Problems with ID verification, no help from AirBnB

I have used AirBnB twice without any problems. My third booking was with a couple and I believe they had no reviews yet (I don’t recommend booking with someone without (good) reviews). They accepted my three night booking and the money was taken from my account, but the lady immediately messaged me that the third night would not be possible. However, the money was already taken. I told her that I then was no longer interested and cancelled the booking, but this only gave me a partial refund. AirBnB was helpful and told me the host should have booked. AirBnB gave me a voucher which I had to use that day to book something else (nice gesture but I didn’t have much time that day) and I did. However, I had plans to go on a trip and took the week off. I wanted to make my booking but suddenly was asked to verify my ID. The site however states that they can’t send a message to my mobile phone number (not sure why). AirBnB has been extremely unhelpful and my planned trip I could not book, so I had a week off but no place to go. After weeks, I still have not received any help from AirBnB with the verification or why my phone number is not suitable.

Posted in Airbnb Guest Stories and tagged , , , .


  1. Same problem as others are having. Sent drivers license 9 times and was rejected 9 times and they canceled my reservation and do not know if my credit card is billed. I understand security but this borders on the extreme!

  2. Now 2021 and same old problem. Saw a place in Somerset, UK with a really nice looking host and only same cost almost for 7 days as 5 days due to week long discount.

    They took payment on my Amex card with no issues but then all the hassle began with wanting copies of driving licence or passport to complete booking and them not accepting photos bigger than 3Mb, a 10 year old standard. Then I think they will want webcam picture that won’t match to my 10 year old driving licence picture or 8 year old passport one.

    Spoke to some person in the Philipinnes totally unable to converse normally in English and just kept parroting I must keep trying again etc.

    Don’t hear much of people booking any longer with AirBnB and you can see why!!!! Literally impossible to use and wastes hours of your time in finding that out. How come they haven’t gone out of business by now?

    I’ve recently tried to book two properties but have been unable to complete the confusing and unnecessary ID verification process. I have been asked to take photo’s of myself which are then to be compared (apparently) to a photo of some form of government ID that I have supplied to you. As I’ve never supplied this government ID to you I can’t see how this is ever going to work. There appears to be no way of supplying the government ID, your guide ‘How do I submit my government ID?’ doesn’t actually say how you do this, just how to delete one that’s already been stored and how to take photos of yourself. I have been a good customer of Airbnb and have excellent references for many hosts, I don’t see why you should need to keep on file some form of government ID to ‘prove it’s me’.

    The last time I tried to book an Airbnb I gave up after spending an hour with this verification process, I then switched to and booked the same property for £150 cheaper in about 5 minutes. I won’t be using Airbnb again if this verification process has to be gone through every time I book!

    Would love to be able to send this message to Airbnb somehow (not that it would do much) but there appears to be no way of sending anything over 1000 characters in a message!

  4. Same problem here. UK passport impossible to scan with their useless scanners, sent them copies of my passport, and was told ‘Genuine ID required’ haha! so I have an invalid passport now, good job passport control checks have proper equipment, as I do a lot of travelling, but of course I use genuine booking websites now. I think that Airbnb are either very anti British or they’re selling your private details to advertisers. There’s plenty of genuine booking agents out there to use. Avoid giving yourself hours of hassle, use a proper company for your trips.

  5. There goes a Sunday I will never get back. Had some great experiences with air bandb but couldn’t get my photos accepted. The place looked great but sadly computer says no. I hope the host doesn’t lose out either. These methods of verification and the overall attitude of no correspondence is like spending years building a mansion and then when it is finally completed dowsing it in kerosene and tossing in a lit match. RIP

  6. The verification process is absolute HELL! I Spent about 3 hours on the phone trying to sort this out. This verification system is completely broken. In the end is cost me more money to book an new reservation than it would to extend the current one. Sucks!

    • I was having the same problem trying to have my passport and drivers license fotos authenticated in the end I took a picture of my passport foto page with my camera anf filed it. No problem after that Just make sure it is a foto smaller than 5Mb

  7. same experience as Debbie re. system not accepting my picture vs. govt. ID.

    Had never use Air BnB, however hear great things about money savings on rooms so decided to book a new year’s getaway through them. After 2 hours of frustration online and with customer service over the phone, I called it quits. I would give their onboarding process a 2/10 and customer service was even worse.

  8. really annoyed – the last year or so I have spent more time in airbnbs working away than at home yet today I try and book a quick break and I cant because they want ID and Airbnb doesn’t like my pictures , no hep from Airbnb customer services so after a day of trying I am call it a day with Airbnb and just going to make sure I shout about it to raise awareness as it is not only frustrating for the booker, but losing the owners business

    • same problem.. My account has been locked from long time. They wont even let me browse as a guest.. locks my account and cant reopen it.. terrible..

  9. spent most of today trying to register. Passport, Driving Licence so far 6/7 photos.
    They’re reply your ID do not appear to be valid. A biometric Passport??? have give up on my trip. THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY USELESS

  10. I have the same verification problem. First time user of ABnB, no social media accounts, no smartphone and very poor mobile signal at home. Verification of land line number seems reasonable, but when I clicked to verify by call, nothing happened. Kept trying, it said use another number. There isn’t one. I contacted their help page, and they rang me on the landline, we talked, but the system still won’t accept the number. They said they’d refer the problem to their security dept and I would hear back soon. Guess what? Nothing. Complete frustrating rubbish.

  11. I’ve just had a similar experience tonight and after reading all the comments above, have cancelled my booking. Such a shame as it looked great. I’ve booked at other properties in the past with no problem. Air B&B need to sort out their ‘verification’ process quickly or I won’t use them again – too much hassle.

    • I have been registered with airbnb since 2012. I have several properties listed. I have travelled often using airbnb. Now they want. Me too forward a scan of my passport. Obviously I don’t want to do this. And airbnb know more about me already than anyone else on earth. They just need DNA. Any one else come across this problem.

  12. I have had the same problem with the verification process. I tried Google but it kept saying it was the wrong password. I tried FB and American Express but the page would only recycle and nothing would happen. I don’t have LinkedIn so that was out. After trying for almost an hour I called the help number…India…and got a nice lady who apologized several times but was able to do nothing for me. After she had me on hold for 10 minutes she came back to me and said, “Do you have more than 200 friends on Facebook?” I said “yes” and her reply was, “Oh. Sorry.” I have no clue what that meant so she then suggested I complete a video but I decided not to because this was already too difficult and very frustrating. I have rented several times from VRBO so I just went back to them and found another property. I did contact the homeowner of the Airbnb property and tell him that we wanted to rent from him but because of the Airbnb requirements and issues, we decided against it. Had he been on VRBO we would have booked him.
    Now we will just wait for our credit to be processed from Airbnb, because even though they never did verify my ID to their standards, they certainly charged my credit card right away and still haven’t bothered to credit itit even though they never booked the property.
    How do they get away with these business practices??

  13. I had a trip in NYC in the Summer of ’16 where I called them everyday for 2 weeks and got no help and never have heard from anyone since. Now I’m in the middle of trying to plan something around Christmas and I’m going through it all again. They say “I’ll escalate it as URGENT to that department” every time then hang up on me.

  14. i am stucked in verifying my account.
    i hit the button “Provide ID”, direct you to another “govt ID” button, and then, there’s no other button to upload govt ID.
    Can someone help me upload ID?


  15. I flirted with ABNB, as I’m traveling and would like to stay in some of the nice places offered. But….

    The verification process requested permission to “manage” (not “access.” Not “look at.” “Manage”) my Google contacts. It wanted permission to access my Google Drive metadata, which means… well, pretty much everything. And it wanted the last four digits of my Social Security #.

    That’s more than enough information to steal my identity.

    I understand that the issue is trust, but in the real world, “trust” isn’t established by giving somebody your photo-albums, Rolodex, personal correspondence, and Social Security number. I’ll do without.

  16. I have just spent an entire afternoon attempting to satisfy Airbnb verification requirements. Early this year I used the service without a problem and without these demands. I want to spend one night in an Airbnb apartment and have to go through all this nonsense. The hotels in the district are slightly more expensive but do not demand that I put on a video performance.

  17. Had a similar issue today – first booking went through fine, then for a second booking I suddenly needed to verify again even though I have been with airbnb for years.
    No way to call anyone.

    airbnb is a disaster – I’m surprised they are still in business

  18. I’m also having problems. Having submitted my payment details, I am not being allowed to verify my ID. There doesn’t seem to be an option to press to upload a photo for me to complete the process. Can anyone offer advice on this?

  19. GRRRR!! We’re in the middle of a holiday in France, of which we booked the first half without any problem. Having decided where we want to go next we’ve just tried making further bookings only to find that Airbnb wants copies of our passports and ‘a short video’. Like other posters, I find this way too intrusive, but have just spent hours trying to jump through all the right hoops anyway because we needed accomodation …only to be told we can’t procede without the ‘ latest version of Adobe Flash’ Like much of the world, we’re using iPads, so no dice. …Utter waste of time!

  20. I too am totally confused by this verification process and being told ” I have too many accounts.” Does anyone have any method of contacting Airbnb directly?
    Thanks much

  21. I have also had problems with trying to verify myself – obviously after the money had been successfully taken off my card! It kept saying my session has timed out – even though I tried about 10 times! I searched the website for a phone number or contact page – nothing! So I googled and finally got a number. A lovely lady said I could email my passport photo to her and she would get the appropriate department to solve the problem. Alas 12 hrs has elapsed now and the booking cancelled. I have been informed it will take some days before I get the money back. What an absolute shambles and waste of time!!!

  22. My problem began when I tried to verify with a video.
    I am not on Facebook etc.
    I also have trouble with electronic devices so sending a video put it into the realms of fantasy land.
    It is even more puzzling because I managed to book 2 nights a couple of days ago without all the drama.
    Most frustrating as I can’t find anyway to contact them.
    Must have monkeys running the system

  23. I was hot to book a place yesterday afternoon, having just gotten back from using an AirBNB hosted room on a business trip. However, suddenly I needed to have my ID verified. I answered their questions and uploaded my drivers license – linked in my facebook account. None of this was sufficient. I’m not planning to send a video. This is kind of ridiculous. I understand that hosts want to make sure they are not going to be ripped off or welcome ax murderers into their homes – and this process will absolutely accomplish that, because it will keep customers from completing the process.

    • Joe, I totally agree with you. I got to the end of the “verification” process and saw they also wanted to link to my FB, Gmail or Linkedin accounts. This is way too intrusive. Why should i give AirBnB access to all my contacts in one of those social media sites? I’m just going to book directly to a hotel. All a hotel needs is my credit card details.

  24. Just spent 1.5hrs trying to verify with AirBnB. Had no problems last fall. Since I do not have a FB, G+, or Linkedin acct I opted for their other option. I recorded a 10 sec video, clicked save, but it sent me through the process repeatedly. It seemed to finally take the video but gave no indication the verification process was underway. It just said I still needed to verify. Apparently, if they are indeed “verifying” my vid, it can take several hrs. I messaged the people I was trying to book with, and they kindly responded that it looked okay on their end…just waiting for the AirBnb verification. I do hope it goes through, but I’m not at all happy having to wait hours to be verified not knowing for sure it’s even in the process. Sadly, will probably go back to hotels who seem happy to book in a timely manner. :/

  25. Having same problem – suspect it may be b/c logged on through Facebook (as Airbnb app suggests you do!).
    They don’t seem to respond to repeated requests, just the “we’re listening” email.

    • Don’t expect a response. I tried booking 10 and received a message when I logged in saying I needed to email disabled accounts to verify myself. After I emailed they sent me an automatic email asking for my email address and phone number, then said someone would get back to me in 24-48 hours. That was 10 days ago.

  26. They have other options if you can’t get the verification they ask for. Send them an email and they can explain further. I used to be an agent but I forgot all the options.

  27. I am having an issue trying to verify my ID. Airbnb is asking that I use Facebook, Gmail or Linkedin to verify. The only account I have is Facbook, but they are saying my account is not active enough for verification. So I am stuck – very frustrating. I can’t seem to find a phone number or any help from the Airbnb website. Does anyone have a suggestion to solve this issue? Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.

    • I’m having the same problem. I guess I’ll spend my travel funds at a hotel who seem to be OK with booking my trip.

    • I tried for 3 hours to be “verified”. Numerous phone and email verification exchanges, then wanted picture from facebook Gmail or linkedin. When they asked for copies of my credit card statement, enough was enough. I suggest the opportunity use either vrbo or homeaway, both of whom I’ve booked with numerous times without some ultra intrusive ID verification. Airbnb is just not worth the hassle with those quality options.

  28. I have got a similar problem
    when i want to book a room then it says you should verify your phone number and when i click on my phone number to receive a SMS it says sorry we can not send you SMS
    I contacted Airbnb and they said they are working on it but no success after 2 weeks still got the same problem

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