Electronic I-9 Form

Electronic i-9 form online completion is an option with SwiftCloud, but it’s a bit complex – not due to technology, but due to government regulations.

Below includes some guidance to how you want to handle your electronic i-9 form policies.

TL;DR: E-Sign I-9 can be e-signed, but the worker MUST present physical evidence to the employer, OR a representative who warrants the authenticity (i.e. clergy).

SwiftCloud has a free Electronic i-9 Form template for any subscriber to use; try it now and you can be setup in minutes. On the setup wizard look under Templates >> Government Docs >> USA to find it. You’ll also see other docs that may be useful for hiring under Staffing & HR.

NOTE: This is not legal advice. We formally recommend duly licensed and retained legal counsel for all legal questions.

In short, the I-9 form requires physical inspection of identity documents, and so a fully electronic I-9 form is possible only in combination with a human.

That seems a little…. retro, so we called the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who handles this, and the representative confirmed how we had read the law, although she kindly pointed out that the inspection could be delegated by employers, in the case of remote workers, to 3rd parties such as…

  • Clergy and religious leaders
  • Notaries, but they must sign, not just stamp, and apparently not all can (are allowed to)
  • Family even extended family
  • Any responsible adult (over 18 with legal capacity to sign) acting on behalf of either the worker or the employer, with the caveat that were an illegal worker presenting fake documents, if the inspection seemed negligent, that signor could be held legally liable for fraud.

After the Electronic i9 Form is completed, employers should run e-verify (enrollment below, free) to ensure compliance. Failure to do so could result in legal risk for your company – but it’s easy and free to use.

Further reading:

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