Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Completing an I-9:
1. No Form I-9: The employer must have I-9s on all employees hired after November 6, 1986.
2. Form I-9 is Incomplete: The form must be completed in its entirety. All information the form requires must be filled in.
3. Form I-9 Contains Incorrect Information: All correct information must be listed. This can occur in many areas on the I-9. In my opinion, it occurs most when I-9 Administrator incorrectly records the issuing authority for the employee’s documents.
4. Unacceptable Documents: Be familiar with the List of Acceptable Documents. Only documents on that list can be accepted for purposes of completing an I-9.
5. Over-Documentation: The I-9 Administrator must only accept either a document from List A or a combination of documents from List B and List C from the List of Acceptable Documents.
6. Inconsistent Photocopying: I-9 Administrators should always take photocopies of the documents presented. The quality of the copy must be good so that the picture on the document is clearly visible and all identifying information on the document can be read. The backs of the documents should also be copied.
7. Names and Birthdates Don’t Match: The I-9 Administrator must ensure that the documents list the same name and birthdate as the employee listed in Section 1.
8. Improper Corrections: Do not use white-out or markers to blot out incorrect information. All corrections should be made with a single line so that auditors can read what is being corrected.
9. I-9s Kept in Personnel Files: I-9s should be kept a binder separate from personnel files.
10. File it and Forget About it: Documents must be re-verified when they are required to be re-verified. I-9s should be audited on an annual basis. I-9s that are eligible for destruction should be destroyed timely.
For more information on mistakes made during the I-9 process, register for our upcoming I-9 Administrator training.