Q & A – When I review an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents, should I make copies of them?

Q: When I review an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents, should I make copies of them?

A: If you participate in E-Verify and the employee presents a document used as part of Photo Matching, currently the U.S. passport and passport card, Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) and the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766), you must retain a photocopy of the document he or she presents.  Other documents may be added to Photo Matching in the future.  If you do not participate in E-Verify, you are not required by federal law to make photocopies of documents. However, state law may require this.

If you wish to make photocopies of documents other than those used in E-Verify, you must do so for all employees.  Photocopies must not be used for any other purpose.  Photocopying documents does not relieve you of your obligation to fully complete Section 2 of Form I-9, nor is it an acceptable substitute for proper completion of Form I-9 in general.