Dallas, TX asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Construction Law for Texas

Q: If I am on a construction site that is on private property, can the security company legally ask me for my ID?

I work on a construction site. It is privately owned. In order to enter the site, the owner requires everyone to get a badge, obtained using a US driver's license. When entering the site, you must badge in at the security gate. My question is, after you badge in and begin working, is it legal for someone from the security company to approach you and ask for your ID, with the threat of removing you from the site if you fail to identify? The badges have legal names and headshots on them. The security company is not law enforcement.

I was under the impression that only law enforcement can ask for ID and only when you are arrested, or are under suspicion of illegal activity.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: On private property, such as your construction site, the property owner or their representative, like a security company, generally has the right to establish security protocols. This can include requiring identification at various points, not just at the entrance. It's part of their effort to ensure safety and security on the premises.

Your badge, which includes your legal name and photo, is a form of identification. However, security personnel may have reasons to ask for additional verification, like a driver's license, to ensure the person wearing the badge is indeed the person it was issued to. This is not uncommon in secure or sensitive areas.

It's important to distinguish between private security and law enforcement. While law enforcement officers have specific legal authority, particularly around arrests and suspicion of illegal activities, private security guards are more limited. They can, however, enforce the rules set by the property owner, and asking for ID can be part of those rules.

If you feel that these requests are excessive or not part of the established protocol, you might want to discuss this with your employer or the site manager. They can clarify the security procedures and ensure that they're being applied fairly and consistently. Remember, on private property, the owner's rules regarding security and identification often apply, as long as they don't violate any laws.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.