Do Hotels Check IDs for Age? What You Need to Know

Are you planning on booking a hotel room but worried about whether the hotel will check your ID for age? Well, let me shed some light on this topic for you. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about age restrictions in hotels, why they check IDs, and what you can do if you don’t have a valid ID with you.

Why Do Hotels Check IDs for Age?

When you check into a hotel, it’s common for the front desk clerk to ask for your identification. But have you ever wondered why hotels check IDs for age? Let’s dive into the reasons behind this requirement.

Legal Reasons

One of the main reasons hotels check IDs for age is for legal purposes. In many countries, such as the United States, the legal drinking age is 21. If a hotel serves alcohol on its premises, it needs to ensure that its guests are of legal drinking age. By checking IDs, a hotel can protect itself from legal liability if it is found to have served alcohol to underage guests.

Liability Issues

In addition to legal reasons, hotels may also check IDs for liability issues. If a hotel guest is involved in an accident or causes damage to the hotel property, the hotel may be held liable. By verifying the age of its guests, the hotel can ensure that it is not responsible for any damages caused by underage guests.

Safety and Security Concerns

Lastly, hotels may check IDs for safety and security concerns. By verifying a guest’s age, a hotel can ensure that it is not allowing minors to check in alone without adult supervision. This helps prevent potential safety issues, such as underage drinking or unauthorized access to hotel amenities.

Age Restrictions in Hotels

When booking a hotel room, it’s important to know if there are any age restrictions in place. Let’s take a look at what you need to know about these restrictions.

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Minimum Age Requirements

Most hotels in the United States require guests to be at least 18 years old to book a room. However, some hotels may require guests to be 21 or older, especially if they are booking a room with a minibar or if the hotel has a nightclub or bar on the premises.

It’s worth noting that hotels may also require guests to present a valid photo ID at check-in to confirm their age, even if they meet the minimum age requirement. This is to prevent underage drinking and other illegal activities on hotel property.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are exceptions to the minimum age requirement for booking a hotel room. For example, some hotels may allow guests who are under 18 to book a room if they are accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old.

Additionally, some hotels may make exceptions for members of the military, government employees, or emergency responders who are on official business. These guests may be allowed to book a room even if they do not meet the minimum age requirement.

International Age Restrictions

If you are traveling internationally, be aware that age restrictions may vary from country to country. In some countries, like Japan, the minimum age to book a hotel room is 20 years old.

Always check the age restrictions for the country you are traveling to before booking a hotel room. You can usually find this information on the hotel’s website or by contacting the hotel directly.

Remember: If you are unsure about the age restrictions for a particular hotel, it’s always best to contact the hotel directly to confirm their policy. This ensures a smooth check-in process and an enjoyable stay.

What Forms of ID Do Hotels Accept?

When checking into a hotel, you are typically required to present a form of identification to prove your identity and age. Although hotels have different policies regarding accepted forms of identification, there are some commonly accepted ones. Here’s what you need to know:

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Government-Issued IDs

One of the most common forms of identification that hotels accept is a government-issued ID. This includes driver’s licenses, state IDs, and passports. These IDs usually have a photo, name, and date of birth, which hotels need to verify your identity and age. Make sure to bring a valid and up-to-date government-issued ID to avoid any issues during check-in.


Passports are also widely accepted as a form of identification at hotels. Even if you’re not traveling internationally, a passport is still a valid ID and may be preferred by some hotels. It includes a photo, name, and date of birth, making it easy to prove your identity and age. If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need a passport to enter the country, so it’s always a good idea to bring it along.

Military IDs

If you’re an active or retired military member, your military ID can serve as a form of identification when checking into a hotel. Military IDs typically include a photo, name, and date of birth, which is all the hotel needs to verify your identity and age. Some hotels may even offer a discount for military members, so it’s worth asking.

Other Forms of Identification

While government-issued IDs, passports, and military IDs are the most commonly accepted forms of identification at hotels, there are other forms that may be accepted as well. These include student IDs, employee IDs, and even credit cards. However, note that some hotels may require a government-issued ID for age verification purposes.

What If You Don’t Have a Valid ID?

Having a valid ID is crucial for checking into a hotel as it confirms your identity and age. However, there may be situations where you don’t have a valid ID with you. Here are some steps you can take:

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Contact the Hotel Ahead of Time

If you know in advance that you won’t have a valid ID with you, it’s best to contact the hotel ahead of time. Explain your situation and ask if they have any alternative solutions. Some hotels may allow other forms of identification or have special policies for certain circumstances.

Bring Other Forms of Identification

If you don’t have a government-issued ID, you can bring other forms of identification. These may include a passport, a driver’s license from another country, a student ID, or a birth certificate. While these may not be as widely accepted as a government-issued ID, they may still be able to confirm your identity and age.

Consider Other Accommodation Options

If you don’t have any form of identification, you may need to consider other accommodation options. Hostels and Airbnb rentals may have more relaxed policies and may not require ID. However, keep in mind that these options may not offer the same level of security and amenities as a hotel.

Remember that hotels have strict policies for valid reasons. They want to ensure the safety and comfort of all their guests. If you don’t have a valid ID, it’s best to be upfront with the hotel and try to find a solution that works for everyone.


In conclusion, hotels may check your ID for age verification purposes due to legal reasons, liability issues, and safety concerns. It’s important to understand the age restrictions in hotels and what forms of ID are accepted. If you don’t have a valid ID, it’s best to contact the hotel ahead of time or consider other accommodation options. By being prepared and informed, you can ensure a hassle-free check-in process and a comfortable stay in your hotel of choice.

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