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I’m just getting back into hosting after being closed for COVID and it looks like Airbnb has changed the wording of the guest ID verifications. If I recall, it used to say if a guest had verified their government ID, but now it just says “Identity verified”.
I have two guests booked and they both have this “Identity Verified” designation, but in the email for the reservation it says one of the guests provided “government ID” and the other just provided phone number and age (there’s no mention of government ID on their website profile).
According to Airbnb, “Identity verified” means a guest provided a government ID or passport, so I’m confused why one of my guest’s profile mentions this specifically and the other doesn’t. Can I assume “Identity verified” means the government ID has been verified or does the profile have to explicitly say this?
My understanding was that “Identity Verified” can mean that the guest either uploaded the government ID and photo and/or AirBnB did a bunch of data mining to verify their identity. E.g. guest provide name, postal address, e-mail address, and phone number, and AirBnB compared it to a bunch of public and not-so-public info, such as the public phone directory, soft credit reports, social media data, etc.
Airbnb wouldn’t confirm a reservation for a guy and the note stated that they were waiting for identity verification while his profile said verified. AIrbnb actual cancelled him. He was mystified and I certainly couldn’t explain it. He was not a repeat so I wasn’t comfortable booking direct. If any Airbnb process requires staff interaction, I think they all execute the rules a little differently. This may not answer your question, but it should make your wary of the Airbnb screening process.
Thank you! My goal in requiring guests to have their government ID verified is to provide some reassurance that the person who books is the person who stays, so I suppose if Airbnb accomplishes this another way that should be ok.
No, not any more! Good thing you asked. I used to be under that impression too, and indeed that assumption used to be true until a year or so back. It doesn’t seem to be true anymore. Airbnb shows Identity Verified even for guests who haven’t done a government ID verification but may have just verified with a phone number. I know this because I get Booking Requests from guests who can’t Instant Book because the system automatically enforces my guest requirements that include a government issued ID verification, and most such recent requests were from profiles proudly saying Identity Verified.
I talked to multiple customer support folks and it seems like they have no way to themselves check whether the guest has actually verified with a government issued ID because they can view very little details about a potential guest until a booking is actually confirmed. When I get a booking request, I know it’s almost certainly the ID requirement and send them instructions on how to do it (assuming they have prior positive reviews, another of my requirements) and all but one have gone ahead and done the verification thus far.
One kink with their system is that even after the guest verifies with the government ID, they either don’t know how or don’t seem to be able to Instant Book the listing, and I have no way of actually verifying even by calling customer support that their verification went through, and in the meantime, my dates are blocked for 24 hours. So I’m just forced to apply some common sense caution checks and go ahead and approve their request a few hours after they tell me they’ve uploaded their ID and are waiting to hear back.
That’s really frustrating! Why does Airbnb try to make it so hard for a host to have any reassurance about the guest who’s staying in their house? Since when does a phone number verify your identity? I don’t do instant booking since I’m a homeshare host, so unfortunately I don’t have that workaround that you do to confirm they’ve truly been verified.
Yeah, without instant book, you are indeed unfortunately stuck. One thing you could try is to ask them to make sure they are verified with a government ID and that the booking is conditional on that being the case. Then go ahead and accept it. At that point, any Airbnb rep can confirm if they are actually verified. If they are not, you can nudge them to complete the verification or know that they are trying to avoid it and cancel (using up one of your limited cancel opportunities).
Maybe tell them that Airbnb only uses their ID to verify that their profile info matches their ID and would never share it with hosts to put some (understandably) privacy-conscious guests at ease. (I for one would never give my ID to Airbnb myself, hypocritical as that may be, and I have encountered one guest who refused to do it for unnecessary privacy risk and chose to withdraw his request and book a listing that didn’t have that requirement.)
Apparently the “ID verified” means absolutely nothing. I had an inquiry from a guest that had that wording on their profile, and after a few messages my calendar become blocked for those dates and it says “Awaiting guest ID” on my calendar even though the guest profile still says ID verified. Airbnb confirmed that this is now a request to book (even though I was never notified) and the guest has 12 hours to verify their ID, meanwhile it gives me no option to accept or decline (I’m not on instant book).
I have IB turned on and also require government ID. I was searching for a way that I could require ID for people to be able to send a Booking Request as well. (I’ve been lucky enough never to have to decline a request, but I may have to tomorrow.)
And when I clicked on the “Reservation Requirements” link, it took me to this very random page, where the box was unchecked. So I checked it but I have NO idea where this page is in the navigation or how to find it again (without the help article link) https://www.airbnb.com/hosting/requirements
To us “Identity Verified” means nothing at all. There is no more or less so-called protection via Air Host Guarantee regardless. It won’t mean “better guests”.
MANY (at least 1/3 of our guests) were first time Air users. All of them were fine. Some had verified IDs and others not. All were IB.
If one wishes, you may easily claim as a host that Guests are required to provide ID at checkin or after booking, etc (on the basis of “Required by Our Insurance” - and regardless of whether that is true or not.
By default when you turn on IB, it also allows guests who don’t satisfy all of your IB guest requirements to send a booking request. I don’t think there is any other way to auto-enforce any guest requirement, not just the ID requirement, other than via IB. Not only that, but as I said in one of my previous posts, even after a guest sends a booking request, there is apparently no way even for even an Airbnb customer rep to look the tentative guest’s profile and tell you to what extent they are verified. They can only look up a guest’s personal details after a confirmed booking.
I have no issues with Newbies, nor do I require prior host reviews. Most of my timers have been great guests. I do want government ID and as many other verifications as possible. The fact that they just verify with a phone number seems shady to me.
Interesting. I don’t get very many requests with IB (I don’t require prior host reviews). When I do get one where they haven’t submitted govt. ID I just ask them to do so. Hopefully this current requests complies with that so I don’t have to decline.
Is there a way to submit a reason why I’m declining the request? What’s the process? I’ve been at this for over three years and never had to decline…
Agree in principle, and different people’s experiences would likely be different. The times when I accepted 0-review guests, they turned out to be problematic (undeclared guests, etc.), and I don’t seem to have trouble filling dates with guests with previous positive reviews, so I just don’t bother.
One benefit of Identity Verified with a government issued ID is that it makes it less likely that someone with a criminal record would even bother going through the verification process. And I like to think it acts as a psychological check on potential bad behavior by guests without a criminal record. Sort of like the “our insurance needs it” white lie coz the guest doesn’t really know how exactly the ID is used by Airbnb.
The reality is that Airbnb doesn’t share IDs with hosts and its government ID check probably doesn’t mean a whole lot because I get IBs from folks whose face I can’t even make out in their profile pic, so it would be impossible for a machine to even check their ID against their profile pic. I’d say it is better than nothing for avoiding really bad apples but agree it doesn’t mean “better guests” in the sense of low-maintenance well-communicating guests.