The front office utilizes a registration card or the computer based equivalent to check in guests. A typical registration card requires the guest to furnish personal data including name, billing address, length of stay, and method of settlement. From the registration card credit can be established or verified during check in as well. While payment guarantees may be established during the reservation process in case a guest does not arrive at the hotel as expected, most credit card companies will require a swipe of the credit card in an electronic recording device or imprint on a credit card voucher in order to establish credit for the guest. The registration card is a record of the credit card information. Most governmental jurisdictions require the guest’s signature on the registration card before the relationship between the hotel and the guest is considered legal. In some governmental jurisdictions there may be specific requirements printed on the card relating to the availability of safe storage for guest valuables. The registration card will also show the room rate, allowing the guest to confirm it and a place for the guest to initial an agreement and confirmation of the rate. Such information reduces questions about the price of the room at checkout.
Stutts, A. T., & Wortman, J. (2006). Hotel and Lodging Management An Introduction (2nd ed.). New York (NY).: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.