One of the things you will usually bring with you on vacation is your ID. Whether this is your passport, national card, or driver’s license. These documents are crucial for international travel. So, it is unlikely you will find yourself without an ID when you arrive at your hotel.
For national or local travel, you might not need your ID to cross any borders. And you might find yourself traveling without any documents to verify your identity. What can you do then? What if your hotel asks to see your ID?
Read more to find out if you can get a hotel without ID, and what you can do in this situation.
Why do hotels ask for IDs?
Usually, when a hotel asks for an ID, it’s to verify the identity of the guest. Say you have made a booking online. When you arrive at the hotel, they will verify your identity. This is to make sure the person standing in front of them is the same person whose details are on their system. This verification process protects both the hotel and you!
Why does your identity matter when it comes to staying at hotels? There are several reasons for this. Usually, hotels will check your ID based on a mixture of these reasons.
The hotel can protect itself from financial issues by verifying the identity of guests. For guests, this policy protects your identity and financial details. With most hotel reservations, you will have to input your credit card details. Whether this is making a booking online or in-person.
Say, if someone showed up at the hotel pretending to be you, and the hotel doesn’t check their identity. This could end up ruining your vacation in more ways than one. Not only have you lost your reservation at the hotel. But you will be in deep financial trouble.
Back in the day, hotels are less likely to ask for identification. But ever since the twenty-first century, things have changed. Nowadays, you will come across hotels that ask for IDs more than those that don’t. This is because of safety reasons.
Guests who can’t prove their identity is more suspicious when it comes to safety. Failing to prove your identity can sometimes be as simple as forgetting your ID. But sometimes, it could mean the guest is intentionally withholding their identity.
Hotels will want to keep the safety of their staff and guests a priority. Especially at properties of big hotel chains, staff will definitely ask to see your ID before letting you check in.
Both financial and safety reasons ultimately lead to one reason. Wrongly admitting someone on the run from the law can leave the hotel in many legal troubles. Staff that personally handled that guest might even be at risk as an accomplice. This is the main reason why hotels ask you to check your ID when you check in.
When does a hotel usually check your ID?
Hotels might ask for your ID at several stages of your stay with them. This includes could be when you are checking in, or as early as when you are making your reservation. Some hotels will only ask to see your ID once. Others might check it a few times. How many times and when a hotel checks your ID depends on the property itself.
We have explained why hotels might ask you to check your ID. So, don’t be alarmed when you do get asked to present an ID!
Staff at the front desk will ask for ID whenever anyone checks in. This is to avoid any identity fraud from happening. That’s right. It doesn’t matter who you are, you still have to prove your identity.
Some hotels might ask to check your ID even earlier than that. When you reserve and book a room online, they might ask to verify your identity. How hotels may cross-check this information varies. But usually, they will match the name on your ID to your credit card information to verify your identity.
What types of ID do hotels accept?
So, what types of ID do hotels accept? Do you have to have your passport or national card with you every time? What if you don’t have a passport?
Depending on the hotel group or property, they usually accept a variety of IDs. These include:
- National ID Cards
- Driver’s Licenses
- Student ID Cards
- Social Security Cards
- Military ID Cards
In short, as long as the ID you’re holding is government-issued and valid, the hotel will likely see it as acceptable proof of your identity. The types of ID that each hotel will accept might differ, however. Here’s how to avoid disappointments. Before you check in, it’s best to ask the hotel if they accept whatever ID you are holding.
What happens if you don’t have your ID?
Let’s imagine you arrive at a hotel abroad, and you find you’ve lost your passport along the way! As much trouble as you may be in, you will want a comfortable place to sort it all out. So, can you still check into your hotel?
The answer depends on what other IDs you might have with you. Say if you still have your driver’s license or social security card, you have a high chance of being let into the hotel. If you let the front desk know about your situation, they might even be able to offer some help. In situations like these, your demeanor and attitude toward staff mean a lot.
Say you’re on vacation in the States. You’re originally from one state and traveling to another. When you arrive at your hotel, you find yourself with only your credit card. Having forgotten your driver’s license and other IDs at home in a rush. How can you prove your identity to the hotel?
How this situation may proceed depends on the hotel itself. As we’ve mentioned, some hotels require a valid photo ID. Whilst others might give some leeway when it comes to identification.
Sometimes, when you arrive at a hotel with the credit card you used to make a reservation, hotels will let you check in without asking for other forms of identification. If you find yourself in this situation, once again how you behave will determine whether you will be allowed to stay or not.
Can You Get a Hotel Without ID?
The answer is yes, and no. There are several ways you can get a hotel without an ID. But things get complicated when we look at different hotels around the world. So, be sure to double-check with the hotel you’re staying at before you check in.
For Younger Travelers
For younger travelers, it might be that you don’t have a driver’s license or a passport yet. Or you’ve simply lost them. In this case, you can book to stay at hotels that allow 16-year-olds to book and stay. Travelodge is one of the options that you can consider.
For some hotels or other forms of accommodation, they will let you pay cash for the room. These properties are still likely to ask for ID from their guests. But sometimes you will be able to stay without any identification.
Pay with the Card You Made the Booking With
Some hotels require guests to put down a deposit when they make a reservation online. For most hotels, you can check in with the card you made the reservation with. Without the hotel asking to see your ID!
Stay at a B&B
You can also stay at a B&B. Some properties might allow guests to check in without showing ID. You can arrive equipped with only the credit card you made the booking with, and you’re good to go!
Stay at Less Accommodating Places
Hotels and motels typically will ask for ID at some stage when you choose to stay with them. For other, less appealing accommodations though, they might be willing to turn a blind eye.
There are several reasons why a hotel might check your ID. At booking, this could be for verifying your identity when you pay a deposit with a valid credit or debit card. At check-in, this could be for verifying your identity with your reservation before letting you stay at their property.
In the past, hotels were not obliged to check the identity of their guests. Of course, these led to many misunderstandings and cases of fraud. Whether identity or money fraud. Nowadays, identity checks protect guests and hotels in many ways. They avoid misunderstandings and fraud. And are also crucial when it comes to preventing terrorism.
So, it might be a hassle being asked to present an ID. But it is all for good reason. Don’t be alarmed next time you’re asked to prove your identity at check-in or booking.
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