E-Verify begins checking Nebraska Driver’s License and ID Cards
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that as of February 1, 2015, the E-Verify system now checks driver’s licenses and ID cards from the state of Nebraska when presented by a new hire for the Form I-9. Nebraska is the fifth state to join the Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE) Program, which was launched in June of 2011 to address issues of identity theft and document fraud in the hiring process. Other participating states include Mississippi, Florida, Idaho, and Iowa.
What does this mean for employers using the E-Verify system? Read-on for a brief history of the program and some tips and tricks for ensuring a smooth “ride” on your next E-Verify submission.
As employers know all too well, the ultimate goal of E-Verify is to accurately confirm a new hire’s work authorization following the I-9 process. It sounds simple enough, but in the early years, E-Verify was plagued with database errors and inconsistencies (in fact, a TNC rate of 8 to 12% was once considered normal!). Part of this problem was due to the underlying data upon which E-Verify relies, including more than 450 million records in SSA’s NUMIDENT database and more than 80 million records in various DHS immigration databases.
During the past few years, the USCIS has dramatically improved E-Verify’s accuracy rate through an expansion of available databases and better quality control procedures. The end result is that there are now fewer “false negatives” in the system (person legally authorized to work receives mismatch), which has helped facilitate employer adoption (along with an increasing number of mandatory E-Verify laws).
Despite these improvements, many lawmakers and employers still worry about “false positives,” which occur when a person who is not authorized to work in the U.S. is confirmed by E-Verify as work-authorized. Typically, false positives occur when an employee presents stolen, counterfeit, or “borrowed” identity documents which have been altered so that they appear as if they belong to the employee presenting the ID. While the E-Verify photo tool addresses some of these concerns (for US passports, green cards, and EADs), there are still many other documents (such as a driver’s license) which can slip through the E-Verify cracks.
Enter the Ride Program
Recognizing that approximately 80% of employees use a driver’s license during the I-9 process, the USCIS formed a partnership with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) which provides real-time motor vehicle document verification based on the document ID number and date of birth. The goal is to enroll as many states as possible and (perhaps) eventually gain access to the driver’s license and ID photos themselves. While the AAMVA has access to all state databases throughout the country, many states have been slow to sign-on (primarily due to privacy concerns). Nevertheless, the USCIS has been steadily advancing the program through frequent outreach efforts and a new 4-year sole-source commitment to work exclusively with the AAMVA in supporting the RIDE program.
Completing an E-Verify Case for a RIDE-Enabled List B Document
The process itself is fairly straight-forward: if the employee presents a driver’s license, driver’s permit, or state-issued ID card during the I-9 process, E-Verify will automatically prompt the employer to enter the document number and expiration (as applicable). Although the RIDE program does not actually display the driver’s license photo, the system will check to see if the data itself is valid and issue a DHS tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) if it does not match DMV records. In the event of a TNC, the employer must follow the usual steps (see here for a refresher).
Tips and Tricks for a Successful RIDE Submission
1. Choose the right document type and issuing authority
In most states, driver’s licenses and ID cards will often look alike (same agency, similar requirements, etc.), but it’s important that you choose the correct document type during the E-Verify submission in order to avoid a TNC. Fortunately, E-Verify has created a detailed fact sheet for each participating state which provides sample images and descriptions of the different document types. Here are the currently available fact sheets:
2. Review your TNC policies and procedures
In the past, we’ve noticed a slight uptick in TNCs when a new state goes live with the program. In light of this possibility, employers should ensure that their I-9 verifiers follow a carefully orchestrated TNC process which not only informs the new hire of the mismatch, but also enables him/her to contest the TNC and continue working in the interim. Employers will also need to follow up with pending E-Verify TNCs and take appropriate action when a final result is received back from the system.
3. Consider an integrated electronic I-9 and E-Verify system
Employers using an integrated electronic I-9 and E-Verify system can automatically transmit the document ID and expiration date to E-Verify once it has been recorded in section 2 of the I-9 and “approved” for sending to E-Verify. This step not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood that document information might be transcribed incorrectly from the I-9 form (and every mistake can lead to a TNC). A well-designed electronic I-9 system will also apply the correct document ID validation and walk you through the entire TNC process (from employee notification to signature to follow-up).
Need more information on E-Verify RIDE or electronic I-9 system integration? Please contact us with any questions you might have!