Q&A: If a worker shows a Social Security card with an expiration date, is it valid for I-9 purposes?

What looks to be an expiration date may not be.

Question

I work as a manager in a restaurant chain, and I am in charge of completing I-9s for new hires. I recently received a Social Security card from an employee that has what looks like an expiration date on the front, and the card appears to be expired. I know that I can only accept unexpired documents for I-9s, but the employee says that he just got the card and says that the date is not an expiration date. Can I accept the card for the employee’s I-9?

Answer

The employee is correct. Beginning in April 2007, the Social Security Administration (SSA) began printing the date of issuance on the face of Social Security cards. The date appears beneath the signature line. The date is not an expiration date (and, in fact, should always be a date in the past). So long as the card otherwise appears to be genuine, you can accept it as a List C document when completing the Form I-9.

For additional information about the various changes that the SSA has made to the Social Security card, see the SSA’s “Version History” page, available here.

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