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Form I-9 Acceptable Documents – List B & C

All employers must complete and retain Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for every person they hire for employment after Nov. 6, 1986, in the U.S. as long as the person works for pay or other type of payment.

Employees must provide documentation to their employers to show their identity and authorization to work. List A documents show identity and employment authorization. List B documents show identity and List C documents show employment authorization. If a List A document is presented, no other documents from List B or List C are necessary.

Our previous post provided an overview of List A documents. This post will review the basics of List B & C documents –

Driver’s License or Government Issued ID Card
A state or federal government issued identification card or driver’s license is valid as long as it provides a photograph or identifying information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address. A state ID card without an expiration date is an acceptable List B document if it meets the regulatory requirements (must contain a photograph or identifying information) and appears to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting it.

A driver authorization or driver privilege card issued by a state or outlying possession of the United States is an acceptable List B document, if it contains a photograph or identifying information such as name, date of birth, sex, height, color of eyes, and address. An employer must examine the document presented by its employee and determine whether it meets Form I-9 requirements. If the employer accepts a driver authorization or driver privilege card as a List B document, the employer must also examine a List C document establishing employment authorization.

A state-issued temporary driver’s license is an acceptable Form I-9 List B document if it contains a photograph or identifying information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address. Any conditions on the temporary driver’s license, such as that the expired license must accompany the temporary driver’s license for it to be valid, must be followed.

An enhanced driver license (also known as a passport card) eases a person’s ability to travel in and out of the United States by land and sea, doubling as a driver’s license and passport.

The Certificate of Indian Status, known as the status card or INAC card cannot be used as a Native American tribal document for Form I-9 purposes. The Canadian government issues the INAC cards and they are not acceptable for Form I-9 purposes.

In order to be acceptable, a Native American tribal document should be issued by a tribe recognized by the U.S. Federal Government. Because federal recognition of tribes can change over time, to determine if the tribe is federally recognized, please check the Bureau of Indian Affairs website.

The Mexico Consular ID Card is issued by the Mexican government to Mexican nationals living in the United States. These cards are not acceptable proof of identity.

The NEXUS Pass is a border crossing card for expedited US Canada Border Crossing. NEXUS cards provide expedited travel at the US Canada Border for predetermined low-risk Canadian and US citizens and is an acceptable List B #2 document.

SENTRI cards, also known as Trusted Traveler cards, are acceptable under List B, #2 as an ID card issued by a federal agency. SENTRI cards are issued by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

School ID Card With Photograph
If the school ID contains no expiration date other than the school year, it expires at the end of the school year printed on it.

Persons under the age of 18 may submit the below documents:

  • School record or report card
  • Clinic, doctor or hospital record
  • Day-care or nursery school record

U.S. Military Card or Draft Record
The Veterans Identification Card (VIC) and Veterans Health Identification Card (VHIC) are acceptable List B #2 documents if the card contains a photograph or identifying information (such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address) and appears to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting it. These cards are not considered List B #5 or #6 documents which are issued by the U.S. Armed Forces.

Discharge Form DD-214 or the Armed Forces of the United States Report of Transfer is an acceptable List B #5 document for Form I-9.

Birth Certificates
The only birth certificate acceptable for Form I-9 purposes must be an original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying possession of the United States, bearing an official seal. USCIS cannot comment on whether or not a particular hospital is authorized to issue a birth certificate that meets the regulatory requirements.

An employee may present a receipt for the application of a birth certificate issued by a State, county, municipal authority or territory of the United States, if he/she is not in possession of the actual document because it was lost, stolen or damaged. The receipt is valid for 90 days after which the employee must present a certified copy of the actual birth certificate. A receipt showing that a person has applied for an initial birth certificate is unacceptable.

A Certificate of Live Birth may qualify as a birth certificate (No. 4 on List C of the Lists of Acceptable Documents) if it is an original or a certified copy that is issued by a state, county, municipal authority, or outlying possession of the United States and bears an official seal. Versions of birth certificates can vary greatly based on the issuing authority and year of birth.

The Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570) is an acceptable List C, #8 employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security. These documents were previously issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Social Security Cards
Social Security cards with the below stamps are not acceptable documents for Form I-9. You should ask the employee to provide another document to establish his or her employment authorization.

  • NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT
  • VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION
  • VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION

A signature is not required for the Social Security card to be valid. You may accept an unsigned Social Security card as long as the card reasonably appears to be genuine and to relates to the person presenting it.

SSN cards with the annotation “For Social Security and Tax Purposes Only” are acceptable for I-9 purposes.

There are currently 50 different versions of the Social Security card, all of which may be valid for employment. Visit the Social Security website to see the chart that lists the changes in the SSN card through the years.

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the Form I-9 Handbook.

Source: USCIS website

Check back for our next blog on E-Verify.


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EAF provides information about current developments in labor and employment law. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Questions requiring legal advice should be addressed to the attorney of your choice. EAF members may be able to obtain a legal interpretation through our FREE Legal Hotline.