Is it legal for me to Host? Should I ask for proof of ID for my guest?


Local Laws

When it comes to hosting, each host should make sure to adhere to their local laws, as per our Terms of Use (see them here: Terms of Use and check section 4.2 (a) and 14(2)). This essentially means that it's your responsibility to find out if there are any restrictions applicable when hosting other members via the Couchsurfing website.

To figure out what restrictions may exist in your area, you could try asking other local members of your area by placing a post in a local discussion or contacting a local Ambassador. Active members of the community who have been hosting in your area may be able to offer some feedback on this. Alternatively, you can always ask the local authorities directly for their advice on this.

Registering a Guest  -  Asking for Identification 

In some countries local legislation dictates that a host should register their guest at their local police station, letting them know about the duration of the stay, etc. In other countries, there are no such restrictions. You should try to find out what restrictions if any, apply in your country and your area.

On another note, some hosts may ask to see a photocopy of their guest's identification (ID card or passport) upon arrival. Some even set it as a requirement in order to host. This is not a requirement for hosting set by Couchsurfing, but it's also not against any rule for hosts to make that request. After all, they open their home to somebody they haven't met before, and this can be seen as an act of mutual trust between the two people.

So, it's up to you if you ask to see some form of ID and also up to the guest to accept to show it, or move on to another host.

One benefit of verification is that it gives members the option to submit their Government ID to be confirmed. All documents submitted are run through a third-party system and verified as legitimate.  Take advantage of this feature and Get Verified today! 

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