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Form I-9 Announcement and M-274 Employer Manual

form i-9 venn diagram

Today notice came out from the USCIS (see below email) giving all employers guidance on what to do during COVID-19 should a new hire present you with an expired List B document for I-9 form purposes. There are very specific guidelines to follow governing this temporary waiver and steps to take both at time of hire and in the future when COVID-19 has passed and businesses are open again. Please see below so you (or your company professional responsible for creating I-9 forms) are aware of and understand the guidelines.


Last week the M-274 Employer’s Guide/Manual -Guidance for Completing Form I-9 was UPDATED. Please ensure you (or your HR professional) is now using this most current version of the M-274 manual. In fact, they should destroy all previous versions of the manual to ensure they are not following outdated guidance. The link below will take you to the most current M-274 Employer Manual

Because many areas are under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19 and some online renewal services have restrictions, employees may experience challenges renewing a state driver’s license, a state ID card, or other Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, List B identity document. Considering these circumstances, DHS is issuing a temporary policy regarding expired List B identity documents used to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. 

Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes. 

When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has not been extended by the issuing authority you should:

  • Record the document information in Section 2 under List B, as applicable; and,
  • Enter the word “COVID-19” in the Additional Information Field.

Within 90 days after DHS’s termination of this temporary policy, the employee will be required to present a valid unexpired document to replace the expired document presented when they were initially hired. 

Note:  It is best if the employee can present the replacement of the actual document that was expired, but if necessary, the employee may choose to present a different List A or List B document or documents and record the new document information in the Additional Information Field. 

When the employee later presents an unexpired document, you should:

  • In the Section 2 Additional Information field:
    • Record the number and other required document information from the actual document presented;
    • Initial and date the change.

Procedure for List B Documents extended by an Issuing Authority

If the employee’s List B identity document expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the issuing authority has extended the document expiration date due to COVID-19, the document is acceptable as a List B document for Form I-9 (not as a receipt) during the extension timeframe specified by the issuing authority.

When your employee provides an acceptable expired List B document that has been extended by the issuing authority you should:
*          Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2; and,
*          Enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information Field.

Employers may also attach a copy of a webpage or other notice indicating that the issuing authority has extended the documents.  Employers can confirm that their state has auto-extended the expiration date of state IDs and driver’s licenses by checking the state Motor Vehicle Administration or Department of Motor Vehicles’ website. 

:  For extended documents, the employee is not required to later present a valid unexpired List B document. 

E-Verify participating employers should use the employee’s expired List B document number from Section 2 of the Form I-9 to create an E-Verify case as usual within three days of the date of hire. DHS continues to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 national emergency and will provide updated guidance as needed.Click to edit this placeholder text.