Airbnb doesn't let the hosts check picture ID of the guests

13 Replies

I have been asking for photo ID, it's written in House Rules, listing, everywhere... and when they refuse, I let them cancel within 24 hours with no penalty.

In a recent case, the guest complained to Airbnb, who backed them and after a few back n forth, here's what Airbnb wrote to me:

The request for a copy of ID is something that you require from guests but is not supported by Airbnb and will not be enforced. It is a prohibited activity listed in Airbnb's Terms of Service. If you choose to uphold this requirement on your listing please note, that if you elect to refuse a guest entry because they did not provide a physical ID it will be your responsibility to cancel the reservation. In these cases, all cancellation penalties will apply and your calendar will remain blocked. The reservation with xxx is a one time courtesy where penalties will be waived as I have provided information of our Terms of Service.

Who else is requiring ID ? What are the challenges you face doing so?

I require my AirBNB guests to have verified government ID through AirBNB.  I require a copy of ID from guests booking off-platform.  Hasn't been a problem so far.

Originally posted by @Julie McCoy :

I require my AirBNB guests to have verified government ID through AirBNB.  I require a copy of ID from guests booking off-platform.  Hasn't been a problem so far.

I do not trust airbnb's ID verification. I can tell it's just BS for having tested it. It's AI tech, no human verification. 

Moreover, when there is an issue they neither provide that info to you nor do they support you. I had read about airbnb taking the guest's side most often, but had to notice it bitterly in a recent case.

Having the guest's ID in hand will just make the guest more responsible. IMHO.

Originally posted by @Kevin Lefeuvre :
Originally posted by @Julie McCoy:

I require my AirBNB guests to have verified government ID through AirBNB.  I require a copy of ID from guests booking off-platform.  Hasn't been a problem so far.

I do not trust airbnb's ID verification. I can tell it's just BS for having tested it. It's AI tech, no human verification. 

Moreover, when there is an issue they neither provide that info to you nor do they support you. I had read about airbnb taking the guest's side most often, but had to notice it bitterly in a recent case.

Having the guest's ID in hand will just make the guest more responsible. IMHO.

 I don't disagree, but I'm not sure what kind of answer you're looking for here.  AirBNB doesn't permit it.  If you aren't willing to go along with their ToS, then pull your listing and book via other platforms.  (I don't know about you, but I'm certainly not going to be able to tell a real ID vs. a good fake in a photograph anyway)

Originally posted by @Julie McCoy :
, but I'm not sure what kind of answer you're looking for here.  

 ... sharing experiences and looking to see how others deal with the issue.

I never ask for ID. I accept bookings remotely. I did, one time, have a dude show up even though a women made the booking. The dude was really respectful and nice to the place but I left a review on the women’s Airbnb stating this and saying the non booking guest was really nice but also that they weren’t the one that made the booking. 

Honestly, I don’t know how many bad actors you’d screen out. I use a porch camera to verify who made made the booking is who checked in. But that’s the farthest I take it besides requiring they upload the proper ID’s to Airbnb. 

There seems to be a disconnect here. When I go to Airbnb's help pages, I find the following:

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https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1237/how-does-it-work-when-airbnb-asks-for-an-id

When you’ll be asked for an ID

This may happen for a couple of reasons. For example, some hosts require their guests to provide a government ID in order to book their place or experience.

There are also times when we’ll ask for an ID to help us confirm you’re really you.

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I've never done Airbnb. But I've always had to show a photo ID whenever I checked into a motel (I know the ID was often photocopied, but I don't remember if it was always photocopied). I thought this was a requirement of the PATRIOT Act to make it difficult for terrorists to travel, but I haven't been able to confirm this with a Google search.

I've always had to provide a credit card (which was scanned) whenever checking in, even when I booked online. I was told that if any towels were missing or damage was found, my credit card would be billed.

Appreciate this thread! We've had two bad experiences in the last 3 months that have made me think about these things as well - The worst was a guest with a record/history of evictions and legal trouble, who booked with intentions of "overstaying" and requiring us to evict them (which we did at our own expense, with essentially no help from Airbnb). I realized even if I had wanted to do a background check, I couldn't have since hosts are only presented with a first name prior to booking. I've updated our settings to only allow Instant book for guests with prior positive reviews. 

@Richard Ibeh are you using safelystay after the guest has booked or are you requiring them to provide the verification information up front prior to booking?  

@Selena Walsh after they book. You request their personal email and full name then send it off to Safelystay to run thru their system for $6.50. It'll tell you if they have any criminal history/sex offender etc. etc.

If they are red flagged Safely informs you and if you don't want the reservation Safely will email them on your behalf. Inexpensive expense for a high-level vetting process

@Travis Koolick so far so good. You get your own dashboard so you can enter the information and then run the screening. I haven't come across any issues with guests not being identified and if it does happen they reach out to the guests for more information. As STR become more popular you'll start seeing more and more tools pop up to solve major pain points...guest verification is a major one and I'm actually surprised the larger companies haven't capitalized on it yet.

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

There seems to be a disconnect here. When I go to Airbnb's help pages, I find the following:

************************************************

https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/1237/how-does-it-work-when-airbnb-asks-for-an-id

When you’ll be asked for an ID

This may happen for a couple of reasons. For example, some hosts require their guests to provide a government ID in order to book their place or experience.

Great catch. I'm going to mention this to my airbnb rep...

Your comparison to the hotel is pertinent. First, guests have a higher risk of stolen ID in a hotel with potentially dozen employees having access to their copy of ID, while the host is usually an individual or a very small business. Second, guests are entering someone's house, in some cases in the same house where the host lives. And they don't want to show ID? Airbnb should enforce it and even share it with the hosts instead of being a pain in between.

Originally posted by @Selena Walsh :

Selena I had similar issues making me to enforce ID requirement and  require a higher deposit (which is a total joke on airbnb, but that's a post for another day).
Here's how I do : I have instant booking on. As soon as I receive a booking, I have an email out saying this: "Thanks for choosing my property and booking through this site; To complete and confirm your reservation, I'll need your government photo ID and the first name/last name/age of all the guests." Then you have the full picture and may want to push them to cancel.