To ID or NOT to ID? That is the question...

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Jul 22, 2021
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Easton, MD
I was attending a presentation of a new booking/registration system and during the demo, they had a section that has an "online self-pre-checkin" system. Part of the system allows the user to upload a copy of their Driver's License and/or Passport. It seemed like that provided because part of a standard check-in would be to collect some form of government issued ID.

I know that every hotel I've ever checked into does ask this. However, at my B&B I've never asked for this and it gave me pause and wondering if this is something I should be doing? Occasionally a guest checking in will offer me their ID at check-in and I just say it's not needed.

So I'm wondering if others are collecting ID? If so, why? Trying to determine if this is something I need or should start doing. I have been open for 7 years and never did, but if there's a good reason I should be, changing that policy wouldn't be a problem.
I just came across this post and I think in this day and age it would be smart to have ID. What happens if a room gets trashed and they run. If you don't have ID, you'd not have proof of whom to contact for damages. You may have a credit card on file, but does it match the name they put in the registration. With a DL you'd at least have some proof that the photo, name and credit card match.

In my opinion, you are lucky that you have not had an issue before this.
I've been doing this for 16 years and we don't ask for ID and we have not had a problem other than the one guest that paid cash and smoked pot in the room. No property damage other than cleaning and airing out the room. I recommend getting a card on file for all reservations and an ID for cash customers.
Today I just asked my booking company to drop the pic with photo ID because of the area I'm in (very quiet, very safe - and I hope it stays as much). I hosted Airbnb in the past and had some REAL ISSUES, even with having the DL's but it was near a city. Not sure, could have been a murder at one for all I know!!! (new ropes in a cabinet, had contracted a garbage pick up while staying, carpet cleaner purchased. Maybe I watch too much CSI). BTW - if you are not familiar, air will not do a thing for you as the owner, they always side with the guest. I think it totally matters where you are hosting.
I have been open since I started my B & B in 1996 and have had only 2 that I remember vividly- one was cigar drool on a pillowcase (took 3 tries with Murphy's Oil Soap to get out) and that was frustration (it was a freebie) and the other was a cancelation on arrival that decided to stay that night since I was charging him for it (never mind that I was letting him off on the other 2 nights). By the time he was done, no damage, just wet towels on bed & used everything possible to use in the room.

I have never bothered to take ID - BUT I also do not have a revolving door as a tourist mecca and am not close to mega-cities.