On May 1st, 2020, The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced yet another temporary Form I-9 policy in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The announcement notes that newly hired employees may experience challenges renewing state driver’s licenses, state ID cards, and other identity documents as a result of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and DMV online renewal services restrictions. 

As a result, starting on May 1st, List B identity documents set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, can be accepted as a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9. 

The prior announcement was similar, with one minor difference. The prior announcement stipulated that this was possible as long as the state formally extended the expiration date. The formal extension is no longer required. Employers may now accept and treat expired identity documents as receipts. The required follow-up for a replacement document within 90 days after the USCIS’ temporary policy has been terminated remains. 

How to Handle the New Initial I-9 Completion 

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

  • Record the information in Section 2 under List B 
  • Enter “COVID-19” in the additional information field 

Within 90 days of DHS’s termination of the temporary policy, employers need to ask the employee to present a valid unexpired document to replace the expired document. 

USCIS says it’s best if the employee can present the replacement of the actual expired document, but if necessary, they may choose to present a different List A or List B document. If a new document is presented, employers should record the new information in the additional information field. 

How to Update the I-9

After the employee later presents an unexpired identity document, the employer should do the following in the Section 2 additional information field: 

  • Record the number and required document information from the document presented 
  • Initial and date the change 

Expired List B Document Issued by the Issuing Authority Reminder 

The new USCIS announcement also reminds employers how to annotate an I-9 when an expired List B document has been extended by the issuing authority. 

  • Enter the document’s expiration in Section 2 
  • Enter “COVID-19” in the additional information field 
  • Attach a copy of a webpage or other notice demonstrating 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. 

Remember: For extended documents, the employee is NOT required to later present a valid unexpired List B document. 

How Does this Impact E-Verify?  

Employers using E-Verify should continue to use the employee’s expired List B document number from section 2 of the Form I-9 to create an E-Verify case within three days of the date of hire. 

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