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Can you ask for Govt. Photo Ids (Insider are you still on the forum)

#1

I AM ASKING FOR OPINION ON ARIBNB RULES AS IT APPLIES TO ASKING FOR GOVT. PHOTO IDS AND IT IT BREAKS RULES. Not how to run my Airbnb hosting. Thank you.

I have for 3 years been requesting that all guests and visitors provide govt. photo ids after booking but before I provide key codes. It’s in my rules on my listing. I had a guests complain to Airbnb and was told that they only have to provide upon check in. This is problematic because while I live in the same house in a separate space, I am often asleep when the guests arrive.

I called Airbnb and they said I am violating their terms. Section 14 bullet 3. I have read this and disagree on the interpretation. https://www.airbnb.com/terms

I catch 3rd party bookings, underage guests and additional guest not listed by asking for id. I believe by asking for everyone who will be staying, I eliminate bad actors.

After 3 years as a super host I’m not sure I can continue without this ability. Can anyone verify that this really is true and that it is against Airbnb rules to ask for Govt. Photo Ids. of everyone that will be in my STR.

UPDATE - JUST BEEN GIVEN A 24 HOUR WARNING OF ACCOUNT SHUTDOWN

My name is XXX your case manager with Airbnb. Thanks so much for calling in today to get some assistance with your question about getting copies of IDś from your guests. I’m happy to provide whatever assistance I can in order to help resolve this issue.

We understand you’ll need contact information to reach your confirmed guests, which is why we exchange phone numbers once a reservation is accepted. To balance the need for these contact details while protecting our community’s personal information, we ask that guests not share ID beyond what we automatically share with you.

We understand that some countries require hosts to check passport information of travelers, and in these cases we recommend hosts to refer their guests to the Verified ID process. Guests who’ve received their Verified ID badge often do so by securely submitting personal information like a passport or national ID. For a more information on how Verified ID works, visit: https://www.airbnb.com/help/article/450

If you’d like to check passport information upon arrival, we ask that you make this request visible in your listing description or House Rules. This way, guests can make a decision before booking about whether they’re comfortable providing this information.

I hope this helps clarify any confusion about requests for sensitive information from guests. When you ask for a guest to send a copy of their ID this is a violation of our policy and our Airbnb privacy policy as well.

https://www.airbnb.com/terms

https://www.airbnb.com/terms/privacy_policy

You will need to update your listing, and remove the following as this is a violation of our terms of service. Please have this removed in 24 hours or less to prevent your listing from being suspended:

  1. *** THIS IS SEPARATE FROM YOUR AIRBNB VERIFICATION.**All guests staying in the suite will be required to send us a government issued photo id or passport within 48 hours of your booking.

Because your listing states 2 beds and 2 bed rooms, you can not charge them extra for the second room. Your guest when they book the 2 bedroom and 2 beds they are paying for them both all ready at the time they book.

Please remove the extra fees for the 2nd bedroom.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns, or updates that you’d like me to know about, please let me know by responding directly to this message.

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#2

I don’t know but I would just leave it as is and in the rare cases that the guest complains then you can cancel them or ask them to cancel.

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#3

Yeah I’ve been told the same by Airbnb. I check ID at the door but as you say, its not always possible because sometimes I’m sleeping or not home when they check-in. Its always awkward to come home while someone is sleeping and then try to ask them for ID the next day when they’re leaving. “Oh hi, you spent the night in my house and are checking out, but can I see some ID?”

Because of that, many of my guests don’t show ID unfortunately. Most of the time, I only have trouble with the ones who don’t show ID.

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#4

I have now been given 24 hours to remove requirement or my account will be shut down. I’m also told I can no long charge a bed set up fee.

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#5

@Lynick4442 Yikes!! I’m so sorry. Seems like major changes are afoot w/ ABB!

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#6

I’m a bit confused. You are on site but unable to greet and verify your guests because… you’re often asleep when they arrive?

Why don’t you stipulate check-in hours so you can personally check everything before your bed-time?

Another question: do you honestly think that providing “government” photo IDs means that guests will be well behaved?

It’s rare that I concur with airbnb policy but in this case - rent your house out like a professional and just take the damned money or do the the airbnb thing, stay up and greet your guests like a HOST.

Sorry. Sometimes I feel like this place is a different universe to what I consider to be hosting It’s like people just want to be given free money and yet be guaranteed that nothing could possibly go wrong.

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#7

Is govt. ID a government requirement? In my case the county requires that I get a copy of all guests ID and keep it for 3 years. I have this in my house rules, County requires I get copy of ID and collect 10% tax. I have not re read the TOS since the last update but the very first sentence of section 14 ( I think) says hosts must comply with all laws and regulations. I see this fight in my future and have the notice from the county with my license number on it stating the requirements. I think I would prevail but who knows… Now that I think of it I am going to scan that document and put it in Dropbox so I can retrieve it in a hurry if/when this comes up. I am going to copy it and put in the housebook so guests can see my request is legit.

For now, for you I would comply with Air and then research your local regs. AND check ID at check in, adjust…

Good luck

RR

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#8

If I wait until the guests arrive for IDS then it’s too late. I don’t just want the person booking but everyone. I find things like third-party bookings, underage bookings and deter for booking of drug dealer and others.

In regarding meeting guests, if I cut the hours, I will lose bookings, and I’m really not comfortable meeting guests. (I live alone below with a dog and a security system.) I also have an allergy to fragrance that can make is problematic with some guests.

The work-around I am going to use is to get full names, ages, city, state and country of each person staying in the suite and the hire a background search company.

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#9

The one big reason I see to collect ID’s is that Airbnb only collects that data for their own use. If someone DID do major damage to your property you can’t rely on Airbnb to release their address or other info so you can pursue them legally.

ID verification IS important and I think most would agree that Air’s verification system is flawed. There are several stories floating around of people testing the system by using a different name between CC, ID, and Airbnb profile. The system doesn’t catch that. As Lynn said, she’s caught a number of 3rd party, under age, etc. Without her due dilligence she might otherwise end up with a stay where the charges could be reversed or her/Air’s insurance doesn’t cover her.

@Lynick4442 The problem you’re getting into is that Airbnb can’t put their guests in a spot where they’re sending sensitive information to you when they have no assurances of how you store or use it.
I like your idea of asking for guest name/info and then doing your own check. How will you go about doing those checks? Is that a subscription service, or do you have to pay for each pull? Will you do that for all guests - not just the booking person?
(I’m curious because I have a house rule that I can ask for ID, but I don’t make a habit of it. Most of my guests self-check-in and, like you said, it’s awkward to ask for it after the fact.)

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#10

Correct. They say they’ll never release this info to a host and they won’t.

Right. It happens all the time. People sign up using Facebook and they’re using a fake name on Facebook so it transfers to Airbnb. So “Ice-T Wiggins” is supposed to check in and I get Bartholomew T Wiggins at the door and the picture doesn’t match. Technically I shouldn’t let him in because he doesn’t have a reservation but if at least one part of the name matches…

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#11

I added a post asking for recommendations for online search companies.

Just this morning when I asked for names, ages, addresses of a guest that booked after I changed to names, ages, etc, discovered it was a third-party booking.

Asking for IDs was more about making sure the folks staying in the STR were the people that books, were age appropriate and to deter bad actors.

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#12

The one issue I have run into is that not all business accounts are set up under a company name. Recently Joe Smith set up a business account and when the individual appeared it was for L Peters. I went to cancel (same day booking so I had to call the desk) I was informed this was a business account and was not a third party booking. So he was legally allowed to stay and did not violate the third party booking rule, however the booking party failed to notify me via the app as they are required to do so. It all turned out well but my point is not all apparent 3rd party bookings are in violation.

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#13

The credit card number does not have to match the guest. The only thing that is required is that the card has been authorized by the card holder for ABB to charge the card. They do this by a making a small charge on the account that you have to verify the amount they charged. It usually runs somewhere between .01 and $1.00. If the guest can not properly verify the amount then the reservation will be cancelled or never made.

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#14

That’s interesting! I wasn’t aware that they allowed the CC name to mismatch. I thought they went through that charge verification for banking accounts, but I didn’t realize they did the same for CCs. Thanks for teaching me a couple new things today!

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#15

I notice Insider didn’t last long (though it was longer than I thought it would be). Things that make you go hmmmmm.

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#16

Thank you. Hosts don’t realize that they are creating a false security. Most people are just out to enjoy a grand holiday. They arent masterminds or savages hellbent on destruction. And I dont know what security glancing at someones ID affords you, especially if Airbnb has verified it. And if people ARE in fact hellbent on causing damage or committing a crime, they are miles ahead of you already. Do people not realize how easy it is to fake ID? Especially out of town ID?

I hate the community of mistrust that has surfaced due to these issues. It’s so very us and them for some now.

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#17

If someone on holiday is used to do doing MAJOR DAMAGE, scamming, or otherwise being untoward, do you realize that they are going to be way ahead of you in terms of a little detail such as providing a counterfeit ID? It’s not security in any sense of the word.

Just because someone “caught” those youngsters or those 3rd party bookings doesnt mean that they have singlehandedly thwarted the ill intentions of a miscreant.

Most damage that has been caused in my listing has been by middle aged female drunks (as an example demographic) with several pieces of legitimate ID and all of the presumed "credibility " in the world. All of my younger guests and 3rd party bookings have been respectful and surpassed guest expectations.

I’d rather save those precious paranoid, useless minutes sitting in my pool with a daiquiri.:grin:

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#18

I was wondering about that too. Ha Ha.

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#19

I hadn’t considered that a guest would provide a fake ID. I suppose you’re quite right that someone could book with a fake ID and a stolen credit card then rob me. I could take it a step further and also remember the driver’s license or ID number then check the validity online afterwards.

I’d like to say that well I’d just catch them with the security camera images but they could steal that too.

In the end, I realize that nothing is fool proof. My goal is just to make my home a hard target. Crims go after the easy victim. They’d rather rob an Airbnb with no security cameras than one with them.

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#20

If you want a tip, the best way of deterring a criminal is a dog (or if unable or unwilling to have a dog, the appearance of a dog is enough…ie, sound recording, beware of dog signs). A dog is an unpredictable hassle and they will move on. The worst security measure? Motion detector lights. Useless. Don’t waste your money. :slight_smile:

I grew up in a city with the highest crime rate in the country. I lived a block away from the street with the highest murder rate nationally. A gift from an ex-client was a sign that had a picture of my 2 Dobermans that said

“My dogs can make it to the fence in 2.3 seconds. Can you?”
I have never needed an alarm or cameras.

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