Limitations of background checks
Because our background checks are limited, we can’t guarantee that they’ll identify all past criminal convictions or sex offender registrations by a guest or Host. Therefore, you shouldn’t rely on them as a guarantee that the user has no criminal background or other red flags. Here’s why.
Scope of search
We don’t run background checks as a matter of course. We only run background checks in the USA and India, and if we do, we only do it when we have at least the first and last names plus dates of birth of the Host or the guests in certain situations. Because we don’t have this information for everyone, we can’t guarantee that we’ve conducted a check on everyone.
Unknown guests of guests
We also don’t conduct background checks on people who stay with the guest who booked an accommodation. Only the guest who books will be checked as part of that reservation, if we have the necessary information.
Accuracy of user information
These checks only work when people give us their full, correct legal names and dates of birth. Even if they provided all required information, we can’t guarantee it’s accurate or that it even really belongs to them.
While we have a process for periodically reviewing criminal records of active US users, we may only conduct a background check once per user, which means their most recent check may have been months before you’re due to interact with them.
For users who live in the US, we don’t always check all state and county courthouse records, criminal registries, and public databases, such as but not limited to Moving Violation Reports and Driving Records. Due to variations in local laws and reporting systems, criminal record information that’s searched and reported in each type of check can vary by state and county.
Because of differences in foreign laws, language, and the way foreign records are maintained and reported, we may not run background checks on users located outside the United States, and even if we do, the scope and accuracy of coverage may vary.
Incomplete search results
The databases we check are not necessarily complete and may not include records of prior criminal conduct.
- Ex: Not all criminal records are public in all states, nor are they all captured by the databases we check
- Ex: Convictions and records of crimes committed outside the country where we are conducting the check may not be included
Also, as determined by applicable law, public records databases may be limited to records of conduct that took place a certain number of years prior to the date of the check, ex: The prior 7 years in certain US states.
People may find ways to circumvent even the most sophisticated database or search technology.
- How-to•GuestBackground checksFor the safety of our hosts and guests, we conduct background checks. Find out more about how and when we do this.
- How-to•GuestImplications of background checksLearn about how the background checks we perform can impact your account.
- Rules•GuestSafety tips for interacting with othersLearn how to help improve your safety when interacting with other Hosts and guests.