Airbnb ID Verification started as a way to make their platform more secure. No more fakes names, no more ambiguity, and no more fear for hosts about who they are really letting their properties to.
We hear a lot of debate about whether guests should validate their profiles by verifying their identities. But you’d be surprised how many people are unsure of the process and who can access this data once it has been uploaded.
We understand why you’d be hesitant to submit a copy of your government-issued ID. That’s why we wanted to create this post. Who can access your ID? What do they need to do so? And why is Airbnb ID verification so important for a safer, more secure Airbnb experience?
What is Airbnb ID Verification?
Airbnb ID Verification is the process of validating your profile by confirming your identity with an official identification document. Both Airbnb hosts and users have the option to verify their identities to add an additional assurance to the people they interact with on the platform.
The process of verifying your identification was introduced to add an additional layer of security. By verifying their identity via the platform itself, hosts and users know exactly who they are renting to/from.
Why is Airbnb ID Verification Important?
To put it simply, it protects against fraud. The importance of identity verification really can’t be underestimated. Guests feel more comfortable booking with verified guests. Hosts feel more comfortable accepting bookings from verified guests.
In the Airbnb scenario, hosts have more on the line than guests. Hosts are renting out their investments, and they are financially reliable (especially if they do not have vacation rental insurance).
Airbnb wants to create an environment of trust for both hosts and guests. ID verification is just one step in their process to make Airbnb as safe as possible for both parties.
Having to verify your identity on Airbnb usually discourages bad behavior and reminds guests with malicious intent that they will be easily traceable should they leave a property in a state of disrepair.
Is it Mandatory?
To register your property on Airbnb, it is now a requirement that you verify your identity.
As all hosts need to be identity verified, it’s then up to them whether they want to let their property to guests who are not. Some hosts opt to disable Instant Book, and once they receive a booking request, ask their potential guests to verify their identities before they approve the booking request. This added assurance means hosts can let their properties with less worry for them and more accountability for their guests.
Does Airbnb Store my ID Information?
No, only Airbnb employees can access this information and they need a purpose to do so. On the Airbnb Help Centre, they cite ‘troubleshooting or internal purposes’ as the only two reasons for an Airbnb employee to access your photo ID.
Airbnb goes on to explain, “Sometimes, where permitted by applicable law, we may provide identification info from a government ID, such as a full name, address, and date of birth, to our service providers to run background checks against public records for criminal convictions and sex offender registrations. For now, these checks are limited to users in the United States.”
Like we said at the beginning, we can understand why you’d be hesitant to submit your ID when you’re not sure who can access it and what they can do with it. Hopefully, this post showed you how verifying your identity can create a better, safer Airbnb experience for all.