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Can an I-9 Form Be Completed Electronically?

Yes! In fact, electronic I-9’s are the preferred method for this critical new hire form. Let’s look at the whole process and why going electronic just makes good compliance sense.

A Paper Process is Risky & Here’s Why:

1. Form I-9 must be completed within three paid working days of the employees start date.
2. There are 15 pages of instructions on how to complete Form I-9, making it a very complex form!
3. There are 69 pages in the I-9 Handbook for Employers M-274 – wow.
4. The Form must be fully completed, legible, and accurate – or there is a risk of technical and procedural violations in the case of an audit.

The Impact of Paper for Employers:

  • Using a manual process causes a 90% probability of at least one error on every Form I-9.
  • Paper I-9’s and verification documents must be stored securely without the risk of data getting into unauthorized hands.
  • Multi-location employers, such as restaurants, struggle to keep a secure and centralized I-9 process.
  • When audit time comes, producing and indexing paper I-9’s for the auditor becomes tedious with extremely tight timelines.

Now, let’s look at why an Electronic I-9 Processes is superior:

  • Eliminate the nasty notion of incorrect or incomplete I-9’s, because all information is collected during onboarding and cannot be “skipped”.
  • New hires attest to their citizenship and choose which documents they will bring for employment verification on their first day.
  • Hiring managers attach online & store copies of documents collected during employer the section, Part II.
  • If you use E-Verify, submit and manage new cases or re-verifications without leaving the Efficient Hire system.
  • Both the employee and the employer representative completing Part II, electronically sign the I-9 – complete with date and time.
  • Have peace of mind knowing we support you 100% in the case of an ICE audit.

It’s hard to disagree with that! Visit our Onboarding & I-9 Compliance page for more info, if you like.

What our customers are saying –

“It was great to call you up, give you the list of data the ICE auditor requested and have results in my hands within 24 hours. The Agent told me he really appreciated the electronic format with Efficient Hire, since it was easy for him to get the information he needed.

We were able to provide him with the exact date range of Forms he requested; which led to no questions about the start dates, e-Signature dates or any of the information.” Large McDonald’s Franchisee, May 2019

If you’re seeking more detail about the legality of the electronic signature on Form I-9, here’s a little more detail:

10.3.2 Electronic Signature of Form I-9 [Page 56 of the Handbook for Employers M-274]

If you complete Form I-9 electronically using an electronic signature, your system for capturing electronic signatures must allow signatories to acknowledge that they read the attestation and attach the electronic signature to an electronically completed Form I-9. The system must also:

– Affix the electronic signature at the time of the transaction;

– Create and preserve a record verifying the identity of the person producing the signature; and

– Upon request of the employee, provide a printed confirmation of the transaction to the person providing the signature.

Employers who complete Form I-9 electronically must attest to the required information in Section 2 of Form I-9. The system used to capture the electronic signature should include a method to acknowledge that the attestation to be signed has been read by the signatory.

About the Efficient Hire Electronic Signature:

Efficient Hire uses a proprietary process for employees and the employer/representative to e-Sign onboarding and Form I-9 electronically; complying with all government requirements.

We have successfully defended our e-Signature process multiple times since 2009, including through several I-9 audits, and have never had the validity and security of our e-Signature process over-turned. To date, no penalties have been assessed to customers using our I-9 and e-Signature process.

In the last year, specifically, we have defended the e-Signature relating to Arbitration Agreements [including CA] e-Signed by an employee during onboarding; including class action suits against employers and multiple court-related documents for motions to compel binding arbitration, which have all upheld in the employers’ defense.

As a busy restaurant operator, security firm, staffing agency, or any other industry that experiences high turnover, you are probably thinking about your HR compliance. Get in touch – we’re here to help!

source: Can an I-9 Form Be Completed Electronically?

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