We just hired an employee who does not have a current identity document. Her driver license expired on April 1, and she says that she has not been able to renew it due to COVID-19. Can we hire her?
Yes. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a temporary policy beginning on May 1, 2020 that allows an identity document with an expiration date on or after March 1, 2020 to be accepted for I-9 purposes.
DHS issued this policy due to COVID-19 closure of offices or reduced services that prevented individuals from renewing documents.
Identity documents for I-9 purposes include a driver license, federal- or state-issued identification card with identifying information and a photograph, or a school identification card with a photograph.
If the employee’s identity document expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the document expiration date has been extended by the issuing agency due to COVID-19, then it may be used as a List B document.
The expired document should be entered under Section 2 on the I-9 Form and “COVID-19” should be added to the Additional Information section. Employers also may attach to the I-9 Form a copy of the webpage or other notice indicating that the document has been extended.
The employee has 90 days after the DHS terminates this temporary policy to obtain and present a current document. When the employee obtains a new document, enter the new document’s number and expiration date in the Additional Information field, initial and date the change.
Confirm State Extensions
Employers can confirm that a state has automatically extended the expiration date of its state IDs and driver licenses by checking the state motor vehicle administration websites.
Information on the California Department of Motor Vehicles extension for driver licenses may be found here.
DHS will continue to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency and will provide updated guidance as needed. Employers may check for current updates by going to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Column based on questions asked by callers on the Labor Law Helpline, a service to California Chamber of Commerce preferred and executive members. For expert explanations of labor laws and Cal/OSHA regulations, not legal counsel for specific situations, call (800) 348-2262 or submit your question at www.hrcalifornia.com.