In today’s digital age, remote work has become more prevalent than ever, and with it comes the need for streamlined and efficient processes, such as I-9 verification. However, confusion often arises when notarial acts and I-9 verification intersect. In this blog post, we will demystify I-9 verification and clarify the role of notaries in this process.
The I-9 form is also known as the Employment Eligibility Verification form. In the United States, it is a crucial document for employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of new employees.
It is mandatory for both employers and employees to fill out an I-9 form. The process involves the employee filling out Section 1 of the form, which includes providing personal information, attesting to their employment authorization status, and signing the form.
While notaries are commonly asked to assist in I-9 verification for remote workers, it’s essential to understand that I-9 verification itself is not a notarial act. A notary’s primary function in this context is to verify the identity of the employee. This process typically involves an in-person meeting between the notary and the employee, during which the notary verifies the employee’s identity and the authenticity of the identification documents presented.
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- As part of Section 1 of the I-9 form, the employee provides their personal information and attests to their employment authorization.
- The notary meets with the employee in-person to verify their identity using acceptable identification documents listed on the form.
- The notary then fills out Section 2 of the I-9 form, which includes recording the employee’s identification details and attesting to the verification process.
- No Notarization Stamp: Contrary to popular belief, the notary does not need to stamp the I-9 form. Their role is to verify the identity, not notarize the document.
- Additional Documents: Employers may attach other documents alongside the I-9 form that require notarization. However, the notary must not notarize their own signature.
- Authorized Representative Agreements: If an additional document, provided by the employer, requires the notary’s signature as an authorized representative, the notary cannot notarize it.
- Remote Verification: The USCIS allows remote verification of I-9 forms using the “e-verify” system, but this requires the employee to have a Social Security Number (SSN). If this is not possible, in-person verification becomes necessary.
- Online Notary Platforms: Online notarization platforms like eNotary On Call provide a user-friendly way to notarize documents online. However, I-9 forms cannot be verified online using remote online notary platforms.
I-9 verification is a vital step in ensuring that employers comply with employment eligibility requirements. Notaries play a key role in verifying the identity of remote workers during this process, although it’s important to note that the I-9 form itself is not subject to notarization. Understanding the distinction between I-9 verification and notarial acts is crucial for both employers and employees to navigate this process accurately and efficiently.
For more information about I-9 verification and its requirements, you can visit the official USCIS website: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
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With the changing landscape of remote work, staying informed about these processes can save both employers and employees valuable time and effort.