usa – Laws requiring identification at hotel check-in

I know that in many non-US countries they require identification to
check into hotels. However, in the United States I am not aware of any
laws that require this. Do they exist?


According to Massachussets legislature:

Section 27. Every innholder, and every lodging house keeper required
so to do under section twenty-eight, and every person who shall
conduct, control, manage or operate, directly or indirectly, any
recreational camp, overnight camp or cabin, motel or manufactured
housing community shall keep or cause to be kept, in permanent form, a
register in which shall be recorded the true name or name in ordinary
and the residence of every person engaging or occupying a private
room averaging less than four hundred square feet floor area,
excepting a private dining room not containing a bed or couch, or
opening into a room containing a bed or couch, for any period of the
day or night in any part of the premises controlled by the licensee,
together with a true and accurate record of the room assigned to such
person and of the day and hour when such room is assigned.

I would imagine that legal advice has been sought by hotels and that lawyers have suggested that hotels seek official identification in order to comply with this.

In Los Angeles, an ordinance specifically targets cash or walk-in guests:

  1. Renting of Hotel Rooms. The operator of a hotel shall not rent a room except in compliance with the following conditions. (a) A guest
    who pays all or part of the rent for a room in cash at the time of
    checking in, and a walk-in guest, shall be required to present an
    identification document or a housing voucher at the time of checking
    into the hoteL.

Also Tennessee has proposed a similar bill:

Hotels and Restaurants – As introduced, mandates lodging
establishments maintain a guest register providing the name, address,
date of birth, copy of a state or federally issued photo
identification and vehicle registration information of every guest
staying at the hotel; requires the hotel copy the photo ID; authorizes
law enforcement personnel to inspect the registration records for law
enforcement purposes.

Your next question:

I have had similar conversations at several different hotels. What is
going on here? Is there some secret law or something that hotels have
to record your identity in the United States?

I cannot find any evidence of any federal law regarding this and due to the other legislation found, it is unlikely that any exists that is not localised.

Maybe a better question would be: is it possible to check into a hotel
in the United States without a driver’s license and credit card?

I would advise you to check the booking conditions of the hotel before you attempt to check-in, for example, the hotel you list states in their FAQ (bolded text is bolded question from hotel page FAQ):

Is my ID/passport required at check in?
Yes, a valid government
issued picture ID is required for Hotel Check-in.


What forms of payment are accepted to pay for my room?
A valid credit
card is required to check in to the hotel, but guests may use cash or
credit card at check-out to settle their bill.

Compensation for Hotel or Travel Package

Are there platforms similar to that provide support to get compensation for hotel or travel package bookings in case of issues?

I am aware of some websites but they just redirect you to third party attorneys.

How does tha OTA charge tax on international hotel bookings. Who pays the tax?

Basically, I want to know the tax management behind international hotel bookings. If I list Int’l hotel on my platform will the hotel pay tax according to their country or mine. For example, if I am booking a hotel in Vietnam from India, who will pay the tax and how will it be levied?

legal – Can I have an unregistered guest come over at a hotel?

IMHO the answer to your question will inevitably depend on the country, the hotel, or a combination of both.

Generally speaking, my experience shows that you can indeed visit people staying in hotels. I’ve had friends and family come pick me up when I was staying in hotels, and I’ve also been the visiting one. What usually happens is that the person walks up to the reception and asks to see Mr. Doe in room 666. The reception then calls room 666 and asks the hotel guest what to do with their visitor. It is likely that reception staff will register the person before they are let up to the room. This is assuming that the visit is of short duration. However, your mileage may vary if you are thinking of having a guest over for a couple hours, and then have them leave.

Just as an example, a random google search shows that some hotel mention unregistered guests in their Terms and Conditions, allowing them to stay during day-hours (10:00 to 20:00):

Unregistered Extra Guest

Visitors of guests are allowed on the Hotel’s premises daily between 10am and 8pm. The guest is to adhere to these visiting hours and escort their visitors at all times on the hotel’s premises.

Unregistered extra guest. No more than 2 adults are allowed to stay at any room/suite at Hotel Troiz. All guests are required to register on arrival at the hotel. Registered guests are prohibited from allowing non-registered guests from staying in their rooms beyond 8pm. Any additional unregistered guest found in a guest room between 8pm and 10am will incur a penalty charge of 100 Euros per person. Such fees will be added to the relevant registered guest account, for payment prior to departure.

This discussion on FlyerTalk seems to point to the fact that such a regulation might be commonplace among several establishments.

I have a flight from Istanbul to Vancouver with overnight layover at Montreal. Where do I need to do my quarantine if I decide to spend night at hotel

I have a flight from Istanbul to Vancouver with long overnight layover at Montreal. Where do I need to do my quarantine if I decide to spend night at hotel? Or can I stay at the airport for a night to wait for my flight? Keeping in mind the covid situation

germany – Hotel room was problematic – what’s a typical compensation?

I recently stayed at a hotel in Munich for six days. For three of these days, I couldn’t connect to the Internet (they had this problem with their system where you’d get disconnected about 30 seconds after you connected). The room also had a foul smell which, as it got stronger, I traced to the bathroom drain; I was moved out of my room into another room, which was smaller, plus I had to move myself. I’ll also mention that I had asked them for cables to connect my laptop to the monitor and the room, and they didn’t have those.

It’s not a fancy hotel, but not a cheap hostel either. The nightly price was 91 EUR, including a very nice breakfast.

When I checked out, I complained about the first two problems – although perhaps not very assertively. What I was offered was a discount equivalent to the price of a soft drink I had taken from the mini-bar. Since I was in a hurry to catch a train, I did not argue – but I do feel I got short-changed and I should have demanded more; say, one of the days off.

My question is: Is there a customary rate or level of compensation in such cases? And if so, is it at the level of a mini-bar drink, a meal at the hotel restaurant, a free night’s stay, or more?

I’ll mention that the lack of Internet access was an issue for me, since I was attending a conference and need to access resources on-line before and after each day.

Can a returning Canadian take a stopover hotel in order to make connections the following day?

Can a returning Canadian citizen take a stopover hotel in order to make ground connections the following day?

refunds – Refused flight / hotel etc. due to Covid suspicion

I expect that flights, hotels, ferries, cruise ships etc. will make tests that you have no Covid-19 symptoms in the future and refuse you if you have any symptoms.

In that situation, do you have rights to a refund, or vouchers, or would your travel insurance have to pay, or is this just pure bad luck and you lose your money?

I’m personally interested about travel from and within the UK, but others will want to know the same thing for different locations.

cancellations – Hotel refund with

In February this year I had a hotel booked with It was classed as non refundable but was cancelled because the hotel went into administration just before travelling. promised a refund. It did not send refund so I telephoned again to be told refund had been processed. I checked with my bank and it had not. I have been very patient due to coronavirus but I cant get through by phone, chatline is not helpful and they do not provide an email.

international travel – Booked a room 5 months ago, now hotel lowers the price, what can I do?

Thanks for all your answers, i’m so amazed by your engagement in this matter 🙂

Just to clarify how the story went, and what is the outcome.

We have been a little nervous about what the hotel will decide, and a long time has passed since we had written our email to them. Fortunately after about a week we had been notified that the hotel has the right to change its rates when the hotel manager decides that the demand is high or low. They were sorry that we feel bad about our reservation and have offered us a free room upgrade.

This however was not what we wanted to be honest, so we have replied them (in a more organised matter) counting out every issue that we found with our reservation (such as missleading information about the number of rooms, no information about the possibility to change rates, missleading promotion percentage). We have also taken a more private approach, requesting their indulgence, and underlining that it is just their good will in that matter to make our honeymoon less nervous and more enjoyable by agreeing to cancel the reservation and letting us add one more day at the current rates.

We have however accepted the fact that we won’t be most probably able to do anything here, and we will be stuck with the (much higher) price only to be “cheered” with the higher standard of the room (garden view vs. ocean view).

To our surprise after a few days (yesterday) we had our reservation canceled. A few moments later we have been sent an email from hotels customer service with a formal apology for all the troubles we have gone through 🙂 We then proceeded to book another room in the hotel at a lower rate with an extended period. To our next surprise we have been given additional discount for the room, so we have paid a lot less than we ever expected.

Tldr – The hotel offered us a free upgrade, but we rejected it, and wrote (more organised) reply. After a few days they hotel have canceled our reservation cost free and gave us an additional discount.