6 Notary Rules for Completing an I-9 Form

A s Notary Public whether in house or mobile from time to time you may be asked to complete an I-9 Form for a remote hire employee.

If you never have completed one before than it can be rather intimidating.  Most folks will come in for a vista or give you a call and ask that you notarize an I-9.  Taking a close look at the form you can plainly see that the from does not contain any notarial language.  This is because it is no a Notarial act, and does not require a notarization.

The reason you are being asked to notarize the document is that most folks out side of Notary Public’s do not really understand the roll and duties of a Notary.  The employer tell the employee to find a Notary and get the I9 notarized.  This confusion leads to the Notaries being confused about what can and can not be done with regards to the I-9 From.

It really is quite a simple process if you understand what the form is for, how to fill it out and where to draw the line between acting as on authorized agent and working as a Notary Public.

An I-9 Form is required to be completed each time a US company hires an employee for a job based in the US.   Many companies hire employees remotely, also know as remote hires.

When a company has a remote hire that needs to have an I9 completed they have 2 options.  One is that the employer and employee must meet in person.  This is not always a cost effective option.  The second is to have the employer designate an agent to complete the I-9 Form on their behalf.  This is where the use of a Notary comes in.  Once you are designated as the agent you can assist the employee in completing the I-9.

When completing the I-9 your primary responsibility is in completing section 2.  In this section the agent will be entering information from the ID(s) provided to the employee.  It can be a bit tricky at first and there are a few rules you need to know in order to complete the form correctly.

Rule one, if there is an error in section 2 the liability is with the employer not on the Notary/authorized agent.

Rule two, never put your stamp on the I9.  This is not a Notarial act, and in almost all states Notaries are prohibited from using their stamp for non notarial acts.

Rule three,  always use valid ID when completing the I9.  Never use copies of have the employee fax you copies of the ID.  This practice is more common than most employers want to admit to.

Rule four,  only use one List A document or use 1 List B document and 1 List C document when completing the I9 Form.  If you have any questions about what type of ID is or is not acceptable review the list of acceptable documents available with the I9 From.

Rule five,  you do need to sign, date, enter your title and print your name as requested in section 2 of the I9.

Rule six, never sign and notarize a letter stating that you have reviewed documents for XYZ employee.  While it is necessary for you to sign a Remote Hire Agency form you should never be notarizing your own signature.

There are several Nationwide Notary services like N3 Notary that specialize in I-9 Form for remote hires, and provide training and guidance for completing I-9’s correctly.

Once you get a few of these under your belt you will be head and shoulders above those Mobile Notary services that still think it’s illegal.