I've heard some people argue that providing a copy of your ID is in order to help them with their background checks. I don't swallow this, however. (the following reasoning is based simply on my own opinion, I have no sources to back this up)
Copy of your ID
In Canada, for example, it's illegal to discriminate against a possible candidate based on age, race, skin color, gender, religion, etc. Sometimes you can tell "who you're dealing with" simply by looking at the name on the resume - but that's tricky in such a multicultural society as Canada - and the US - have become.
So instead, they may ask you for a copy of your ID to "help with the background check". It has your picture, birthday, etc. ... personally I think that's information which could be used to discriminate against you without your knowledge.
I would flat out refuse:
I'm sorry, but I have never provided an employer with a copy of my personal ID, and I'm not about to do so now. I have had companies conduct background checks without this information, and I see no reason why it would be needed in this case either.
(If he pushes you simply state that's it's a matter of personal privacy, and it's non-negotiable)
Note: you risk being rejected by the recruiter for refusing.
You've already read up on how recruiters will sometimes use your references to try and expand their list of contacts. I would refuse to provide those until you've touched base with someone from the company and know for a fact that you're a contender for the position.