September Changes to E-Verify: Iowa Joins RIDE and New Further Action Notice
While most parents are preparing their children for back-to-school this September, USCIS has been busy with enhancements to the E-Verify system.
IOWA JOINS RIDE
Beginning September 8, 2013, the Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE) Program will be adding Iowa to the program. This means that data from ID and driver’s licenses issued by the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) can now be inputted into the E-Verify system to be checked against the records of the MVD database for accuracy.
The addition of Iowa as the fourth state to join the RIDE program is another step towards combatting document fraud, a challenge that has plagued USCIS ever since the rollout of the E-Verify system. In addition, Mississippi, Florida and Idaho are the other three states currently participating in the RIDE program.
Employers are affected by the RIDE program only when workers present documents issued from any of the four states who participate in the program, regardless of where the employer’s place of employment is. For example, an employer participating in E-Verify may be located in Oregon. The employer’s newly hired worker has presented an Iowa driver’s license along with a social security card during the I-9 process. In this example, the employer would be prompted to enter the driver’s license data during the E-Verify case process, where the system will automatically check Iowa MVD’s records for a match. You can read more details about the RIDE system here.
NEW “TNC FURTHER ACTION NOTICE” LETTER
Starting September 9, users who directly access the E-Verify system online will have fewer screens to navigate when a case receives a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC). In addition, the TNC Notification Letter and the Referral Letter will now be merged into one, three-page document, entitled the Further Action Notice (FAN). Click below to enlarge the sample FAN document.
The FAN will still require signatures from both the employer and the worker and should be kept on file with the Form I-9. Lastly, a new one page Referral Date Confirmation letter will be generated for the worker, if the worker elects to contest the TNC. The letter will indicate the date by which the worker must visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) or contact the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Click below to enlarge the sample Referral Date Confirmation Letter.
Direct access users will have an opportunity, beginning Monday September 9th, to take a tutorial offered by USCIS.
Web service users (employers who use electronic I-9 and E-Verify software developed by their organization or by their vendors) will be given a grace period (usually six months) to incorporate these new enhancements to the system. In today’s teleconference, the USCIS further reassured callers that E-Verify web service users may continue to generate the current TNC notices/referral letters without issue until the six-month deadline has been reached.
As a side note, this is yet another benefit of using an electronic I-9 system as it provides employers with ample time to train HR staff on the new procedures as well as update policy manuals. Furthermore, during today’s teleconference call, USCIS’ Technical Leaders confirmed that employers are permitted to use an electronic signature for the new FAN, furthering efforts by employers to move to an entirely digital interface, particularly when worksites may not have access to physical printers. Our readers interested in additional benefits and features of an electronic I-9 and E-Verify software system should visit our Guardian page.
Although the enhancements may not seem too exciting at first, it signals USCIS’ increased desire to streamline the E-Verify process for employers and workers. With a fourth state joining the RIDE program, will the more populous states be added this year as well? Obviously, if California, Texas or New York enter the RIDE program, the accuracy rate for E-Verify may be significantly improved. Yet, it still remains how USCIS plans on incorporating the photo-matching component to the RIDE program, if at all, as a means to further combat document fraud.