What Documents are Acceptable for Verifying Form I-9?

Documents for Verifying Employment Eligibility-Form I-9
Documents for Verifying Employment Eligibility - Form I-0. Sigrid Gombert/Getty Images

What Documents are Acceptable for Form I-9?

All new hires must verify their eligibility to work legally in the U.S. This verification process includes Form I-9. The employee states eligibility and verifies that eligibility by providing documents. The employer reviews the documents and attests that they are acceptable. The process of completing Form I-9 is in two steps: 

Step 1- The employee completes Section 1, attesting to the documents presented, and

Step 2 - The employer verifies the documents. 

Acceptable Documents Criteria 

The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service lists documents which are acceptable as verification for identity and work authorization.

Acceptable documents must establish both (1) identity of the individual and (2) employment authorization. Some documents establish both; these documents are in List A. Some documents are acceptable to establish identity; these documents are in List B. Some documents establish employment authorization; these documents are in List C.

An employer may accept one document from List A. If no List A document is provided, the employee must provide one document from List B and one document from List C, to establish both identity and work eligibility.

List A Documents

Documents which establish both identity and eligibility:

  • U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
  • Permanent resident card or alien registration receipt card (a "green card") (Form I-551)
  • Foreign passport containing a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa
  • In the case of 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 containing 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
  • Passport from Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admissions under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI

List B Documents

Documents which establish identity (must be used in conjunction with a List C document):

  • Driver's license or ID card issues by a U.S. state or outlying possession of the U.S. provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address
  • ID card issues 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
  • School ID with a photograph
  • Voter's registration card
  • U.S. Military card or draft record
  • Military dependent's ID card
  • U.S. Coast Guard Merchant MArine Card
  • Native American tribal document
  • Diriver's license issued by a Canadian government authority
  • For persons under age 18 who are unable to present a document listed above: a school record or report card; clinic, doctor, or hospital record; day care or nursery school record.

List C Documents

Documents which establish employment authorization (must be used with a document from List B):

  • Social Security Account Number card other than one that species on the face that the issuance of the card does not authorize employment in the U.S.
  • Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of Stae (Form FS-545)
  • Certification of Report of Birth issued by the Department of State (Form DS-1350)
  • Original or certified copy of birth certificate issued by a State, county, municipal authority, or territory of the U.S. bearing an official seal
  • Native American tribal document
  • U.S. Citizen ID card (Form I-197)
  • Identification Card for Use of Resident Citizen in the U.S. (Form I-179)
  • Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security

More on Documents

  • All documents used to verify employee work eligibility must be originals. Copies of documents are not acceptable. If you are unsure if a document is an original, look for a watermark or seal.