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I have booked an apartment via booking.com and today i got an email saying:

Hello & Servus from Vienna!

According to the Austrian Law you have to register all arriving guests:
GUEST REGISTRATION

Please note that there is no reception at the apartment.
Unregistered guests do not get access to the apartment. 

Thank you in advance. 

Does this law exist?

I ask because I don't want to give my information to a random person for no reason. The website they send me to is https://www.my-bookings.cc just with some ID so it looks like my apartment room. I need to input my name, address in my home country, passport ID.

One thing that is suspicious to me is that the domain is .cc. If it is by law in Austria shouldn't the government register it under the Austrian domain name?

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    This is no government website, but more like a service provider for independent apartments etc. which handles then such administrative tasks – dunni Jan 31 '18 at 12:55
  • Can you get any information from booking.com itself? It does look a bit suspicious. The use of servus as a greeting is quite idiomatic in Austria so that is a plus point for it being genuine. – mdewey Jan 31 '18 at 13:21
  • @dunni can you extend your comment into an answer? – kemis Jan 31 '18 at 13:43
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German-speaking countries often have laws requiring guests to be identifiable. Hotels will typically ask for ID at the time of check-in and copy the needed data to fulfill this requirement.

A quick google search reveals this Austrian law (§5 MeldeG), which is directly relevant and indeed requires registration.

It is however purely the decision of the company from which you are renting to implement the requirement in the way you stated. Note that the law requires that the guest needs to sign for the correctness of the data provided, so it is unclear if them utilizing a web page is actually sufficient for satifying the law.

If you find this suspicious, ask for a Fax number from Vienna to which you can send a copy of your passport instead and tell them that you will include a signature to certify the correctness of your data, as required by the said law. The registration is not done by a government authority but rather by the property owner so that he/she can give the information to authorities if needed. So the .cc domain ending itself is not suspicious (but highly uncommon - Austrian domain names are quite cheap).

  • On a quick glance it looks as though §19 MeldeV allows electronic registration, though I haven't looked into how this interacts with the older law. The website looks like a third-party service for managing such electronic registrations, but it's a little odd for my-bookings.org to have a different domain (with an unusual TLD, no impressum, and an anonymous domain registration via a different registrar) for collecting guest details. Unfortunately it's hard to tell incompetence from malice in cases like this. – Pont Jan 31 '18 at 15:24
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    @Pont It seems as if §19 MeldeV is mainly concerned about how the information is stored by the landlord/hotel owner. The "Verordnung" (lesser law) has a bullet point list of how this can be done, and in all cases a signature of the guest seems to be required, except if there is a qualified electronic one. Most potential foreign guests will be unable to provide one. – DCTLib Jan 31 '18 at 20:54

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