Household Employers Have Form I-9 Flexibility in Document Verification

May 15, 2020 | COVID-19, Hiring an Employee

form i9 document verification

With COVID-19 restrictions in place across the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security is allowing employers to accept a new worker’s expired documents for Form I-9 identity verification purposes. Here’s what household employers need to know.

For families hiring someone to work in their home, Form I-9 is an important part of the process. It verifies the identity of the employee and their authorization to work in the United States.

With many areas are under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 and restricted online renewal services, your new employee may experience challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other Form I-9 identity documents (List B).

Considering these circumstances, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is issuing a temporary policy regarding expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9.

Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.

Make sure you are using the most current version of Form I-9.

When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has not been extended by the issuing authority you should:

  • 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 presented when they were initially hired.

It is best if the employee can present the replacement of the actual document that was expired, but if necessary, 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.

When the employee later presents an unexpired document, in Section 2 Additional Information field, you should:

  • Record the number and other required document information from the actual document presented;
  • 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 your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has been extended by the issuing authority you should:

  • Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2; and,
  • Enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information Field

Employers may also attach a copy of a webpage or other notice indicating that the issuing authority has extended the documents. Employers can confirm that their state has auto-extended the expiration date of state IDs and 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.

GTM can help

For clients of GTM Payroll Services, call client support at (800) 929-9213 for any assistance with hiring a new employee. Not a client yet? Call (800 929-9213 and get a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a household employment expert. Find out how we make the hiring process easy for families as well as manage your household payroll and tax obligations.

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