View Full Version : Requesting SS Card or Drivers License?

07-16-2003, 04:12 AM
I am pretty sure that I remember being told that We are now not allowed to specifically ask for a Social Security Card or Drivers License for Identification for the I-9 form. Did I dream this or is this actually the case?

If this is correct, can anyone give me specific locations to find this information so that I can back it up to our General Manager.


Scott P.

07-16-2003, 04:24 AM
On the top of the I9 form (in the Anti-Discrimination Notice box) it says "Employers CANNOT specify which document(s) they will accept from an employee."

I let employees used whatever they want for the I9 but I do ask for the SS Card to set up payroll under the correct First, Middle and Last name combination. No one has ever had a problem providing it or at least a printout from the SS Office showing the proper name.

Unless the job requires driving, I would not ask for the driver's license. Let them provide what they want.

07-16-2003, 04:29 AM
I don't know that I've necessarily read it anywhere, but rather that's a piece of advice I've been given from employment law attorneys, in HR related newsletter articles, etc. Basically, employees may choose from ANY of the documents listed on the back of the I-9 to satisfy the I-9 requirement. (Note that there have been some changes to what satisfies the I-9 requirement, although the I-9 form itself has not yet been revised as far as I know -- under List A #2, 3, 8, and 9 are no longer valid; add "or I-94 with I-551 stamp with photo" to number 4, and a new item all together is "I-94 marked with refugee stamp can be accepted for 90 days"). To require someone to provide a drivers license is wrong because they have 11 other items in List B to choose from. I will scan through my I-9 handbook and see if I can come up with anything more concrete. I'll post again if I do.

vmiller MO
07-16-2003, 04:43 AM
The responses of the other two individuals is sound. There are really two separate issues: 1) completion of I-9 and 2)company pay and personnel records. As to the I-9, the employee has to provide the documentation specified on the form. It is up to the employee to choose the documentation. As to the payroll and personnel records, the company gets to decide. First there is an IRS regulation requiring SSN. Second, driver's licenses really are not needed unless the employee is going to be driving on company business.

Good luck.
Vance Miller
Editor, Missouri Employment Law Letter
Armstrong Teasdale LLP
(314) 621-5070

07-16-2003, 07:48 AM
For I-9 purposes you can not request specific documents from the list provided. This should be indicated at the top of the I-9 form. However, you can request the ss# for payroll tax purposes.

07-16-2003, 07:56 AM
I would suggest that you go in an look into the Immigration & Naturalization website and go under Employer's Guide-I believe there is a section that provides Q & A's and it states that employers are not allowed to specity which document to accept in order to verify eligibility of employment.

07-16-2003, 08:35 AM
I have our I-9 in front of me right now and it says "ANTI DISCRIMINATION NOTICE. It is illegal to discriminate against work eligible individuals. Employers CANNOT specify which document(s) they will accept from an employee." It is located at the top of the page in the please read section. Hope this was helpful.

07-16-2003, 08:59 AM
We do ask for two documents in accordance with the I-9 procedures, followed with information that the SSC and any other pictured document like the Driver's License or State ID. There is a need to understand before you offer someone a remote site position that will require driving or some means to get to work. There is some risk of negligence if you hire someone into a remote site in which some form of transportation is required in order to get to work; an accident, with severe horrible results could lead the ATTORNEY DAWGS TO THE PERSON AND "DEEP POCKETED COMPANY", WHO MADE THIS HIRING OFFER KNOWING THE PERSON HAD TO DRIVE INORDER TO GET TO THE JOB SITE. Most of our hiring is to remote locations and you can bet that someone without transportation or drivers license will come back to haunt you.

We are now on-line with SSA and I must have the SSC to validate the ID immediately before we complete the enrollment process. When there is a issue with the name, SSN, birthdate, and sex the check is rejected and we suspend the processing until the individual goes to the SSA and gets the issue resolved. Our Hispanic population has stopped coming to our doorstep, because the word is out that we validate the SSn, Name, dirthdate, and sex. We have found 3 US citizen employees with birthdate, name, sex information wrongly recorded within SSA. Once the issue is identified the SSA quickly corrects the problem and on the Monday of the next week, we can continue the enrollment process. All of you will be so happy with this test program when it goes nation wide.


07-16-2003, 09:10 AM
Unless driving is a BFOQ for the position, we at least in NY, can not require a driver's license from ees. However, you are allowed to ask if they have transportation to get to work.

07-16-2003, 09:20 AM
Most people have to drive to work. I live/work in a state that has horrible public transportation and we have people who float from branch to branch. They are told before the interview where the branches are located. They make the choice. The only employees that I ask for a drivers license are employees who drive the company vehicle. We verify SSN before hire. They only time we ask for a social security card is if an employee has a name change due to marriage or divorce. We ask for the new card before we change their name for payroll purposes. If they use a SS card as a form of ID and the last name is different, we use the name on the card and let them know that they will need to provide us with an updated copy.

HR in Okla
07-17-2003, 05:57 AM
Pork, can you tell us more about the on-line SSC verification? Seems like I read they were doing a pilot project to try it. Is that what you are doing?

We ask for the SS card for payroll purposes. You'd be amazed at how many we find who have different names on their SS card, their driver's license or IDs and their professional licenses or certifications (which we also need for nursing home regulations.)

We set up their payroll records with the name on the SS card. If they don't like it, they can get it changed at the SS administration. We are finding that with direct deposit (which is mandatory for new hires) if the name on payroll doesn't match the bank account, banks won't accept the deposit.

07-17-2003, 06:32 AM
We "sight" verify the documentation for the I-9, and as said above, we do not tell the employee which documents to produce. If they ask, I will tell them that most people provide a DL and SS card because most people will have those already handy. I do tell them that I need to personally see the original documents.

For payroll processing purposes, we specify that we need to see an original SS card and that no matter what we they want to be called, they will receive a check in the name on the card. We began this process when the IRS began warning about the name/number verification and fines that will be assessed for incorrect W2 submissions. I believe it was $50 fine an occurence when they actually put it into effect? We caught so many women who never changed their information with the SSA after they got married. We also ask the employee for permission to photocopy the documentation that they provided in order to keep in a "confidential" file. We explain that this file is separate from their personnel file, which is separate from their medical file. By the way, we also keep the I-9s separate from all of the other files too.

HR in Okla
07-17-2003, 06:41 AM
We do the same. But we send a copy of the SS card to accounting for payroll and keep a copy in their confidential/medical file. Should we have two files? I have enough files without separating confidential from medical which is also confidential, isn't it?

07-17-2003, 09:06 AM
It does seem like a lot of files, but we thought is best to keep medical only medical, even though it is a confidential file too. That way, if we ever need to produce a medical file, there will not be any unneccessary information. I have been to a lot of seminars that instruct you to separate out files so that when you have an entity come in to investigate, they can not see other information that doesn't pertain to their investigation. A big point being the I-9s. I was told that if INS came in and you had the I-9s in the personnel file, they could go through the whole personnel file, and then report their finding to DOL or whoever they felt like if they saw violations. If your I-9s are separated, you only hand them those files and then that's all they see.

We have taken that to extremes, by even keeping the confidential files in a separate cabinet within a locked closet. The personnel files that I might need on a more daily basis are just in a filing cabinet, locked, next to my desk, but the confidential files takes 2 keys to get to!

07-17-2003, 09:17 AM
I think this has been discussed before in a previous thread, but am I the only one that thinks there is something wrong with requiring to see the SSC for payroll purposes?? Where is it written that it is legal to require to see the SSC? When a person fills out the W-2 they have to check a box if their name is different than what's on the SSC, I don't think it's our right to demand to see the card for that reason. I understand the fines for having inaccurate names, but requiring to see the SSC just doesn't seem right. Am I wrong?

HR in Okla
07-17-2003, 09:31 AM
I believe it is on the SS Admin website that it tells you it is perfectly legal to ask to see the SS card for payroll purposes. May be on the IRS website too. I seem to recall that we got a notice from IRS a couple of years ago about penalties if payroll tax reports don't match SS records, and it recommended you see the cards.

07-17-2003, 09:39 AM
Hmmm, well if the employer gets fined for using names that don't match the SSN, then I would think that we do have to right to ask to see the actual card. Even if the employee checks that box, that doesn't guarantee that the employee will actually call the SSA and get a new card issued in their correct name. How can the employer be responsible then? Would the fact that we could show that the employee filled out the W4 with the box checked clear the employer of any fines associated with that person? Besides, even if you were required to send your W4 in, that goes to the IRS and not the SSA, right?

I don't know, just some thoughts.

HR in Okla
07-17-2003, 09:59 AM
LAST EDITED ON 07-17-03 AT 04:01PM (CST)[p]I don't want to give anyone bad information. I looked on the SSA and IRS websites, but didn't find the info. about legality of requesting SS cards for payroll. I know I have read it and will keep looking for verification. Actually, I think we've had this discussion on the forum before. Part of the reason it stands out in my mind is that I used to argue with the payroll manager who insisted on our seeing and copying the cards. Then I found out she was right!

HR in Okla
07-18-2003, 08:23 AM
I just did a search and found the info that I mentioned earlier. It was posted 4-29-03 by windjam. He or she refers to Circular E, Employers Tax Guide, rev. Jan. 03. It says the employer should ask to see the SS card to verify that the name on payroll matches exactly the name on the card. It also says it is permissable to make a copy.

07-21-2003, 04:56 AM
ADP sent us a notice a few months ago advising us to see the ssc and refered to IRS Notice 972CG.