Recent DOJ Fact Sheet for Employers Using Commercial Electronic Form I-9 Software

In December 2023, the Department of Justice (DOJ) published a fact sheet that discussed what employers should keep in mind if they use private sector commercial or proprietary software to electronically complete, modify, or retain Form I-9s. Although this document refers to these products collectively as Form I-9 software programs – it also applies to employers who use a commercial program to complete E-Verify. Bottom line – using a Form I-9 software program does not guarantee an employer’s compliance with federal law. An employer is responsible for ensuring that any software to electronically complete I-9s, or retain I-9s, complies with all legal requirements. Employers are not required to use commercial software, and have free and direct access to the I-9 Form and the E-verify system.

Pointers for employers using commercial Form I-9 software:

  • The complete I-9 Form and instructions must be available to employees.
  • Employees must complete Section 1 before employers finish Section 2.
  • Optional fields on the I9 Form must be able to be skipped by employees.
  • All Form I-9s must record and display all information entered, including rehires and re-verifications.
  • Software must uniquely identify each person accessing, correcting and changing the Form I-9.
  • Employers should provide personnel using the I-9 software with training and support. Have procedures for completing the I-9 form and E-verify cases if they have to be done outside the software system.

I-9 Software systems should avoid:

  • automatically pre-populating employee information from other sources.
  • completing an I-9 on an employee’s behalf unless the employer is helping the employee.
  • remove any I-9 form fields, or request additional information.
  • autocorrect, or post date an I-9 Form.
  • Fail to document all changes made to an I-9 form.

View Employer Training: Avoiding Unlawful Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination, presented by the Department of Justice. The IER has a free employer hotline for information on how to avoid unlawful discrimination, including when using Form I-9 software programs: 1-800-255-8155, available from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday. Calls can remain anonymous.

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