Total Frustration Uploading Photo IDs on Airbnb

Talk about total frustration. I tried the night before at least 15 times to upload a passport photo using Airbnb’s interface and taking a snapshot of the photo using my computer. The photo image uploaded came out nearly perfect. However I got a message stating the picture was not clear. I tried taking a picture of my passport photo using a cell phone and then uploading that picture to my desktop and from there uploading it to their system. It uploaded correctly each time however I kept getting a message stating that it was not clear. We tried repeatedly and then we got a completed transaction notice from PayPal.

We thought all was good until I woke up the next day and there was a message stating the photo was not clear. Really… what does a photo have to do with making a transaction or trying to get some rental property? The airlines don’t do that much checking; they would be broke if they did. I made a call to Airbnb, talked to a representative and then a supervisor. The last guy said my picture was verified and good. He gave me some coupons and I asked him if he expected me to do this all over again. I tried again and again and this time PayPay charged me twice. This time I got a receipt from the Airbnb system showing the charges. I was thinking I was good to go, but one hour later, I received another email saying the picture was not clear. Why in the world are they so hooked on pictures? If you want lots of pain then you should use Airbnb.

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


  1. No hotel requires that you upload a government issued id onto an internet site; you show it in person, along with your vehicle make & model. Even my bank doesn’t go that far – all ids are shown in person. I have decided the bother is not worth the risk – uploading a driver’s license or passport to AirB&B or via any media site is risky. Lots of eyes in between. I was not required to do this prior to my last Airb&b reservation. And recently one of my credit cards was hacked, so who knows how? Also, there is no reassurance from Airb&b what precautions they provide to keep your personal info safe. My neighbor recently had his identity stolen, he doesn’t know how. Life on the internet….

  2. Finally got it to work, using the application on my desktop instead of phone. Logged into my account, went under my profile, hit “Trust and Verification”, then navigated to the three options for uploading (from app, computer camera, or upload image). I used my phone to take a good picture of front and back of my ID (would have been nice if their app could have just done that huh?). I emailed those good pics of my ID and download to my computer. Then, when I selected to “upload image” from the Identification area of the Trust and Verification section, I was able to put the good pics of my ID into the system. Hope this works for y’all.

  3. Wasted 3 hours trying to make airbnb photo id “facility” work. It is a completely worthless piece of software. Only solution is to book with a host that does not require photo id.

  4. They are obsessed with having photos as a way to identify hosts and guests. My family is neither host nor guest but my neighbour’s “guests” rampaged through our neighbourhood in the early hours having a party and wrecked our front door as they tried to kick it down and gain access to our home – who knows why, they were probably fueled by alcohol and drugs – and now the police is involved because of the guests’ criminal behaviour. Having that picture will help identify the guest and figure out who did this to our home.

    Despite your troubles, we all know that anyone can upload any picture. There was recently a news story here about a couple whose house was listed on Air BnB by someone (not them obviously) and the picture the “host” uploaded was of a well known actress! So despite Air BnB’s zealousness, the system is not fool-proof.

  5. I’m experiencing exactly the same problem today. I have booked with AirBnB in the past and it has been fine but this photo validation does not work – and why are they obsessed with having photos. I am now looking to rent somewhere with another website.

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