Requesting a photo ID from a guest online is prohibited!

Ron237
Level 2
Kennesaw, GA

Requesting a photo ID from a guest online is prohibited!

We just lost Super Host status because of this. We have the requirement clearly listed on our Airbnb pages. A guest that booked refused to send us her email address or ID. She did not want us to know her address, age or any identifying information which sent up a whole bunch of red flags. I received, in writing from a AirBnb customer support person that if that requirement is listed on our page that she must provide the information or she can cancel. The next day I received a call from a very rude CS rep named Joshua that that told me I was in violation of their terms of service. We have no right to request the guest send us their ID and if we meet to let them in we CANNOT write down any information or take a photo of the ID. I agreed that I would no longer require photo ID's to be sent to us. Long story short after talking to his supervisor they called back and did a owner cancelation due to a violation of their Terms of Service which cost us the reservation, a $100 fee and our Superhost status. It is ironic that you cannot rent a ladder from Home Depot without a ID but we are now to turn over our properties to complete strangers without any way to verify that they are who they say they are. The biggest injustice is that I'm told (in writing) from one employee that I'm completely in the right to request this information then severely penalized from another employee. Maybe they should get on the same page so we have a small chance to play by the rules...

35 Replies 35
Haley182
Level 1
Fort Worth, TX

Hello everyone. So I read the majority of this conversation and I feel a little differently about it. As a single woman that still resides at the residence that I’m renting out, I think asking for ID prior to accepting the booking is understandable. I live in a 3 bedroom house and I rent out both bedrooms separately. My job has me traveling often and I haven’t had any negative experiences with any of my guests so far, but I just started doing long term stays. With that being said, I don’t think it’s out of question to ask for a guests ID who will be staying with me in my house for 3 months. What’s the way around this without going against airbnbs terms? Asking for their ID when they request a reservation through message instead of in the description on your listing? 

Debra300
Level 10
Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

@Huma0,

 

@Haley182 is hosting in a similar as you.  Would you please share how you manage your requirements for gathering guest ID and contact information?  

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Debra300 thanks for tagging me here.

 

@Haley182 I don't actually ask for guests' IDs. I do require guest to verify their ID with Airbnb (but this is not failsafe as I don't really trust that system) and to upload a profile pic. What I do is to state in my house rules that guests may be required to present official government ID on arrival. I don't actually ask them to do this, but sometimes they volunteer, seeing as I've mentioned it. The reason I state that is as a deterrent for people who think they can pull a fast one! It's worked so far.

 

BUT, I think the reason it has worked so far is that I put a lot of effort into vetting my guests in other ways, and a lot of this is to do with communication. I have rather a lot of communication with my guests prior to accepting a booking, but I do feel that is necessary when you are renting rooms in your own home and even more so if it's long term stays and even more so if you are a single female!!

 

I do know that some hosts request to be sent ID when the guest books. I don't do this personally, but I have had guests send me it without being asked, so I don't think it's that uncommon. 

I just booked for the first time and after I paid for the trip in full online it asked for my Government Id before it would go thru or be submitted. I didn't want to put my license on line so I called the customer service dept. and she said I had to do it to book. I had trouble getting it to go thru on my computer and then she said she would share my screen and help me, at that point I hung up to many red flags on my end. I would never share my screen. So if it goes against their terms and service why are they asking for it when you are trying to book. I would not mind in person, I do that at the hotels but online I am concerned that your info could be hacked. So is it required or not? I am really confused now.

Helen3
Level 10
Bristol, United Kingdom

It's quite simple @Kimberly865 . Some host require photo ID - it will say so on the listing - some don't.

 

You must have chosen a listing that required photo ID - that's why you were asked to provide it.

 

If you prefer not to provide your ID online (this is done through a third party secure system) then chose a listing where photo ID isn't required.

Nathan2585
Level 2
Los Angeles, CA

I just had this experience just now.  First you don't need a photo or I'd to verify anything.  The person can show they paid you on a cell phone so it's rediculous to even ask.

I was very upset someone asked me a week before my stay as if she would cancel if she didn't like the photo.  I asked her why she wouldnt tell me.

If you're checking someone's name out online my reason for not using my real name online is I've had theft and someone took from a resume and use my information.  So it doesn't mean anything if there's w fake name online automatic.

What frustrated me most is the add said no where it's her requirement. She write me in Spanish I didn't see it the first time she asked and it needs to be said ahead of time.  She should have asked me before accepting the money.  It really frustrated me to the point I told her she could refund me.

She claimed it's another staff if she isn't there.  You don't need w photo for that.  Like the person is going to get the photo every time. Also I'm not photogenic or a model so I don't post pics not everyone is drop dead gorgeous!!

Sarah977
Level 10
Sayulita, Mexico

@Nathan2585  It isn't a matter of being good looking. It isn't a model contest. I don't care what a guest looks like. I don't ask forID when guests check into my home share private room listing, but that is because all my guests have had clear face photos and I could see that the person who showed up at my house was the same person who booked. 

If you don't want to post a photo of yourself, I wouldn't accept a booking from you. It's not just about you having paid- it's about being open and friendly. Guests see a photo of me, photis of my house, have my address. And you want to be anonymous.

Nathan2585
Level 2
Los Angeles, CA

I'm not going to keep replying to you because you just don't get it.  She could see there was no photo before she took the payment and could have asked then.  I've stayed other places and never been asked and it's not required.  I can show the reciept to show that it's my room without a photo.  I'm not going to bother to reply when someone doesn't get it 

Anna11333
Level 1
Oulu, Finland

In most cases, when I have to ID myself online, I do this through my bank credentials. Never before I was asked to provide a photo of my ID. This have freaked me out. how am I to know that the photo of my ID will not be used for something illegal. yes, they say it is safe etc.but lots of things are happening in this world.

Brett3
Level 10
Gold Coast, Australia

Hey @Ron237 ,

whilst I have not asked a guest to show ID I do know quite a few hosts here on the Gold Coast Australia that do.

Given Surfers Paradise has a reputation as a place to party, a number of hosts I speak to made the decision some time ago to request ID from guests, with some hosts also asking guests to sign a document at check in agreeing to and acknowledging an understanding of House Rules.

For me I require all guests to have provided Airbnb with Government ID before being able to book. I have found the ones that have not yet done so are happy to do so when I ask. There have been a few exceptions who will not, and these are the guests that have not stayed. 

I wonder if an individual has committed an offence and the police approach Airbnb for information, will Airbnb really hide that alleged criminals information? I hope not.

Mark1054
Level 2
Liverpool, United Kingdom

I am horrified to read all this. I had thought that everyone on Airbnb had to have a photo ID so that the host can verify that the person who turns up is the same one in the photo. I am seeing more and more photo IDs showing pictures of people's feet, their cat, their favourite landscape.. it's ridiculous

Suzanne302
Level 10
Wilmington, NC

@Michael956

 

I host a room in my home. I have every right to request a valid ID from a stranger who I am inviting into my home. It's a safety and security issue. And anyone who would refuse that request would immediately throw up a red flag. There is zero harm in showing an ID unless you have less than honorable intentions. And if you refuse just on principle because you don't think you should have to, well that just makes you an **bleep**.

 

I have it in my rules that I require ID to verify the person who booked is the person who showed up. I believe most people are good, so as long as the profile picture matches who shows up at my door, I usually don't request to see the ID.

 

I do have a right to know exactly WHO is in my home. Perhaps it is different for hosts who are off-site. But I don't want anonymous strangers staying with me in my home.

 

 

 

 

John1080
Level 10
Westcliffe, CO

I have never been asked for an ID as a guest on Airbnb and I have never requested it either, but given what I'm reading here, I'm wondering if isn't a good idea to start asking for ID.  

 

How many of you, particularly in the US do ask for ID and have you had many guests question it or refuse to give it?

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@John1080We don't ask for ID, but if the 'no photo' policy is implemented then we will have to, because otherwise, there is no way to know who is staying with you and if they match the profile. But, it may be that if they implement this policy we will just move to Home Away and other platforms where there is more security and less interference in host actions.

 

We stayed at an airbnb in Europe last year and they took photos of our passports.

John1080
Level 10
Westcliffe, CO

@Mark116, so far, all of my guests except one has had a clear photo of themselves on their profile. I was a bit skeptical of the one who did not have a photo, but she had verifications and it all turned out well. 

 

I believe that the verified ID through the Airbnb, whereby they also require an uploaded selfie is how they currently validate that the ID holder is the account holder is it not? Of course, we hosts do not see either the ID or the selfie that they upload. 

Branka-and-Silvia0
Level 10
Zagreb, Croatia

@Michael956

when you book a hotel you have to show your ID and be registered. So why double standards?

 

Do you know that if anything happens, even illegally or an assault, Airbnb will not give you any personal info about your guest. And what will you do? Call a police and when they ask you for the identity of your guest what will you tell them? I don't know! So how do you expect police to help you?  I watched the video on youtube where the policeman (who was called after group of guests trashed the villa they rented through Airbnb ) said: "I am surprised how people are naive and give the keys of their homes to complete strangers"

Well, I am surprised too.

 

 

Frankly I wouldn't stay in an Airbnb that required me to identify myself that way.  It's too much trouble and it makes the host seem unfriendly and paranoid.  As a host I never ask for I.D., and as a guest with over twenty stays in Airbnbs around the world I've never been asked for an I.D.  

Ute42
Level 10
Germany

.

Hi @Michael956

 

You wrote:

 

"Frankly I wouldn't stay in an Airbnb that required me to identify myself that way"

 

Which way would You accept to identify Yourself? If a guest trashes my place or burns my house down, where would I send the invoice to if I have no identity at all?

 

@Ute42 Airbnb has my I.D. (passport and driver's license) on file.  I should not have to give it to  the host (nor do I ask my guests to give it to me).  If I were to have a problem, I would contact Airbnb.  

Ute42
Level 10
Germany

.

 @Michael956

 

If You call airbnb and ask them for a guests real name, adress and Government ID number they will not give it to You. There are a good number of stories on this topic here in this forum.

 

Here in Germany we have a law by the name of „Meldegesetz“. This law requires us to report the name, adress and passportnumber of all individuals staying at our places to the local community. We are getting this form from the tourist office of our cummunity:

 

 

2018-12-21 Meldeschein.jpg

 

 

As You can see it says: „Passportnumber“. I know that not everybody in the US does have a passport, any other Government ID will do.

 

 

2018-12-21 Meldeschein - Passport.jpg

 

 

We are not allowed by the way to take a picture of the government ID, but we have to write down the data as shown on the document.

 

When ever You rent an car, an excavator or some scuba diving equipment, You have to show Your Government ID, why not when renting an airbnb? Noone checks into my place without showing a passport or something similar. If someone doesn't, this person will be checking out before he or she has checked in.

 

 cc: @Ron237, @Suzanne302, @Mark116, @John1080,

.

Explore Resource Center articles

Making your home ready for guests
Tips from Airbnb plus hosts: How to add thoughtful touches
Supporting guests during their stay