5.3 Recording Changes of Name and Other Identity Information for Current Employees

In the case of a rehire or reverification, if an employee has had a legal change of name, such as following marriage, record the employee’s legal change of name in the space provided in Section 3. If you learn of a legal change of name at a time other than during a rehire or reverification, USCIS recommends that you update Form I-9 with the new name in the space provided in Section 3 of Form I-9 so that you maintain correct information on the form. In either situation, you should take steps to be reasonably assured of the employee’s identity and the veracity of the employee’s claim of a legal name change. These steps may include asking the employee for the reason for the legal change of name and to provide documentation of a legal change of name to keep with Form I-9, so that your actions are well-documented in the event of a Form I-9 inspection.

You may encounter situations other than a legal change of name where an employee informs you (or you have reason to believe) that their identity is different from that previously used to complete the Form I-9. For example, an employee may have been working under a false identity, has subsequently obtained work authorization in their true identity, and wishes to regularize their employment records. In that case you should complete a new Form I-9. Write the original hire date in Section 2 and attach the new Form I-9 to the previously completed Form I-9 and include a written explanation.

In cases where an employee has worked for you using a false identity but is currently authorized to work, the Form I-9 rules do not require termination of employment.

In addition, there may be other laws, contractual obligations, or company policies that you should consider before taking action. For example, the INA prohibits discrimination based on citizenship status and national origin. See Section 11.0 Unlawful Discrimination and Penalties for Prohibited Practices for more information.

For E-Verify employers:

  • USCIS recommends that you encourage your employees to record their legal name change with the Social Security Administration to avoid mismatches in E-Verify.
  • If you complete a new Form I-9 in a new identity situation as described above, e.g., where a name change to Form I-9 information is not a legal name change, you should confirm the new Form I-9 information through E-Verify . If you do not complete a new Form I-9, you should not create a new E-Verify case.
  • Federal contractors who are subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause and who choose to verify existing employees by updating an already-completed Form I-9 are subject to special rules regarding when they must complete a new Form I-9. Employers who choose to update Form I-9 for existing employees must complete a new Form I-9 when an employee changes their name. For more information, see the E-Verify Supplemental Guide for Federal Contractors, at uscis.gov/e-verify.


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