13.0 Acceptable Documents for Verifying Employment Authorization and Identity

13.0 Acceptable Documents for Verifying Employment Authorization and Identity

The following documents are acceptable for Form I-9 to establish an employee’s employment authorization and identity. The comprehensive Lists of Acceptable Documents can be found here and on the last page of Form I-9. Samples of many of the acceptable documents appear in Sections 13.1 – 13.3.

To establish both identity and employment authorization, a person must present to their employer a document or combination of documents from List A, which shows both identity and employment authorization; or one document from List B, which shows identity and one document from List C, which shows employment authorization.

If a person is unable to present an acceptable document from the List of Acceptable Documents within three business days of the date work for pay begins, the employer must accept an acceptable “receipt” within that time.  The employee must  indicate by checking an appropriate box in Section 1 that they are  authorized to be employed in the United States. The employee must also present the actual document when the receipt validity period ends.

Receipts showing that a person has applied for an initial grant of employment authorization are not acceptable. Receipts are also not acceptable if employment is for fewer than three business days. For a list of acceptable receipts for Form I-9, see Table 1 in Section 4.0. For examples of acceptable employment authorization documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security (List C #7), please visit uscis.gov/i-9-central.

Note that a USCIS-issued Notice on Form I-797C acknowledging receipt of an EAD renewal application presented in combination with an expired EAD is considered an unexpired EAD under List A in certain limited circumstances. See Section 4.2 Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization Documents in Certain Circumstances for more information. This document combination is a List A document and is NOT considered a “receipt” that may be presented in lieu of an acceptable List document.

Sections 13.1-13.3 show the most recent versions and representative images of some of the various acceptable documents on the list. These images can assist you in your review of the document presented to you. These pages are not, however, comprehensive. In some cases, many variations of a particular document exist and new versions may be published subsequent to the publication date of this handbook. Keep in mind that USCIS does not expect you to be a document expert. You are expected to accept documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them.

LIST A: Documents That Establish Both Identity and Employment Authorization

All documents must be unexpired.

  1. U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
  2. Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  3. Foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV)
  4. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that contains a photograph (Form I-766).Form I-766 expired on its face combined with Form I-797 based on an automatic EAD extension in certain circumstances qualifies as unexpired Form I-766; see Section 4.2 Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization Documents in Certain Circumstances.
  5. For a nonimmigrant alien authorized to work for a specific employer incident to status, a foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A bearing the same name as the passport and an endorsement of the alien’s nonimmigrant status, as long as the period of endorsement has not yet expired and the proposed employment is not in conflict with any restrictions or limitations identified on the form
  6. Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI

LIST B: Documents That Establish Identity

All documents must be unexpired.

For individuals 18 years of age or older:

  1. Driver’s license or ID card issued by a state or outlying possession of the United States, provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address
  2. ID card issued by federal, state, or local government agencies or entities, provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address
  3. School ID card with a photograph
  4. Voter’s registration card
  5. U.S. military card or draft record
  6. Military dependent’s ID card
  7. U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
  8. Native American tribal document
  9. Driver’s license issued by a Canadian government authority

For persons under age 18 who are unable to present a document listed above:

  1. School record or report card
  2. Clinic, doctor, or hospital record
  3. Day-care or nursery

 LIST C: Documents That Establish Employment Authorization

All documents must be unexpired

  1. A Social Security Account Number card unless the card includes one of the follwing restrictions:
    • NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT
    • VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION
    • VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION
  2. Certification of report of birth issued by the U.S. Department of State (Forms DS-1350, FS-545, FS-240)
  3. Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying territry of the United States bearing an official seal
  4. Native American tribal document
  5. U.S. Citizen Identification Card (Form I-197)
  6. Identification Card for Use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)
  7. Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security. For examples, please visit uscis.gov/i-9-central

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