Form I-9 Announcements: COVID-19 Temporary Policy for Identification Documents
The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled many states to issue stay-at-home orders, which has called for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue a temporary policy regarding the expired List B documents used for the renewal of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The challenge employers now face is that some documents listed in the List B identification documents are expired and unable to be renewed due to the COVID-19 crisis.
The DHS has announced that as of May 1, 2020, identification documents that are in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and are not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be considered to be a valid and acceptable document for the purposes of Form I-9 verification.
What Are the Form I-9 List B Identification Documents?
Form I-9 has three lists of documents that can be provided for verification for employment verification: List A, List B, and List C. List B documents are ID cards issued by federal, state, or local government authorities along with a photograph, name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address; school ID with a valid photograph; voter registration card; U.S. military card or draft record; military dependent’s ID card; U.S. Coast Guard merchant mariner document card; Native American tribal document; and driver’s license issued by a Canadian government authority.
What If an Employee Provides an Expired Identification Document?
If the employee provides an expired List B document, the employer is to record the information in Section 2 of List B, as applicable, and note “COVID-19” in the additional information field. Once the DHS terminates this temporary policy, the employee will then be required to present an unexpired and valid document as a replacement to that which was provided at the time of the hire. The announcement further explains that it would be best if the employee could provide the renewed document provided at initial hire. However, if that is not possible, the DHS also permits employees to provide an alternate document for List A or List B and the employer is to record this information in the additional information field.
The Validity of List B Documents Extended by the Issuing Authority
If an employee’s List B ID document has been expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the issuing authority extended the expiration date due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then the document will remain acceptable as a List B document for Form I-9 for the timeframe specified by the issuing authority. Employers can also attach a webpage or other notice indicating the extension of the validity of the document by the issuing authority. Employers that are participating in E-Verify should use the employee’s expired List B document from Section 2 of Form I-9 to create an E-Verify case and run it within three days of the date of hire.