Does the Form I9 Require Notarization?

All employers must fill in Form I-9 introduced by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services to verify the identity of employees and their eligibility status to work in the US. This is compulsory for all employees, whether they are a citizen or non-citizen of the United States. 

Notaries receive frequent requests to notarize I-9 forms and they get confused regarding their authority to provide I9 verification services. The lack of a notarial certificate on the form to allow them to notarize and affix their seal, increase their confusion. The I-9 form requires the employers to inspect and scrutinize the identity proof submitted to ascertain the eligibility to work in the US. The use of this form is federally mandated for all employers, and employees are required this on their first day of work.

People are clueless about I9 verification services. There is still no clarity regarding the exact authentication process of the Form I9. Another major confusion is the need for apostille services for the I9 form in case of an intercountry job switch.

To clarify, the I9 form itself does not require any notarization or authentication, but clients often request notaries for it under the impression that the I9 verification servicesrequire a notary stamp. Some states prohibit notaries from filling these forms. However, if the state allows it, the employee should first obtain written permission from the employer, designating him/her as an authorized representative. Even if the notary is completing the I9 form in that capacity, they should never use their seal or the title “Notary Public.”

Since the form does not require notarization, the I9 form will be rejected if it has a notary stamp and seals under any circumstance. The I-9 form is not meant to be submitted to any office. It has to be recorded and kept on file with the employer for three years post joining or for one year after the termination of employment, whichever is longer. This form needs to be produced if investigators or inspectors from DHS visit the office and ask to see it.