Can you accept a "receipt" as temporary verification of identity on the I-9 form?
Updated: Sep 18, 2021
Can an employer accept a “receipt” as a temporary verification of identity or employment authorization on the I-9 form?
New hires sometimes struggle to provide acceptable documents when completing their I-9 form at time of hire and existing employees may have the same issue at time of reverification. Many times, the employee will say the document(s) they were going to provide from List A, B, or C were lost, stolen or damaged. In addition, an employee may have expired documentation from the list of acceptable documents. When this happens, an employer may be able to accept a “receipt”, if the employee’s employment will last longer than three (3) days. What is a “receipt”? It is documentation that an employee applied to replace a document that was lost, stolen or damaged or documentation of an application for a document that is expiring or has expired. Note: Documentation showing an employee applied for an initial grant of employment authorization or for renewal of their expiring/expired employment authorization should not be accepted.
An employer can only accept “receipts” in three (3) instances. For this article, we are focusing on the one instance where an employee provides documentation demonstrating they have applied to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged document from List A, B, or C. In the event the employee provides an acceptable “receipt” during the verification process, the employer representative may accept it and should do the following:
1. In Section 2 of the form, record the proper document title under the applicable List A, B, or C.
2. Write the word “receipt”, the proper document title, and document number, and the last day the “receipt” is valid.
The “receipt” will be valid for ninety (90) days from the date of hire/first day of work for pay or in the case of reverification, ninety (90) days from the date the employment authorization expired. Within ninety (90) days, the employee is required to provide the replacement document. Sometimes this is not possible due to things like document processing delays or changes in status.
If the employee cannot provide the replacement document within the ninety (90) day deadline to update the “receipt” documentation they originally provided, and they can present other valid and reasonably related documentation to show proof of identity and/or proof of eligibility to legally work in the US, the employer may accept that documentation. For example, the “receipt” was for a List A document and the employee cannot provide the actual replacement document; however, the employee can provide another document from List A. The employee can also provide one (1) document from List B and one (1) document from List C to complete the I-9 requirements. When this occurs, the employer representative may accept this new documentation and should do the following:
1. Complete a new Section 2 and attach it to the original I-9 form.
2. Write a note of explanation in the Additional Information box included on page two (2) of the I-9 form or write it on a separate piece of paper and attach it.
If the employee presents the actual replacement document for the “receipt” document that was provided during the initial verification, the employer representative completing the form should do the following:
1. Cross out the word “receipt” and any accompanying document number.
2. Record the applicable document information from the document(s) presented.
3. Initial and date the changes.
In closing, for complete information related to the I-9 form and the acceptance of “receipts” from the US Citizen and Immigration Services click here. If you have questions or need further support, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-518-917-3361. Disclaimer: Integra HR, LLC does not practice any type of law, provide legal counsel, or perform any other form of legal services. Like other HR consulting firms, we refer clients to legal counsel for legal services.