Requesting a copy of guest's ID

We have stated in our listing that we require a copy of our guest’s (the person who booked the place) driver’s license before we give them their code to our front door. If they are arriving at a time I can’t meet them, I have them text it to me, and then I give them the code before arrival.

This has not been a problem for anyone until my last guest. She didn’t want to provide her ID, and contacted Airbnb to see if she was required to. Airbnb said no, and sent me a message that said I was not allowed.

It is stated in our listing that we do require a copy (as hotels do). I do not feel comfortable letting people into my home without a copy of their ID - you can’t always count on Airbnb to do the right thing when something goes wrong.

Am I being reasonable?


Hello @beth
I just returned from Sicily were I rented an Airbnb, prior of entering the apartment, we were taken to an office, and they asked of our passports and made a copy of them. After that we went to the apartment. I’m being a host for almost two years, but they asked for everyone to show documents.
And when I had a problem once, when the person who wanted to check in in one of my apartments wasn’t the one who made the reservation, I called Airbnb and they told me that I have the right to ask for document identity at check in. So I think you should stick to your decision.


There are other hosts on here that ask for ID upon check in, perhaps @Faheem?
Also, it may depend upon where you are located

I’m legally obliged to ask for ID.@beth, maybe your guest wasn’t comfortable with providing a copy of her license, but had no problems with presenting it to you? What was Airbnb’s explanation for giving this info to the guest? Your local regulations or something else?

Firstly, is this a shared or a full-house listing?

I’m curious why you think this level of identification is really needed. Have you actually had any guest commit an undesirable act that makes you think this is a must?
Have you considered other measures such as security camera at the entrance to mitigate the chance of any misbehavior?

What do you think you can concretely do if you have a past guest’s identification once they’re gone and you’ve discovered something wrong?

I ask to understand a bit better rather than question your approach.

Italy and some other countries are horrible in this respec – requiring ID for everything you do - I remember years ago an Internet café asking you to leave your passport at the desk before you sat down to use the Internet.

Like @Maggieroni / @Inna hinted, there are legal requirements in some low-trust countries, but it doesn’t look like @beth has such a requirement.

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Low-trust countries? What is that supposed to mean? :smiley:


Are you in a country where you are legally required to ask for ID?

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There’s nothing ‘horrible’ about asking for proof of ID - lots of countries require this when staying in hotels etc.

What do you mean by ‘low-trust’ countries.

In the EU it’s a requirement in most member states. It’s also common in the Middle East, Far East and Asia.

It’s stored so it can be made available to authorities and law enforcement on request to cross check for wanted individuals, criminals or missing people.


Is it the making a copy of the ID that is the problem? I’d have no problem at showing my ID but would most definitely have an issue with you making a copy of it unless it was legally required.


I’m curious why you think this level of identification is really needed. Have you actually had any guest commit an undesirable act that makes you think this is a must?
Have you considered other measures such as security camera at the entrance to mitigate the chance of any misbehavior?

There have been a few instances of hosts who found “Verified” (governement ID) guests whose name didn’t match between the account, credit card, and ID. It’s one thing to catch the image of someone on security camera, but it’s got to be insanely harder to take any kind of legal action if they falsified their name.

I have a statement in my house rules that says government ID must be shown on request, but I think I’ve only asked once (someone who didn’t have a face/profile picture).

Asking to SEE identification is much different than making a copy. In countries where it’s not legally required, and given the risk of identity theft, I can understand their reluctance.


How do you know the name on the credit card? I never see that with an Airbnb booking.

Hi @beth,

Your instincts are correct, in my opinion.

Entirely so.

In India, I’m legally required to record and submit information about guests. Like many laws in India, this is highly ignorable. A major reason why I comply, is that I do want information about guests for security reasons. And while the guest and Airbnb might, hypothetically, be fine with ignoring my wishes, they will not so easily be able to ignore the wishes of the Indian government.

It is worrying and unfortunate that Airbnb takes your security so lightly. What is your location? Is there any local or national law that requires you to record guest information? This is true of a number of countries, but it not common, from what I know.

Thanks to @Maggieroni for the pointer.

I do, yes.

It does indeed.


@beth perhaps it should be in your rules thus if a guests declines to give the ID, they are breaking your rules, thus Air will side with you.

This is a rule I saw a host use that seemed to say what you are looking for:

"2- Book instantly or send an inquiry. Either way, please tell me a little bit about yourself, your trip, why you are visiting the area, and the first and last names of all guests. Include the ages of all guests under 25 years old. NO UNREGISTERED GUESTS/VISITORS. Only the guests that are included by name on the booking are allowed onto the property per Airbnb regardless of age.

3- Once booked, forward a photo of the renters state/government issued photo ID to the personal email address I will provide via the Airbnb App. The minimum age to rent is 25 for the primary responsible party."

Good luck.


I would be uncomfortable with it. Do you store the copies in a locked box or is it kept in your email? I would be concerned for identity theft.

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I do not currently do it, but bearing in mind how little information you get from a booking when using ABB I have thought about doing so.

At least a sign in book.

I’m with everyone that says they’d be uncomfortable with you making a copy of my id. Identity theft is a major issue. How do you ensure guests that you (or someone in your family/business) can be trusted?

oohhh I like that!! Do you have a line for where they are coming from? My guests love hearing about all the countries that have visited our home.

I currently have a book on the bar which they can complete when usually leaving, in fact I am on my second one, I was thinking of more one that collects info on sign in.

Not everybody leaves a comment but does ask for where they are from, had thought of putting up a map and supplying pins.

I rent a room and bath in my home in the US. Up until this current guest (somewhat troublesome), I’ve not had to ask for ID. Today, their rental car got a flat tire and the tow truck guy came looking for a different name.

I called Air and they said that once you’re verified, your user name can be changed at-will and doesn’t have to match anything - not credit cards, nothing.

Aside from the risk of identity theft and being paid by stolen cards, if I call the police on John Smith and Abby Normal pulls out ID, I have no real recourse.

I’m really uncomfortable with this and guess I’ll have to start asking for photo ID before confirming the request to book (no IB) (woman alone, with cat, renting out space in home).

How do you go about getting ID photos sent since Air wipes outside email addresses? How do you go about getting confirmation? I asked all the usual questions - purpose, expectations, etc.

They’re in their late 70s/early 80s and are drinkers, so that’s got me worried, too. Up until now I haven’t had problem guests, so I’m lucky but unhappy. I don’t need a drunk Italian 80 year old slipping in the tub… I’m tempted to tell them to find another place and refund unused days, except I may not get another booking.

You can’t. Airbnb guarnatees they’ll never share the ID information with hosts so when a guest is ‘verified’ it essentially means diddly to you.

You can ask to see ID but unless your local laws require you to copy ID, Airbnb will not let you copy ID. I’ve posted my correspondence with Airbnb multiple times on this.

Ask to see a copy of the ID and then read the vital information outloud and remember it. You aren’t allowed to record or copy it in any manner but I’m thinking Airbnb can’t limit your mental capacity. Recording your own voice reading out this information would technically be in violation of Airbnb policy for example but very difficult to prove.

You are allowed to ask to see ID at check-in and if the name doesn’t match the guest name exactly, you are within your rights to deny them entry. You’ll get that quite often though because guests make accounts off of Facebook I guess and quite often people use nicknames on FB.