Can you require a photo ID for a lease application?

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04/17/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

The landlord for the property I manage wants all potential tenants to submit a photo ID with their lease application. Can I require that?

Yes, but you should only use an applicant’s photo ID to verify his or her identity and/or to check on criminal history, rental history, or credit history. You must be uniform and consistent with your photo ID policy, requiring it from all applicants. Never use the photo ID to discriminate against an applicant.

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Categories: Legal, Landlords
Tags: legal, legal faq, property management, leasing


Robert Thompson on 04/24/2015

Most people do not know the SS# because they have not been in the military, as for drivers license number I refuse to memorize mine. Don’t we have enough numbers to remember.

THERESA AKIN on 04/23/2015

I’ve often compared the SSN handed to me with the one the applicant writes on the application.  Then look at the DL and compare what is written to what they hand over. Have found many don’t know their SSN or DL numbers. I will go over it after they’ve completed the app.

RENEE' G on 04/23/2015

Abraham, you can call IRS for assistance with identifying legitimate SSN/EIN.

Stuart Scholer on 04/23/2015

Social Security Cards with any number you want are available to anyone for a small price. (10 - $20) I have not carried one for more than 40 years. They are worthless.

Rick Chumsae on 04/23/2015

Proliferation of sensitive, private, information and potential for identity theft is cause for concern as we conduct our real estate practices.  We (salespeople, brokers, brokerage offices and office staff) are decidedly not bank-like in our practices.

If you ask for and receive SSN, DOB, address, DL# from prospects, can you protect that information?  Do you use a vault? Do you encrypt? Is everyone in your office background checked? Do you shred?  I suspect the answer in the great majority of cases is sadly “no”.

You and your brokerage need to have processes that recognize we rarely can guaranty the security of sensitive information.

Abraham on 04/22/2015

I saw many times lease applicant writing wrong SS# and few times fake SS# numbers etc. I believe it is better to see the original card with matching name in the card . There is no other way to prove, if you call SS dept, they will not help you at all.

Sergio Hidalgo on 04/18/2015

How about copies of social security cards? I see a lot of listing agents ask that copies be submitted when submitting an application for a lease and from what I hear, they are not suppose to ask for copies of SS#s. Your thoughts?

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on Any legal or other information found here, on, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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