I like the idea of getting some ID/credit history on your would-be landlord. There are other ways to verify this, though, isn't there? Asking the landlord for references or looking up some county records to know he is who he says he is? You can see what liens are on the property, if any, and whether his taxes are up to date all at the courthouse, can't you? If the property is paid off, that should satisfy the concerns.

You can always make a copy of your driver's license and black out your birthdate, SS# and whatever else you don't want the renter knowing.

I think it would be a good sign if someone was being careful like that.

P.S. I've gotten a few credit reports with my connections at the bank and no one had any idea about it. And I know lawyers and p.i.'s do it all the time, too. It's really quite easy.