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

During reverification or rehire, if an employee has had a legal name change (such as by getting married),  you must enter their new legal name in Block A of Section 3, as shown in Sections 5.1 and 5.2. If they legally changed their name at any other time, we recommend you update Block A as soon as you learn of the change, so that you maintain correct information on the form.

To enter a legal name change in Section 3 without reverification or rehire:

  • Enter the employee’s new name in Block A.
  • Enter your name and sign and date Section 3.

In either situation, you should take steps to ensure the employee’s name change is accurate. This may include asking them to provide legal documentation showing the name change, such as a marriage certificate. Make a copy of that document to keep with Form I-9 in the event of an inspection.

You may encounter situations other than a legal name change where an employee informs you (or you have reason to believe) that their identity is different from what they used to complete their 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, 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 10.0, Unlawful Discrimination and Penalties for Prohibited Practices, for more information.

For E-Verify employers:

  • We recommend that you encourage your employees to record their legal name change with the Social Security Administration to avoid mismatches in E-Verify. For more information, visit www.e-verify.gov.
  • If you complete a new Form I-9 based on a non-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. If you choose to update Form I-9 for existing employees, you 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 e-verify.gov.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/27/2020