. seems reasonable.

OP can ask if it's OK to provide alternate form of I.D. but should be prepared to be rejected by owner if they won't accept alternate I.D. Telling owner that contributors on the Fodor's Forum said it's unreasonable to request I.D. won't help if owner decides he/she would rather not rent to unverified renter.

This is one of those situations where you have to pick your battles. Ask yourself, how badly do you want to rent this house?
A_Traveller is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 05:41 PM
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OP here...

I am mostly concerned that they actually have a physical copy of it. We have given them a very hefty security deposit, and I would think there are legal channels they could pursue if we totally trashed the house. I would think the police would get involved, and having a copy of our driver's license isn't going to make much difference. I can understand wanting to see it to prove we are who we say we are, but keeping a copy is overkill.

I did email her asking how she would feel if we blacked out the SS#, so I guess I will wait to hear how she responds.

I used to do payroll for a company, and I was always very paranoid above who had access to my files. Always kept under lock and key, separate password protected computer, etc. I don't know this person, and have no idea who has access to their it just in a drawer somewhere? I personally wouldn't want to have that info in my house. What if, God forbid, the person's identity was stolen?
emilypaul is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 05:53 PM
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If your SSN is also your driver's license number, I'd refuse too, but I would also hasten to the DMV to get a new license without the SSN on it.
kayd is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 06:04 PM
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Did you know that in many states, your drivers license is a public record that anyone can see? Some states have banned the practice, but commercial entities have bought lists of drivers licenses, hunting and fishing licenses, mortgages, voter registrations, and occupational licenses. So would I worry about an individual from whom I was renting having a copy of my drivers license? No, not really.

321go is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:30 PM
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Your SSN is on your driver's license? I'd be more concerned with that in general than with sharing my driver's license in particular. Why in the world would your license contain your SSN?
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:41 PM
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Maybe she would promise to give it back or destroy it after you leave and she checks the place out?
kelliebellie is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 07:47 PM
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Most registrys asked people a long time ago to change the SS# on their license to a randomly assigned number - go in asap and do this at your registry - do it tomorrow - and then send her a copy of your new license - explain to her the slight delay -

and if she insists, in the meantime, ask her if there is a copy of something else she will accept - a notarized statement, something else - all she is going to get off your license is your address -
escargot is offline  
Sep 10th, 2008, 11:41 PM
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Only in recent years has Ohio taken the SSN off of driver's licenses.

I have often been asked to provide my ID at hotel check in. Sometimes the make a photocopy of it. I suppose I could use my passport or my DL. So it doesn't seem to be an unusual request to me.
SamH is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 12:33 AM
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How did you pay your security deposit?

I think it is a reasonable request. I would do two things:

2) Send them a copy of your new DL.

The dmv told me on Monday that it would take 6 to 8 weeks until I get the replacement for a stolen DL. Maybe you can't get the new DL in soon enough to send it by their deadline. So, yes, ask if you can blank out all/part of your SSN.

See if they will take a copy of your passport instead.

I think they want the ID as proof that it was you making the deposit and full payment (with your credit card? or personal check?).
mrwunrfl is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 04:06 AM
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Would you send them a copy of your passport as an alternative?

I think they have an absolute right to insist on positive identification.

All they know about you is that you have enought balance free that yuo can put a deposit on and pay with a credit card.

You might be renting their house to distribute drugs, make meth, produce pornographic movies, or let your kids invite all their college friends and give them the keys before departing yourselves. All these have been done by vacation renters and not just once.

Their knowing who you really are doesn't prevent you from doing any of these things, but if I were in their place, I would certainly Google you and probably do a credit check before I turned over the keys. I would pay for the credit check as cheap insurance.
Ackislander is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 06:03 AM
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Maybe someone in your extended family that is making the trip wouldn't mind sending their id?
kelliebellie is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 06:10 AM
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If I were renting out my home via the internet to someone unknown, I'd sure want SOMETHING for him to prove who he was -- that seems like a good idea for an ID.
Anyone could make up an address and send it, pay the rental, stay and trash the place, and the owners would have no recourse -- not even knowing who it was.

So long as your SS # isn't on your license send it and relax. I've done it for rentals at least half a dozen times -- and for international rentals have sent a copy of passport as requested. No biggie in my book. The owner of the house has more at stake in this than you do!
NeoPatrick is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 06:39 AM
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This is actually becoming more common due to identity theft and fraud. How do they know you are who you say you are? They are entrusting you with hundreds of thousands of their dollars. I would provide what they are asking and as always check your credit report every once in awhile to make sure noone is trying to steal your identity. If possible, change your ID to have a number other than your social. Have fun on your vacation!
atlantan123 is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 06:43 AM
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OP here...

Owner emailed that blacking out SS# is fine.

Some background...

I used "me" in my question, but the person who was being asked to supply DL was actually my mother-in-law. I thought for ease of following the post, I would leave her out.

Our state only recently stopped with the SS#s on the DL. Mine actually doesn't have mine on, because it is newer. I would gladly give the owner my DL, but she doesn't seem interested in allowing me to take everything over. My mother in law first emailed her, and then when she decided it would work for us, asked me to complete the transaction. She realized that she isn't experienced in these type of things, and I am. But the owner seemed uncomfortable with this...I think maybe she is wary that we are trying to pull something.

MIL isn't due to get a new DL for another 6 months, and I cringe at the thought of asking her to drive an hour (we live in the boonies) each way and stand in line at the DMV and then do it all again in another 6 months. Not gonna happen.

I do realize that they are taking a chance with us renting the house, but we are as well. We are paying by personal check, and she has control of almost 15k of our money for a long time before we can even see the house.

I have been very polite about questioning the DL, and she politely told me it was fine to black out the SSN.

I actually would prefer she ran a credit check. At least then there wouldn't be a file somewhere with my MIL's DL and (most likely) a copy of her personal check.

I know I sound overly paranoid about this, LOL! I have a good friend who has been dealing with a stolen identity for close to 10 years now. Just when she thinks it is all cleared up, something new pops up. Nightmare.
emilypaul is offline  
Sep 11th, 2008, 06:49 AM
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Problem solved then! There isn't much a good Sharpie can't fix.
kelliebellie is offline  

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