13 Replies Latest reply: Nov 18, 2013 8:16 AM by thesimones RSS

    Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?

    New Member

      Hi there...so here's today's question...

       

      I have been wondering if it is irresponsible of me to not require photo identification before giving away the keys to tens of thousands of dollars worth of assets...not to mention all the hard work, care and love that went into creating my lovely little cottage...

       

      I have indicated I have the option of requiring ID prior to occupancy in my Rental Agreement...like if someone is supposed to be 50+ but they're -20...that kind of thing...but I haven't followed through and made anyone actually provide any ID.

       

      I know any/every motel/hotel gets a visual of, or even a copy of, the renter's identification prior to renting just a room...but do "vacation rental guests" feel that providing their ID is too invasive?  Should I care?

       

      Bottom line, I'd like to have proof of their identification in case anything goes sideways.

       

      And since I have guests coming in a few days I'd like to practice developing a new system on them!

       

      What do you think?  What to do?

        • Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
          msdebj Senior Contributor

          ABSOLUTLEY require a photo ID! In today's wold of identity theft you protect yourself AND the renter!

          • Re: Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
            Contributor

            Taking a credit card and talking to them on the phone helps immensily as well.

             

            I think the phone screening weeds out so many of the problems.

            • Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
              gabriel Active Contributor

              I like to have a photo ID from the guest, especially when I have some doubt. I prefer Passport or Drivers License, if you are ever charged back from the credit card, this is proof that the guest did interact with you and not a third party. I even include the ID number in the rental contract.

               

              Also they are deterred from doing more damage since you have information about them that you could potentially go after them for damages, although it would rarely be worth it.

               

              The rational is the same as in hotels who require a photo ID at check in.

              • Re: Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
                New Member

                I am curious if you ask for ID from all adults or just the one signing the contract?  If two families are renting together, do you ask for two ID's and that both families sign the contract?  Thanks 

                  • Re: Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
                    gabriel Active Contributor

                    I only request it from the person signing the contract and giving me the credit card. Asking from the entire group will be too much of a burden and may deter renters.

                     

                    If the renter and the credit card holder are two different people, I request that they both sign the contract and provide ID's or rewrite the contract in the name of the credit card holder.  I have never had the credit card holder not being one of the travelers, although it could be a possibility and you run a higher risk.

                      • Re: Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
                        msdebj Senior Contributor

                        I also require a hard copy of the Responsible Party's Driver's license. They can block out their SS #  if they so choose before sending it to me. I also require a copy of their credit card.

                         

                        My contract has a Hold Harmless clause that the Primary Renter must sign. It states that they accept responsibility for ALL members of their entourage throughout the entire stay. The Primary Renter agrees to be IN RESDENCE throughout the contracted rental period.   The contract asks for the # of adults (over age 25), and # of children with their ages.

                         

                        I have guests in residence now where the father paid for the stay, and the ex-wife and daughters are the actual guests. I did have to tweak my contract and document this, and required a copy of BOTH adults ID. The Mom had to sign the rental agreement  and Dad had to accept financial responsibility. (' hoping I have no troubles when they check out tomorrow!)  I don't make this a normal practice.

                        Debj

                    • Re: Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
                      sfowner Contributor

                      I ask for a document number (DL or Passport with country) when they fill out and sign the rental agreement.

                      I like what I see here of also requiring a copy of the document. With more scanners/cameras out there it is not so much of a burden as before. I would not wait until arrival to get this information if it is important to you.

                      • Re: Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
                        rentoya New Member

                        We require a photo id. Tell your guest to take picture of it with their phone and email it to you. Most do not have scanners.

                        • Re: Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
                          joan.l Senior Contributor

                          Gosh, I've never asked for a copy of DL.  I thought it would be too invasive and they might fear identity theft. 

                           

                          I'm a little nervous about starting to ask for this.  Has anyone had anyone balk at this (not scammers, but legit people)?

                            • Re: Is requiring a photo ID a good idea?
                              dingbat Contributor

                              Just like a hotel, we require a photo ID of the person signing the rental agreement. We have to be reasonably sure that they are who they say they are and an ID helps to minimize the risk of fraud.  No one has ever balked at this requirement but if they did we would not rent to them. I wouldn't even consider it. Any legitimate guest would understand that you are turning over the keys to an enormous personal investment of money, labor, and love to someone who is a complete stranger. It is entirely reasonable that you would want to know who they are and where they live. After all, who really has more at risk in this situation, the potential guest or you, the homeowner?