eAlert: New Form I-9 Policy for COVID-19

i-9 list b document requirements policy

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a temporary policy for Form I-9 documents. This policy allows employers to accept expired List B documents when completing Form I-9. Effective May 1, the temporary change accounts for the fact that many people are currently unable to renew their driver’s licenses or state ID cards due to stay-at-home orders.

Although some states have extended the expiration of drivers’ licenses and state identification cards (common List B documents), others have not. The temporary new I-9 policy addresses both situations.

Temporary Extension for Expired List B Documents

List B documents expiring on or after March 1, 2020, that have not been extended by the state may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.

If an employee provides a driver’s license that expired on or after March 1 and it was not extended by the state, employers should:

  1. Record the documentation information in Section 2 under List B, as applicable; and
  2. Enter the word “COVID-19” in the Additional Information field.

When the DHS ends this temporary policy, employers must require the employee to provide a valid unexpired document within 90 days.

While the DHS prefers the replacement of the expired document, employees may choose to present different document(s) to satisfy the I-9 requirements. Additionally, once provided, employers must record the following in the Section 2 Additional Information field:

  • The number and other required document information from the actual document presented; and
  • Initial and date the change.

Procedure for Extended List B Documents

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 because of 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. In that case, the employer must:

  • 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 the issuing authority extended the documents. Employers can confirm if 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 that in this case, the employee is not required to present a valid unexpired List B document later.

E-Verify

Employers participating in E-Verify 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. Even if a state has automatically extended the employee’s driver’s license because of COVID-19, employers should enter the expiration date as printed on the employee’s document when creating the E-Verify case.

Reminders

  • Employers are required to complete an employee’s Form I-9 within three days of their first day of work.
  • The HR Support Center has various resources regarding I-9 requirements. For example, the revised Form I-9 (dated 10/21/19), which became mandatory on May 1.
  • The DHS has temporarily suspended the physical presence requirement for fully remote workplaces.

Finally, you can find helpful questions and answers on temporary I-9 and E-Verify policies from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services here.

What Do You Think?

Learn more about the updated Form I-9 here, and check out our COVID-19 Resources Hub for even more pandemic-related information.. Have any questions? Let us know in the comments below!

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