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USCIS Has New Temporary Policy on Acceptance of List B Documents

I know you continue to be bombarded with many messages during this time of Covid-19 pandemic, but I believe this memo about a new USCIS announcement below is important for your I-9 compliance.

The Department of Homeland Security, through the USCIS, has announced a temporary change in the acceptance of List B identity documents during the I-9 verification process. Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B which are set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.

This policy change is due to the fact that many states, counties, or cities have issued stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 and some online renewal services have restrictions, employees may experience challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other List B identity document.

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

  • Record the document information in Section 2 under List B, as applicable; and
  • Enter the word “COVID-19” in the Additional Information

Within 90 days after DHS’s termination of this temporary policy, the employee will be required to present a valid unexpired document to replace the expired document presented when they were initially hired. Although it is best if the employee can present the replacement of the actual document that was expired, the employee may choose to present a different List A or List B document or documents and record the new document information in the Additional Information field.

When the employee later presents an unexpired document, you should in Section 2 Additional Information field:

  • Record the number and other required document information from the actual document presented; and
  • Initial and date the

Procedure for List B Documents extended by an Issuing Authority

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 due to 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.

When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has been extended by the issuing authority you should:

  • Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2; and
  • Enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information

Employers may also attach a copy of a webpage or other notice indicating 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’s website. I should note for extended documents, the employee is not required to later present a valid unexpired List B document.

If you are using E-Verify, participating employers 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.

If you have any questions on this matter or any other COVID-19 compliance related issues, I want you to know that we are here for you during this time. We are monitoring the situation and will contact you if you are affected by any future announcements.

Bruce Buchanan is a Partner at Sebelist Buchanan PLLC.  Mr. Buchanan is admitted to practice in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas, and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and D.C. Circuit.