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Temporary Driver's License: To Accept or Not to Accept?

Our law firm conducts I-9 audits for a vast array of clients, ranging from the information technology industry, the construction industry, the manufacturing industry, to the poultry and meat-packing industry. This wide range of clientele tends to keep us on our toes when it comes to documents employees present for I-9 purposes. Some are acceptable, others are not even close (health insurance card?!), but one thing always holds true... I-9 audits keep us on our toes and frequently have us reaching to USCIS and ICE for guidance, including regulations, question and answers, fact sheets, and other sources, as well.

During a recent I-9 Audit for a client, one of the documents presented was a Missouri Temporary Driver's License, a piece of paper with a picture, that expired a month after it was issued and had the language "this document becomes invalid and should be destroyed once you have received your permanent card or on the expiration date stated above, whichever occurs first." Even though it looks exactly like a Missouri Driver's License receipt, it was evident that it was not. After thorough research, we found our answer that, yes, it was an acceptable List B document. USCIS guidance states that "A state-issued temporary driver's license is an acceptable List B document provided it contains a photograph (check!) or identifying information including name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address (double check!). If the temporary driver's license has conditions, such as that the expired license must accompany the temporary driver's license for it to be valid (ours did not!), then those conditions must be followed." There you have it folks, very helpful guidance from USCIS. Go ahead and accept that Temporary Driver's License as a List B document! Training on this and related issues can be found at the Corporate Immigration Compliance Institute.

Jessica Haefele

Corporate Immigration Attorney


7007 College Blvd., Suite 460

Overland Park, KS 66211

Phone: 913.317.6200

Fax: 913.317.6202


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