Common Questions About I-9 Verification: Answers From a Notary Public

Sariah Medina 4/25/2023 Hey there! As a notary public who specializes in I-9 verification, I get a lot of questions from clients and potential clients about the process. And let's be real, I get it – I-9 verification can be a bit confusing, especially if you're new to it. But fear not! In this blog post, I'm going to answer some of the most common questions I receive about I-9 verification, and hopefully clear up any confusion you may have. So let's dive in!

Q: What is I-9 verification?

A: Great question! I-9 verification is the process of verifying an employee's identity and eligibility to work in the United States. It's required by law for all employers, and is done by completing the Form I-9. The employee fills out Section 1 of the form, and the employer fills out Section 2, which requires them to examine and verify the employee's documentation.

Q: What documents are acceptable for I-9 verification?

A: There are three types of documents that an employee can present for I-9 verification: List A documents, which establish identity and employment authorization; List B documents, which establish identity; and List C documents, which establish employment authorization. Some common examples include a passport, driver's license, and social security card. However, there are many other documents that can be used, so it's important to consult the official USCIS list for a full list of acceptable documents.

Q: Who can perform I-9 verification?

A: I-9 verification can be performed by the employer or an authorized representative, such as a notary public. However, it's important to note that the authorized representative cannot be someone who has an ownership interest in the company or who is involved in hiring or firing decisions.

Q: How often do I need to perform I-9 verification?

A: For new hires, I-9 verification must be completed within three days of the employee's start date. However, for existing employees, I-9 verification is only required in certain circumstances, such as when an employee's employment authorization expires.

Q: What happens if I don't perform I-9 verification or if I do it incorrectly?

A: Failing to perform I-9 verification or doing it incorrectly can result in serious consequences for employers, including fines and even criminal charges in some cases. It's crucial to take I-9 verification seriously and ensure that you're doing it correctly.

Q: Can I perform I-9 verification remotely?

A: Yes! Remote I-9 verification is allowed under certain circumstances, such as when the employee is physically located in a different state than the employer. However, there are strict rules that must be followed, so it's important to consult with an experienced notary public to ensure that you're doing it correctly.

Q: How long do I need to keep I-9 forms on file?

A: I-9 forms must be retained for three years after the employee's date of hire, or one year after the employee's employment is terminated, whichever is later. It's important to keep these forms on file in case of an audit.

Q: How do I fix an error on my I-9 form?

A: Errors on I-9 forms are not uncommon, and they can cause problems later on if not corrected. The most common errors on I-9 forms are incomplete sections or incorrect information. If you find an error on your I-9 form, the best thing to do is to correct it as soon as possible. You can make corrections to Section 1 of the form, but you cannot backdate the form. You can also make corrections to Section 2 of the form, but you need to do it within three days of the hire date. If you discover an error after three days, you should attach a separate sheet of paper explaining the error and the corrective action taken. In some cases, you may need to complete a new I-9 form altogether. It is best to consult with a notary public to help you correct any errors on your I-9 form.

Q: Can I use an electronic signature on the I-9 form?

A: Yes, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows electronic signatures on the I-9 form, as long as certain requirements are met. The electronic signature must be unique to the person signing, and the signature must be linked to the I-9 form in a way that will prevent tampering. Electronic signatures can be a convenient option for remote employees or employers who use electronic systems to store and manage employee records. However, it is important to ensure that the electronic signature process meets the requirements set forth by USCIS.

Q: How long do I need to keep I-9 forms on file?

A: Employers must keep I-9 forms on file for each employee for a certain period of time, even after the employee is no longer employed. Generally, employers must keep I-9 forms on file for at least three years after the date of hire, or for one year after the date of termination, whichever is later. It is important to keep I-9 forms on file in case of an audit by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Failure to keep accurate and complete I-9 forms on file can result in hefty fines and penalties.

Q: Can I use the same I-9 form for all of my employees?

A: No, you cannot use the same I-9 form for all of your employees. Each employee must complete their own I-9 form, and the information provided on the form must be specific to that employee. The I-9 form requires personal information from the employee, such as their full legal name, date of birth, and social security number. It also requires information from the employer, such as the date of hire and the employer’s business name and address.

Using the same I-9 form for all employees can lead to inaccurate and incomplete forms, which can cause problems later on. It is best to have each employee complete their own I-9 form and to keep them organized and easily accessible.

Q: What happens if I fail to complete an I-9 form?

A: Failure to complete an I-9 form for each employee can result in serious consequences for employers. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can conduct an audit of an employer’s I-9 forms at any time, and failure to produce complete and accurate I-9 forms can result in hefty fines and penalties. Employers who fail to complete I-9 forms for their employees can be fined up to $2,292 per employee for a first-time offense. Repeat offenders can face fines of up to $11,522 per violation. It is important for employers to take I-9 verification seriously and to ensure that each employee completes the form accurately and completely. A notary public can provide guidance and assistance with completing I-9.

I hope this has cleared up any questions or confusion you may have had about I-9 verification. As a notary public, I take pride in ensuring that all my clients' needs are met with efficiency and a friendly demeanor. When it comes to I-9 verification, don't panic, just call Sign with Sariah and let me handle the rest. Let's keep the verification process compliant and hassle free!

REMEMBER as a notary public, I cannot provide legal advice. Any information shared in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. For any specific legal questions or concerns, I encourage you to consult with an attorney or other legal professional.

Get in Touch

Need Help Now? Text or Call!

Send Me a Message

Get in touch with me today to schedule your service! Whether you need to notarize important business documents, hire a marriage officiant, or create a logo for your business, I am here to help. Simply fill out the form below and I will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your needs and provide you with a quote. I look forward to working with you!

If you are looking to book a service that will include travel fees, make sure to provide the address for an accurate quote.