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How does it work when Airbnb confirms your identity?

At Airbnb, we’re always working on making our community as secure as possible for everyone. That’s why, before booking a home or experience, or becoming a host, we may ask for a government ID or have you confirm your legal name and add your address.

This information helps us keep Airbnb secure, fight fraud, and more – and it’s something you’ll only have to do once.

How it works when Airbnb verifies identity

When you’re asked to confirm your identity, you’ll need to add either your legal name and address, or a photo of a government ID (driver’s licence, passport, or national identity card). Additionally, you may be asked to take a brand-new photo of yourself. This is different from your profile photo, which you may also be asked to provide.

If you're asked to take a photo of yourself, it needs to match your photo on your ID, and your ID must be valid. If your photos don’t match, if you’re under 18, or your ID doesn't appear to be valid, you won't be able to book a listing requiring an ID. If you’re under 18, all current reservations will also be cancelled.

You may have a few options for verifying your identity:

  • Take a photo of your ID using your phone
  • Take a photo using the camera on your computer or mobile device
  • Upload an existing photo of your ID
  • Add your legal first and last name
  • Add your address (this should match where you get banking documents or utility bills)

Completing this process isn’t an endorsement of any host or guest, a guarantee of someone’s identity, or an assurance that interacting with them will be safe. Always use your own best judgment, and follow our safety tips for guests and hosts.

When you’ll be asked to verify your identity

This may happen for a couple of reasons. For example, some hosts require their guests to complete identity verification in order to book their place or experience.

There are also times when Airbnb will ask you to confirm your identity to help us make sure you’re really you.

But whatever the reason, your ID will never be shared with a host or anyone else who uses Airbnb.

If you need to come back and finish confirming your identity later, that’s fine. Just go to airbnb.com/verify and you can pick up where you left off.

Types of ID

Depending on your location and what country you’re from, you may be able to add one of the following types of government ID:

  • Driver’s licence
  • Passport
  • National identity card

Your ID needs to be an official government-issued ID (not an ID for a school, library, gym, etc.) that includes a photo of you.

If you add a driver’s licence, you’ll be asked for two photos – one of the front of the licence and one of the back.

If you add a passport, make sure the photo includes the numbers located at the bottom of the page with your picture.

For residents of Singapore, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Japan, and Korea: No matter which type of ID you add, be sure the image of your ID doesn’t show your identification or registration number. If you take a new photo of your ID, cover the number with tape or your finger when you take the photo, making sure all other info is visible. If you upload an existing photo of your ID, edit it first so that your identification number can’t be seen.

Other ways we confirm your identity

In some cases, you may not need to add a government ID. We’ll be able to make sure you’re really you when you add your legal name and address (this should match where you get banking documents or utility bills). We’ll match this information with secure third-party databases.

What gets shared with your host

If you’re asked for a government ID, the following may be shared with your host:

  • The first name on your ID
  • Whether you're over or under 25 years old
  • Whether your ID has been successfully added
  • Your profile photo and profile name

As a guest, the following will never be shared with your host or anyone else who uses Airbnb:

  • The photo of your ID
  • The photo you take of yourself as part of ID verification (if you’re asked to do that)
  • Your last name
  • Your address

Privacy

We take privacy seriously. The information you provide during the process of adding your government ID is governed by our Privacy Policy and sent to us and our third-party databases using the same secure encryption that websites use to transmit credit card numbers. Our third-party databases handle this info according to our contracts with these third parties.

In the Netherlands, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, or Japan

To further help protect your privacy, it’s important that your national identification number (NRIC, HKID, BSN, MyNumber, RRN, etc.) doesn’t appear in the photo of your ID. If you take a new photo of your ID, make sure all other info is visible – only the identification number should be covered (using tape to cover the number is one option). If you upload an existing photo of your ID, edit it so that your identification number can’t be seen.

We’ve made some changes to improve how we protect national identification number info. If your ID was added before the date below and your identification number appeared in your photo, that’s okay – we’ve already permanently deleted or redacted the photo of your ID, and there’s nothing you need to do. If your ID was added after the date, we are storing the photo but we’ve removed your national ID number for your protection.

  • Netherlands, citizen service number (BSN): 5 September 2017
  • Korea, resident registration number (RRN): 15 May 2018
  • Singapore, National Registration Identity Card (NRIC)/other national ID number: September 2019
  • Hong Kong, Hong Kong Identity Card (HKID): 1 October 2019
  • Japan, MyNumber/Individual Number: 1 October 2019

Storing and removing the photo of your ID

The storage of your government ID photo is governed by our Privacy Policy, which describes our efforts to protect your information.

We recommend not removing the photo of your ID. If you do, any upcoming reservations will be cancelled.

You can, however, remove the photo of your ID 90 days after you complete your most recent booking.

To remove the photo of your ID:

From a computer or mobile web browser, go to Edit profile and click the X next to Identification.

Profile photos can also be removed, but the photo you take of yourself (if you’re asked to do so) cannot.

Other ways identification info may be used

When you and other guests and hosts provide identification info it builds trust in the Airbnb community. It also helps us keep Airbnb secure, fight fraud, and more. There are a few ways that identification info may be used to do this.

First, here at Airbnb, we may use your identification info to better protect all guests and hosts. The information helps us check that everyone is who they say they are – and therefore, we can do an even better job of keeping fraudulent individuals away from Airbnb. We can also keep accounts more secure, and better determine that everyone who uses Airbnb is over 18 years old.

Additionally, 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. While we believe these checks help us deter fraud and misuse of our services, they don’t guarantee that interactions with people who book through Airbnb will be safe or problem-free. Please carefully review our notice about the limitations of background and registered sex offender checks.

Also, where permitted by applicable law, we may provide certain identification info to banks and other financial institutions (which helps them enforce various tax, anti-money laundering, and sanctions laws), as well as to law enforcement agencies (who may be conducting investigations requiring Airbnb’s involvement).

Our goal is to work closely with these organisations and comply with our legal obligations, while also ensuring the respect, privacy, and security of everyone who uses Airbnb.

About photo matching

If you’re asked to take a photo of yourself, we’ll also match this photo with the picture in the government ID you already provided. This helps us make sure you’re really you.

Photo matching may provide some useful info, but no facial matching process is always completely accurate. The effectiveness of a comparison of facial features can vary greatly based on the skill and judgment of the reviewer, the quality and resolution of the photos, and whether there are significant changes in a person’s appearance between the two photos (for example, change in age, change in weight, different outfit).

As a result, this process may sometimes “match” photos that are not in fact of the same person, or fail to match photos that are of the same person. Fraudulent individuals may circumvent even the most sophisticated and diligent efforts to match photos submitted for comparison.

We don’t make any guarantee or representation about the accuracy or effectiveness of photo matching results. You shouldn’t rely on completion of the photo matching process as a guarantee of someone’s identity, or a guarantee that they’re someone you can safely interact with.