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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – Form I-9

Updated: Jan 2

Update - August 23, 2023 - The Office of Management and Budget approved a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. You should begin using this updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020.

  • Download the updated Form I-9 here

  • Updates and changes can be reviewed here

  • The Handbook for Employers M-274 has also been updated here

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for everyone they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and non-citizens.

USCIS Form I-9

Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form.

Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers. NOTE: State agencies may use Form I-9. Also, some agricultural recruiters and referrers for a fee may be required to use Form I-9.

In Michigan, as a Notary Public, you may be asked to assist in the completion of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility and Verification. Be aware, this form is NOT to be notarized (stamped nor embossed) by you as a Notary Public.

Often the employer and employee are unable to meet in person to complete the Form I-9. When necessary, the employer may authorize a third-party to act as an Authorized Representative. This representative will perform all actions required of the employer as the Form I-9 is completed, this includes Section 2 of the form (Employer of Authorized Representative Review and Verification).

NEVER affix your notary stamp or seal to the Form I-9. Ever.

You are engaged to act as an Authorized Representative for an employer, you are NOT serving as a notary public.

The employer should reach out to you as their Authorized Representative through written or verbal communication. They should not direct the employee to ‘seek a notary’.

If an employee does reach out to you as a notary, you should not proceed until you have communicated with the employer.

Completing Form I-9

The employee will complete Section 1 of Form I-9 PRIOR to meeting with the notary. The employee’s signature holds them responsible for the accuracy of the information provided.

The Authorized Representative will complete Section 2 of Form I-9. This includes a review of the original documents provided by the employee. The employer is asking that you, the Authorized Representative, act as their agent and review the document for them to satisfy the requirement.

Valid / acceptable documents are listed on page three of Form I-9. All documents must be UNEXPIRED. The employee must submit one example from List A or a combination of one selected from List B AND one selection from List C.

USCIS Acceptable Documents

The Authorized Representative should examine the document(s) submitted for review and accept them if they reasonably appear to be genuine and if they reasonably appear to relate to the person standing before you. If the documentation presented does not reasonably appear to be genuine, valid or relate to the employee presenting, you must refuse to accept them, and you must ask for other documentation from the lists of acceptable documents.

Photocopies of documents are NOT acceptable, original / valid documents are required. The only exception is a certified copy of a birth certificate.

California exception – Please note, while you are NOT acting as a Notary Public, those in California may NOT act as the Authorized Representative UNLESS they are a bonded immigration consultant under the Business and Professions Code sections 22440-22449. You may not complete or make the certification on Form I-9, even in a non-notarial capacity unless you are a bonded immigration consultant.

Keep a record

While this is NOT a notarial act, the notary should record the transaction somehow. This will include the name of the employee, the name of the company/employer requesting the completion of section 2, and the date you completed the document, miles driven and fees paid.

I can act as an Authorized Representative for your employer to assist in completing the USCIS Form I-9, contact me if you have any questions.

USCIS Form I-9 training, visit

USCIS Form I-9 on-demand webinar on YouTube

Bookmark the address for I-9 Central for everything you need to understand about the USCIS Form I-9

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