Are you planning on booking a hotel room but worried about whether the hotel will check your ID for age?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, hotels may check your ID for age verification purposes.

In this article, we will be discussing everything you need to know about age restrictions in hotels, why they check IDs, and what to 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 not uncommon for the front desk clerk to ask for your identification. But have you ever wondered why hotels check IDs for age? There are several reasons why hotels have this requirement, including:

Legal Reasons

One of the main reasons hotels check IDs for age is for legal reasons. In many countries, including 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

Finally, 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 can help prevent potential safety issues, such as underage drinking or unauthorized access to hotel amenities.

Age Restrictions in Hotels

When it comes to booking a hotel room, it’s important to know whether there are any age restrictions in place. Hotels have different policies regarding the minimum age required to book a room, and these policies can vary depending on the location, hotel chain, and type of room you are booking.

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, particularly if they are booking a room with a minibar or if the hotel has a nightclub or bar on the premises.

It’s important to note 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 some 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.

In addition, 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, it’s important to be aware that age restrictions may vary from country to country. In some countries, such as Japan, the minimum age to book a hotel room is 20 years old.

It’s always a good idea to 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 will ensure that you have a smooth check-in process and can enjoy your stay without any issues.

What Forms of ID Do Hotels Accept?

When you check into a hotel, you are typically required to present a form of identification to prove your identity and age. While many hotels have different policies regarding the types of identification they accept, there are some common forms of ID that are universally accepted. It is always wise to check with the hotel beforehand to ensure that you bring the correct form of identification.

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 forms of ID typically have a photo, name, and date of birth, which is what hotels need to verify your identity and age. It is always best to bring a valid and up-to-date form of government-issued ID to avoid any issues during check-in.


Passports are another commonly accepted form of identification at hotels. Even if you are not traveling internationally, a passport is still a valid form of ID and may be preferred by some hotels. A passport is an easy way to prove your identity and age, as it includes a photo, name, and date of birth. If you are traveling abroad, you will need a passport to enter the country, so it is always a good idea to bring it along.

Military IDs

If you are an active or retired military member, you can use your military ID 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 is always 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, it is important to 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 when checking into a hotel, as it is a requirement to confirm your identity and age. However, there may be instances where you don’t have a valid ID with you. Here are some steps you can take:

Contact the Hotel Ahead of Time

If you know beforehand that you won’t have a valid ID with you, it is 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 may have special policies in place 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.

It’s important to remember that hotels have strict policies in place for a reason. 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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