New host with new guest wanting to book - ask for id?

I’m new to Airbnb. I’ve just had my first booking request and it’s from someone who looks like they have joined Airbnb just to book my apartment, so I can’t see any history about him. I haven’t selected the ‘instant book’ option so I can’t automatically see proof of government id. Should I be asking for something like id off him before I accept his booking? I don’t want to scare him away though! He might think I think he looks dodgy if I ask for id so early in the process.
What checks of my own, if any, should I be doing?

You can see verified info regardless of booking method. Click on their picture to see the profile. Verified info is listed on the left. You can ask them to get their ID verified with Airbnb if you want them to do that prior to booking.


Since you’re brand new, I would be very careful about a new guest’s intentions, especially if they’re from the same city as you. Ask questions! When we opened our second listing, we had a number of inquiries right away looking for deals and they seemed dodgy. We figured some people look specifically for new new listings/hosts because they know they can take advantage of them. Also, without verified ID, how do you know he didn’t just set a new account with no ratings to hide a bad track record? Your first bookings are very important!


Turn off Instant Book until you have a better handle on hosting. Way too scary for the beginner.


Hello @tan8856

Have you decided go to ahead with your listing on the basis of offering long term bookings but wanting to offer 48 hours notice if you need to move back in?

:joy: no! I was being hypothetical saying 48h. We are thinking 1 month is more sensible.

Ask the potential guest questions - What brings you to this part of _____?

We have always accepted new guests, right from our beginning, and not had any problems. Everyone has to start someplace.

Is this one guest? A couple? A family?

If the potential guest is from nearby, and you’re not in one of the natural disaster ravaged areas, it is wise to find out just why they want to stay at your place.

How long is s/he requesting to book for? I know from your previous post you want Long Term Renters, which we’ve warned you bout. I admit, I would not accept, right off the bat, someone with no reviews to come stay at our place for more than a week if they didn’t have any previous reviews.


I always ask guests

  1. why they chose my place

  2. plans for their stay

  3. who is in the party

  4. to complete their profile and upload clear photos (if they haven’t done so)


Remember, Air doesn’t let you have the guest’s I.D., least of all prior to booking. All you’re entitled to know is that the guest has provided Air with a government issued I.D. as a form of verification.

Whether with a Request or Inquiry, I quickly respond and ask the guest a few qualifying questions such as inviting him/her to tell me a little about themselves “because it appears you have not mentioned anything in your profile.” I also refer to the fact that they know quite a bit about me from my profile. They usually send a friendly reply and spill enough beans to my satisfaction.

With a recent couple whose history said they joined Air three years ago, yet had no reviews, I told her that while I would like to accept their Request, they are at a disadvantage with no reviews and I hope they understood my reluctance. She promptly wrote back and apologized and said it was because their other account was in her fiancé’s name and they thought she ought to also open an acc’t for her.

She also volunteered each of their occupations and what they would be in the area for…so I easily accepted them. (It also helped that I was able to do some vetting with the info she gave.)


Hi @tan8856,

I always ask for guest IDs, and always have. I think it’s a very good idea for a variety of mostly obvious reasons. If you want more details, feel free to ask.

You can see other discussions of this topic if you do a search on this forum. It comes up periodically.

And you can, and probably should, ask the prospective guests questions as you feel appropriate. As others have suggested.

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Apart from everything others have said here, I think it also depends on the demand/supply details of your area. If the supply is high enough, some folk will more likely book someone else who’s not asking for these. You’ll have to evaluate how much that matters to you.

True, but I also would rather not have that guest book with me (to be sharing my home) if they’re not willing to share that information. Bullet dodged, perhaps! :smiley:


Again, this might be a luxury hosts with some reputation can afford - newbies would have to go through some tough shit before they can command more compliance.
I have not been as insistent on personally checking guest ID’s like some here, and it’s been fine.

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Sorry - to be clear - I had meant that I wouldn’t want someone to book with me if they’re not willing to divulge why they’re in the city etc. I’ve been a host for over 15 years (3 on Airbnb) and have NEVER - not even once - asked a guest for their i.d.


Well, like lots of things, it’s fine 99.9% of the time. It’s that 0.1% you have to watch out for. That’s also why insurance companies exist. One could easily say that, well, my house didn’t burn down in the last 10 years. Why do I need fire insurance? It’s been fine.

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I use instant book and never ask to see an ID. Never had a problem.