The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a temporary policy to make it easier for employers to comply with requirements to verify employees are authorized to work in the US.
DHS recognizes that the combination of COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders and restrictions on online renewal services has made it more difficult for employees to provide acceptable government identity documents for purposes of completing Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification. To address this, DHS has issued a temporary policy to accept expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9.
Starting on May 1, 2020, identity documents found in List B that are set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and are not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, are to be treated by employers as a valid acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.
Generally, a List B document is one of the following:
- Driver’s license
- ID card issued by a federal, state or local government agency or entity, provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address
- School ID card with a photograph
- Voter registration card
- US military card or draft record
- Military dependent’s ID card
- US Coast Guard merchant mariner’s document (MMD) card
- Native American tribal document
- Driver’s license issued by a Canadian government authority
Under the temporary policy, when the employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has not been extended by the issuing authority the employer must:
- Record the document information in Section 2 under List B, as applicable; and
- Enter the word “COVID-19” in the Additional Information Field.
Within 90 days after DHS’s termination of this temporary policy, the employee will be required to present a valid unexpired document to replace the expired document they presented when initially hired. No termination date has yet been set by DHS.
Note: The employee may choose to present a different List A or List B document or documents and record the new document information in the Additional Information Field. The choice belongs to the employee, and the employer may not require a specific item.
When the employee later presents an unexpired document, the employer must:
- In the Section 2 Additional Information Field:
- Record the number and other required document information from the actual document presented; and
- Initial and date the change.
Procedure for List B Documents extended by an issuing authority
If the employee’s List B identity document expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the issuing authority has extended the document expiration date due to COVID-19, the document is acceptable as a List B document for Form I-9 (not as a receipt) during the extension timeframe specified by the issuing authority.
When the employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has been extended by the issuing authority the employer must:
- Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2; and
- Enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information Field.
Employers have the option of also attaching a copy of a web page or other notice indicating that the issuing authority has extended the documents, though this is not required. Employers can confirm whether a state has auto-extended the expiration date of state IDs or driver’s licenses by checking the state Motor Vehicle Administration or Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Note: For extended documents, the employee is not required to later present a valid unexpired List B document.
E-Verify participating employers should use the employee’s expired List B document number from Section 2 of the Form I-9 to create an E-Verify case as usual within three days of the date of hire.
DHS did not include a termination date for this temporary policy and it will be important to monitor for future announcements of the termination date. Employers are encouraged to check USCIS’ I-9 Central at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/whats-new for the most up-to-date information.