Airbnb Hosts Cannot Request Government Issued Photo ID?

I have been a Superhost for more than three years. I recently started to require all guests to provide a digital copy (picture via Airbnb message thread or text message) of their government-issued photo ID before check-in details are sent to them. This is for our security as hosts in case anything happens, and we need to file a small claim or lawsuit to recover for damages, fees, etc.

The requirement is disclosed in the house rules. We, as hosts, know Airbnb does not honor their one million dollar host guarantee. I called Airbnb to assist with reaching out to a particular guest who was having issues with sending their ID. The first Airbnb rep claimed that it is against their terms and conditions for guests to provide this information to the host. I told the Airbnb rep she was incorrect because I’ve done this for months and a prior Airbnb rep assisted me with this same situation for another reservation.

Long story short, I called a total of six times and four Airbnb reps says it was against their terms and conditions. Meanwhile, two said the request was alright if it was disclosed in the house rules. I requested to speak with an Airbnb case manager, and the four Airbnb reps who made the false claims about the terms and conditions would not transfer me to a case manager.

If it is true Airbnb does not allow hosts to obtain a government-issued photo ID from the guests, even when it is disclosed in the house rules, hosts have no security if anything serious arises. I would love to hear thoughts from other hosts and guests.

Posted in Airbnb Host Stories and tagged , , , , , .

7 Comments

  1. Check the fine print on your insurance. Some insist that you get the guest contact details otherwise it voids your insurance (because the underwriters can’t follow it up). Suggest emailing your insurer and asking, and filing a copy of their response some place safe.

  2. Where are you based, and where are your guests from? I think it’s illegal to request a scanned ID in some jurisdictions, for example the Netherlands. There could be all kinds of problems if it’s legal to request a scanned ID in your jurisdiction but not in your guest’s jurisdiction.

  3. If airbnb is not telling you you cannot require i.d. then I don’t see the problem. If you need a case sent to a manager, “escalate it” that’s the airbnb terminology

    We have always requested I.D. and a registration form filled out upon check in. (We do not require guests to send us it prior to check in.) In two cases, guests refused to present ID and cancelled their appointment upon check in. They demanded a refund. Airbnb backed us up and our moderate refund policy was honored. Guests need to READ THE LISTING.

    ALSO, I’ve filed at least 3 claims with the resolution center within the time limit and with documentation and airbnb honored all the claims for damages.

    https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/465/can-hosts-ask-guests-to-sign-a-contract

    “Some hosts require their guests to provide a government ID in order to book their place or experience. ”
    https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/2356/what-does-it-mean-when-someones-id-has-been-checked

  4. It’s not practical to check IDs at checkin. The real reason for this dangerous practice is that Airbnb doesn’t want you stealing their customer. It’s 100% wrong to expect that hosts let total strangers with no ID nor security desposit into your property. Until this practice is put to a halt this platform will remain unethical and dangerous. Booking.c and Expedia do not stop you from getting ID. This policy is motivated by pure greed. If hosts were given ID they could do backgrounds checks.

  5. All Airbnb is worried about is getting sued by a guest because the guest gave a host their ID and it was misused or leaked, etc.

    There isn’t anything explicit about whether hosts can collect IDs if they put it in the house rules, so the customer service people are just giving you their own interpretations.

    The only way Airbnb is certain to allow you to collect IDs from guests is if your local laws require it.

    To be honest, there’s really no reason to collect the IDs. You are naive if you think having a copy of the guests purported government ID will somehow guarantee you will be able to collect damages from a guest. Get your own short-term rental insurance that includes loss-of-use/loss-of-income.

  6. You can limit reservations of guests in ‘reservation requirements’. Select National ID as a requirement.
    This way, people with bad intentions are filtered out partially. Also you can require ID upon check in, and mention in your house rules that they will need to show ID when checking in. Make sure to send them the house rules one day before check in a message.

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