The I-9 Form: Understanding Section 2

This is an instructional guide for Notary Publics completing Section 2, “Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification”, of the Form I-9. As the mobile Notary Public, it your job to look over and verify the identification papers for a new employee’s Form I-9. Section 2 of the Form I-9 requires that original documentation be used to validate the Employee’s employment authorization. Proper documentation establishes both that the employee is authorized to work in the U.S. and that the employee is the person who the document was issued to. The following are the steps to ensure proper completion of Section 2 of the Form I-9:


1. On the first line under Section 2, fill out the Last Name, First Name, and Middle Initial of the Employee’s name. Refer back to Section 1 for this information.


2. Enter the information for the document title, issuing authority, document number, and the expiration date from the original documents supplied by the Employee. Only unexpired and original copies of documents may be used. Enter “N/A” into any unused fields. You should examine the document(s) and accept them if they reasonably appear to be genuine and if they reasonably appear to relate to the person standing before you.

•It is important to remember that you may not specify which documents an Employee presents to establish their identity and employment authorization. The list of acceptable documents is on the last page of the Form I-9. You may accept any List A document, which establishes both identity and work eligibility OR, you may accept the combination of one document from List B (establishing identity) AND one document from List C (establishing work eligibility). Note that if a document from List A is used, no documents from List B or C should be reviewed or entered and vice versa.

•You may use abbreviations for the document title or issuing authority if the abbreviation is widely known and/or widely understood. For example, you may use DL for driver’s license or DMV for Department of Motor Vehicles. If you question whether to use an abbreviation, write out the name in full. Remember, when in doubt, write out the full known name of a document title or issuing authority.

•Receipts can be used when a document was lost, stolen, or damaged. This receipt is proving the Employee applied to replace the document. Enter the word “receipt” as the document title.

•Some List A documents are considered “combination” documents and must be presented together to be considered an acceptable List A document. For example, a foreign passport and a Form I-94 must be presented together to be considered a List A document.


3. Under the Certification section, enter the Employee’s first date of employment. If the Employee does not know this date, leave the line blank. As the Notary Public, you will sign your name, enter the current date (month, day, year), fill in your title (Notary Public), and print your last and first name. Doing this confirms all the information is true and accurate and that you physically examined the documents entered in Section 2.


In summary, be as thorough as possible. Only unexpired documents can be used to verify the employee’s authorization and no photocopies should be accepted.  If you make mistakes, line through the mistake then write the correct information above or near the incorrect information and initial and date it.