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Airbnb hosts asking for passports?

Hello - My friends and I are going to Madrid next week (yay!) and our Airbnb host just asked that we send pictures of our passports. Is this normal? We have traveled through Europe before and have not been asked this question. We are also all women between the ages of 18-22, there are four of us.

Thank you!

Posted by
82 posts

My understanding is that in Spain airbnbs must be licensed like regular hotels. All regular hotels are required to take your passport information and make you pay applicable tourist taxes. Our airbnb host met us in person in San Sebastian and then an apartment-like place in sitges that we got through had us send the pictures of our passports through the booking website messenger. In barcelona we statyed in an apart-hotel and they took our passports at check-in.

Posted by
2267 posts

Just another voice to reassure that it's normal. Was asked for passport info for a booking I just made in Germany, too.

Posted by
4020 posts

Ditto! Just returned from Spain and that was standard practice (WhatsApp is commonly used--I used the app as well).

Posted by
14596 posts

If you go to Italy, you will find they will need your passport informtion to register you with the police. Hotels do this for you so you don't have to. But it is the law.

Many countries require it. I'm guessing some AirBnB owners ignore the rules.

Posted by
1287 posts

Another good reason they do it is, if you or someone in your travel party has a medical emergency, to give the first responders correct identification so they have some information to begin working with so they can best triage the person who needs help. Without any ID they are working in the dark.

Posted by
156 posts

Most of the above comments seem to address the issue of providing passport information in advance (not unheard of), but not the issue of sending a picture of the main passport page (which I presume is what you meant).
Among my five visits to Spain (most recently 2019), and my many international trips elsewhere, I have on several occasions had to give my passport number when making a hotel reservation on the internet, but I do not recall ever having to send a picture of my main passport page in advance. On those few occasions when I needed to apply for a visa, I did have to send a picture of the passport, and once the passport itself, but in those cases the picture - or the passport -- went to a government agency, not a hotel.