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COVID-19 Has Changed Some Rules Around Expired Driver’s Licenses, Form I-9, and E-Verify

Toby Graham /

Driving around with an expired license is a big no-no in normal times.

Well, as I’m sure you’re aware by now, we no longer live in normal times. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several states are allowing residents to continue using driver’s licenses that would otherwise be set to expire. With many states’ physical Department of Motor Vehicles offices closed, the validity of some licenses has been automatically extended, and owners of expired licenses—including commercial drivers—may be able to renew online.

Got all that? Corona has undone a normal no-no, extended expiration durations, and nudged punctual renewal periods.

Again, whether there’s been an extension—as well as the scope and timeline of the extension—depends entirely on the state in question. Be sure to check with your legal advisor and your state’s DMV before allowing your drivers to carry around expired licenses.

There’s another upshot here, and it has to do with Form I-9 and the Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify website.

For those who may be unfamiliar, or need a refresher on their government alphabet soup: Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is the document that verifies whether an employee is legally authorized to work in the United States. E-Verify allows employers to submit I-9 Forms electronically.

During the coronavirus crisis, expired licenses may—in some cases—be used as List B documents for Form I-9. Here’s what the DHS has to say:

“If the employee’s state ID or driver’s license expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the state has extended the document expiration date due to COVID-19, then it is acceptable as a List B document for Form I-9. Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2 and enter ‘COVID-19 EXT’ in the Additional Information field. Employers may also attach a copy of the state motor vehicle department’s webpage or other notice indicating that their documents have been extended.”

To reiterate: due to COVID-19, a void ID may belong in Form I-9’s List B.

Simple, right?

If you’d like further guidance on this topic, feel free to reach out to us. For more information about keeping your employees safe and remaining compliant during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit KPA’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

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