The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently reminded employers that the COVID-19 temporary policy accepting expired List B documents for Form I-9 has ended and gave a deadline to update Forms I-9 with unexpired documents. Previously, the DHS adopted the temporary policy because individuals had experienced difficulties renewing documents during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, in March 2022, the agency announced it would end its acceptance of expired List B documents by May 1.
Background of the Temporary Policy
On May 1st, 2020, the DHS introduced a COVID-19 temporary policy allowing employers to accept expired List B documents for Form I-9 purposes. Stay-at-home orders and other changes made it difficult for employees to renew List B documents like IDs or driver’s licenses. Hence, during the pandemic, the temporary policy allowed some leniency regarding employment eligibility verification. In short, employers could treat documents expiring on or after March 1 as an unexpired document for Form I-9 purposes. List B documents include:
- a state driver’s license;
- an identification card issued by a state;
- S. military cards;
- school ID cards with a photo;
- Native American tribal documents; and
- voter registration cards.
Requirements to Update Forms I-9 With Unexpired Documents
By ending the temporary policy, the DHS recognizes that document-issuing authorities have now reopened. Additionally, individuals have viable alternatives to in-person renewal services. Therefore, as of May 1st, 2022, employers may only accept unexpired List B documents. Employers must also update Forms I-9 for all employees who presented an expired List B document between May 1st, 2020, and April 30th, 2022. The deadline to update Forms I-9 for affected employees is July 31st, 2022.
How to Update Forms I-9
The DHS provides instructions to update Forms I-9 in certain situations. For example, if the affected employee submitted an expired List B document between the dates mentioned above and is still employed:
- The employee should provide an unexpired List B document establishing identity or a document from List A.
- Next, the employer should complete the “Additional Information” field in Section 2 of the Form I-9, entering in:
- Issuing authority;
- Number; and
- Expiration date.
- Finally, the employer must initial and date the change.
Conversely, if the employee is no longer employed or the issuing authority extended the List B document, the employer does not need to update the corresponding Form I-9.