I9 Form Resources

for Newly Hired Employees and Trusted ID Professionals (Texas notaries public)

[Today is 21 September 2017;  I got up at 4:00 a.m. this morning to complete page, format it, and get it in great shpe.  I lost internet just as I submitted it.  So, it's 5:15 a.m., and this page is still under construction.  There is probably too much information on this page now.  I need to split it and  put it on another page.
by Brenda Stone - September 21, 2017

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Employees are often instructed to contact a local notary to assist with completing an I9 Form.  It isn't easy to find aTexas notary who will agree to help.  Once located, a Texas notary may say that the issues related to I9s are confusing.  He or she isn't sure if it is something a notary can lawfully do.

Direct Texas Notaries to this page.

The confusion on whether or not Texas notaries could help with I9 tasks arose when a remote I9 protocol developed to help in verifying work status, meaning whether the worker was eligible to work in the U.S..

Notaries became an obvious choice to send new hires to so they could  review documents and input results on Form I9.

Why do employers send them to notaries?

Great question. 

This individual usually worked remotely and could not drop by the main office for HR personnel to assist with the review of documents that would provide evidence of eligible work status.

Notaries got confused over the way the document should be handled and called the S.O.S. Employees were mistakenly advised to ask for a notary's seal and signature--there was a clash. Notaries would not provide it. 

The Texas Secretary of State saw the problem.  The Secretary of State was firm that it could not be the way notaries were being asked over and over again to do it.  

They helped protect notaries by pointing out that a notary must attach a certificate before adding the notary's seal and signature to any documents--no certificate, no notarial seal.   Finally, a warning was stated on the website of the Texas S.O.S.  It declared firmly that a notary could not complete Form I9  as a notary because it was not a notary's authorized duty

The resources on te page should help clarify what can and can't be done and where to go for more information.. 

Logical Conclusion for Me
I have talked with a lawyer who pointed out that the Form I9 is a federal form. So, if I am not acting as a state-regulated notary performing a notarial act, I can coomplete Form I9.

Form I9 Topics

What is a Trusted ID Professional?

"Trusted ID Professional" is a name, handlle, designation etc. to capture what notaries do in their ID tasks with signers.  

The proposed meaning is that a person has a reputation for identifying individuals using appropriate documents, is known for attention to detail, and is accustom to  reviewing documents as a part of his or her job.   In Texas, a notary cannot assist with a Form I9 while wearing his or her  independent "notary hat."  

The Texas Secretary of State protects notaries by not encouraging them to perform I9 tasks that no one is able to guide them through if they run into a snag. 

However, individuals and business owners can partner with distant employer while acting outside of the role as notary, may decide to  complete tasks relating to Form I9.  

 eVerify and completing Form I9 --are they the same thing?  

Please review this page on the website of USCIS.gov which states "Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is the core of E-Verify. E-Verify is an internet-based system that compares information from Form I-9 to government records to confirm that an employee is authorized to work in the U.S.
Although E-Verify uses information from Form I-9, there are some important differences between Form I-9 and E-Verify requirements." 

From Q&A on USCIS.gov

As I found questions that seemed to be useful to my audience, I included them here. On the first line beore each Q&A, you'll see various positions affected by the question.  I added those.  Positions that I used below are:
Trusted ID Professional

Is it possible to use an eNotary (electronic notary) on the Form I-9?

There is no prohibition in the laws governing the I-9 that would preclude a Notary, acting as the employer's authorized representative, from using an eNotary (electronic notary) to sign the Form I-9 as long as all of the Form I-9 requirements are met. The notary would need to physically examine the documents the employee presents to establish identity and work authorization and determine whether the documents presented reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the individual. The employee must be physically present with the examiner of the documents during the examination. The person who examines the documents must be the same person who completes and signs Section 2. In addition, if a Form I-9 is completed electronically, the form and process used must be in compliance with 8 CFR 274a.2(e)-(i). Online audio-video conference technology is not an acceptable method of examining documents for the purpose of the Form I-9.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/27/2014

If I am self-employed, do I have to fill out a Form I-9 on myself? 

A self-employed person does not need to complete a Form I-9 on his or her own behalf unless the person is an employee of a separate business entity, such as a corporation or partnership. If the person is an employee of a separate business entity, he or she, and any other employees, will have to complete Form I-9.

Am I required to complete Forms I-9 for employees who will work only one day? 

Yes. Unless the individual engages in casual domestic employment, you must complete Form I-9 for each employee hired to work in the United States, even if your employee works only one day.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/19/2014

I am self-employed and don't need to complete the Form I-9. Do I need to be authorized to work in the United States to be self-employed?

Yes. Individuals must be work-authorized to perform any employment in the United States, even if it is not employment in an employer-employee relationship requiring completion of the Form I-9. Undocumented aliens, or others lacking work authorization, are NOT authorized to be self-employed or to work as independent contractors. Any person who obtains the labor of an independent contractor, knowing that the contractor is not work authorized, is subject to civil penalties under section 274A of the INA.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/19/2014

Do I need to fill out Forms I-9 for independent contractors or their employees? 

No. For example, if you contract with a construction company to perform renovations on your building, you do not have to complete Forms I-9 for that company's employees. The construction company is responsible for completing Forms I-9 for its own employees. However, you may not use a contract, subcontract or exchange to obtain the labor or services of an employee knowing that the employee is unauthorized to work.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/19/2014

How far in advance can the Form I-9 be completed?

Form I-9 may be completed as soon as the employer has offered the individual a job and the individual has accepted the offer. Each newly hired employee must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than his or her first day of employment.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 08/06/2015

I have heard that some state employment agencies, commonly known as state workforce agencies, can certify that people they refer are authorized to work. Is that true?

Yes. A state workforce agency may choose to complete Forms I-9 and verify the employment authorization and identity of individuals it refers to employers. If you hire an individual referred to you by a state workforce agency, the agency must issue a certification to you so that you can comply with Form I-9 requirements. You should check with your state employment agency to see if it provides this service and learn more about your responsibilities.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/27/2014

Can I contract with someone to complete Forms I-9 for my business?

Yes. You can contract with another person or business to verify employees' identities and employment authorization and to complete Forms I-9 for you. However, you are still responsible for the contractor's actions and are liable for any violations of the employment eligibility verification requirements.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/27/2014

I hire my employees remotely. How do I complete Form I-9?

You may designate an authorized representative to fill out Forms I-9 on behalf of your company, including personnel officers, foremen, agents or notary public. The Department of Homeland Security does not require the authorized representative to have specific agreements or other documentation for Form I-9 purposes. If an authorized representative fills out Form I-9 on your behalf, you are still liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process.

When completing Form I-9, you or authorized representative must physically examine each document presented to determine if it reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the employee presenting it. Reviewing or examining documents via webcam is not permissible.

If the authorized representative refuses to complete Form I-9 (including providing a signature) another authorized representative may be selected. DHS does not require the authorized representative to have specific agreements or other documentation for Form I-9 purposes. If you hire a notary public, the notary public is acting as an authorized representative of you, not as a notary. The notary public must perform the same required actions as an authorized representative. When acting as an authorized representative, the notary public should not provide a notary seal on Form I-9.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/27/2014

As an employer, do I have to fill out all the Forms I-9 myself?

No. You may designate someone to fill out Forms I-9 for you, such as a personnel officer, foreman, agent, or anyone else acting on your behalf, such as a notary public. Please note that if someone else fills out Form I-9 on your behalf, he or she must carry out full Form I-9 responsibilities. However, you are still liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process.

For example, it is not acceptable for a notary public to view employment authorization and identity documents, but leave Section 2 for you to complete. The person who views an employee's original documentation should also complete and sign Section 2 on your behalf.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/27/2014

How should Form I-9, Section 1, Employee Name field be completed when an employee has two legal last names?

Employees with two last names or a hyphenated last name must include both names in the last name field of the Form I-9. The Handbook for Employers (M-274) page 4 and Form I-9, page 1, section 1 provides specific instructions on completing the last name field on the Form I-9. If an employee enters two last names in Section 1, but presents a document that only displays one of those last names, the document he or she presents for Section 2 is acceptable as long as you are satisfied that the document appears genuine and relates to the employee.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 04/08/2015                             HOME

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