Do Hotels Check For Active Warrants?

Check For Active Warrants

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If you have an active warrant in your name but want to spend some time winding down in a hotel it can leave you anxious not knowing if the hotel will know you have a warrant. The only way a hotel can check if you have an active warrant is to run a background check on you.

However, most hotels don’t do background checks on guests as it would be too expensive and time-consuming to inspect everybody that checks in. This means hotels have no way of checking for active warrants but they can still contact the police if a guest is acting suspicious. 

The hotel can give a name which the police can then confirm if they have an active warrant or not.

How Often Do Police Officers Search Hotels for Warrants?

There isn’t a definitive answer when it comes to finding out how often police officers search hotels for warrants. Law enforcement doesn’t disclose their methods of searching and finding suspects, as it would help them get away. 

The resources of the police department and the size of the city also play a role in determining how often they’ll check a hotel for warrants. A big city with millions of people and hundreds of hotels will be checked less often simply because there’s too much going on police can’t be in hotels all day.

Compare this to a small county with some hotels and motels then the police might actively search around in the hopes of catching a suspect. It’s very dependent on the situation. The reputation of the hotel can also play a big role when it comes to officers deciding how often they’ll pay a visit in the hopes of picking someone up with a warrant.

If certain hotels are known to be drug or crime hotspots then there’s a good chance police might go snooping around to find suspects. 

Are All Warrants Checked?

Not all warrants are the same, some might be more serious than others. Let’s look at the three most common types of warrants and if they’re all checked. 

Bench Warrants

A bench warrant is issued by the court. These are usually given when you’re due to arrive in court but don’t show up. Meaning you should have been on the bench in court but didn’t appear, hence the name bench warrant. 

They are the least serious type of warrant and therefore it’s extremely unlikely the police are going to go searching in hotels for you as you probably haven’t committed a crime that’s worth the time and resources.

Arrest Warrants

Next up are arrest warrants. They are issued by the court that gives law enforcement the authorization to arrest you whenever and wherever. The severity of an arrest warrant can differ for example not paying child support, or the other end of the spectrum such as committing assault or murder.

It makes more sense for the police to search hotels for those who have arrest warrants due to more serious crimes, however, an arrest warrant means the court has issued for your arrest so the police will pursue it nonetheless.

Alias Warrants

An alias warrant is when you fail to attend your scheduled court date before a plea has been entered. They can also be issued when you fail to respond to a citation. 

Similar to bench warrants, alias warrants are issued for things like signing a traffic citation and not showing up in court and therefore they aren’t very serious. 

Can A Hotel Owner Allow The Police To Search a Customer’s Room?

Police Search a Customers Room

A hotel room is similar to a private property therefore most of the time the hotel owner legally won’t be allowed to let the police search a customer’s room. With this said there are some instances when a warrant isn’t needed like if someone is in imminent danger or there’s an immediate threat to the public or law enforcement. 

Can you rent a hotel room with a warrant?

It depends on a few different factors such as the type of warrant you have and more importantly, whether or not the hotel does background checks on their guests. 

If they don’t run any background checks then you’ll be able to rent a hotel room regardless of what warrant you have because they won’t know about it. However, if they do run background checks then there’s a chance you’ll be denied access depending on the severity of your warrant. 

What type of accommodations is more often checked for warrants?

There isn’t really a definitive answer on which type of accommodations are more often checked for warrants. In situations like this, you have to look at it logically. Cheaper-hotels and motels probably aren’t going to check for warrants. 

They might not have the money or resources to run background checks on all guests therefore statistically they shouldn’t check for warrants. Compare them to high-end hotels where they do have the power to run background checks and you’ll find that they’re more likely to check for warrants. 


Check For Active Warrants

Use your Name, Phone Number, Email, or Address to find information.


Hotels won’t check for active warrants as it’s just too impractical because they would have to run a background check on all guests. What they can do, however, is contact the police if the person is acting suspiciously. The police will then be able to use that person’s information and confirm if they have a warrant or not.

If you have an active warrant in your name the best thing to do is get things resolved so you can live a stress-free life and not have to worry about the police when checking into a hotel.

bryan rucker
Written by Brian Williams

Brian is an expert in security, privacy, and information. He has studied background checks, criminal, people search, and such topics over the last 5 years. He is also an avid writer and enjoys sharing his knowledge through this blog. Read more of Brian's articles.