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 BEWARE of the Homeland Security form I-9
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Angela V

California
19 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2013 :  10:29:44 PM  Show Profile  Visit Angela V's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I too received a recent request to "notarize" this form. Like Kenneth, I informed my client I was unable to complete and sign the form in my capacity as a notary. I could only attach the acknowledgement to notarize "his" signature. Not being familiar with the form, I assumed the employer may have wanted the notarization, knowing that I would have verified the signer's identity as required by law. My client decided to go with the attachment.

I was not aware that notaries were offering this "side" business on form I-9 (like field inspections). Thanks for the information.

Angela V
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17516

Texas
24 Posts

Posted - 09/24/2012 :  05:15:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit 17516's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This was direct from the SoS in texas:

From: "Jody Furlan" <JFurlan@sos.state.tx.us>
Date: Sep 11, 2012 1:30 PM
Subject: I-9 /FORMS


Some states might authorize their notaries to complete and attest to an I-9 form on behalf of an employer, but Texas notaries are not authorized to do so.



According to information I found in the USCIS Handbook for Employers (http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/m-274.pdf), an employer’s “designated agent” can complete the I-9 form on behalf of the employer. The handbook states, with regard to certification of Section 2 of the form, “If a designated agent or notary public completes this section, he or she must provide the employer’s name and address under his or her signature.”

So, an employer could designate an agent to complete the form. A Texas notary has no independent authority to complete the form. If you are a notary, and an employer designates you as its agent to complete the form, then you could complete the form as a designated agent. You could not put your notary stamp on it or otherwise suggest that you completed it in your capacity as a Texas notary.

Warmly,

Tonie
Visit my site:
http://www.dashnotary.com

I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Texas,
and I may not give legal advice or accept fees for legal advice.

Edited by - 17516 on 09/24/2012 05:22:15 AM
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Lucky225

Colorado
1 Posts

Posted - 08/21/2012 :  8:51:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by macheek

quote:
Originally posted by 17336


I am an approved I-9 processor and am NOT afraid to process them.
Best Wishes,
Kjamison
Charlotte, NC
Kimberly



How do you go about becoming a I-9 processor?



A notary here in Colorado Springs has some info about it

From what I gather you have to pass a DHS E-verify training and exam and get the employer to authorize you as an AGENT via a contract/written agreement, making it clear you're not notarizing the I-9, but simply acting as the employer.
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macheek

California
6 Posts

Posted - 08/16/2012 :  2:59:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit macheek's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 17336


I am an approved I-9 processor and am NOT afraid to process them.
Best Wishes,
Kjamison
Charlotte, NC
Kimberly



How do you go about becoming a I-9 processor?
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edelske

New York
742 Posts

Posted - 05/18/2012 :  2:25:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I just had a caller today who wanted me to "sign off" on an I9. He mentioned the reference to having a notary complete the certification. He reported having a "hard time" finding a notary willing to sign the form in the "required" place.

I offered the usual, I am willing to a (loose) acknowledgement of his signature; but that is not what his prospective employer wanted. He was literally frantic. His job was "on the line" and he could not proceed without getting the "silly" thing signed by a notary.

He said he had many proofs of being a US citizen and certainly was qualified to work in the US. He could present a SS card, various school records, tax records, etc. I told him that his employer to be should be the one to sign the form.

He finally told me that they wanted "someone else" to sign the form and that the "someone else" would be the "responsibility party" if, if fact; he was not qualified to take the job.

How unfair and absurdly this requirement is implemented. If Homeland Security REALLY wanted "teeth" in this form - THEY should do the necessary investigation and THEY should judge the merits of his "proofs".

It's really sad that he offered well over a "piggyback edoc" fee for my signature - just so his application package would be complete at the interview. I have no answers - just bemoan his predicament.

Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
http://www.kenneth-a-edelstein.com
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tundrades

Texas
28 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2012 :  10:33:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit tundrades's Homepage  Reply with Quote
All U.S. employers must complete and retain a Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. On the form, the employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the individual and record the document information on the Form I-9. The list of acceptable documents can be found on the last page of the form. A copy of Employer's Hanbook M-274 can be obtained by Clicking Here.

In most cases the I-9 is completed on site by the employer. There are cases where the employer may need to be the I-9 completed off site. No where on the I-9 form or in the instructions is there a provission for a Notary to complete the I-9 form. Yet in the hanbook issued by USCIS it states "If a designated agent or notary public completes this section, ........." Sadly this has caused confussion among employers and even Notaries. It is unclear the intention of the person(s) who drafted the handbook. Where they refering to Notaries Outside the USA or all Notaries globaly.

Can a Notary Public (USA) complete an I-9 in their capacity of a Notary complete an I-9 form. The answer is NO. Not the way the I-9 form is set up it is not configured for Notaries to complete the I-9 as Notaries.

In the USA each state Noataries are governed by their states statues. There are some states that have clear defined statues about Notaries and I-9 while others do not. For those states that have no clear statues regarding I-9 here is food for thought Notaries asked to assist in the completion of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility and Verification, beware: the uninitiated can easily be led into an unauthorized “notarization” or worse, notarization of one’s own signature. What you don’t understand about the Form I-9 and related documents can hurt you!

Texas clearly prohibits the Notary from completing the I-9 form ( expect in one situation where they employed by the employer and it is clearly defined in their job description taht part of their duties is completion of I-9's.)


Desmond OConnor
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edelske

New York
742 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2011 :  05:01:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by 17336

I agree with Notary007... unless you have gone through the training and are certified electronically to be an I-9 processor through the DHS, then you don't fully understand. Please don't WARN, people of something that you have a limited understanding.
I am an approved I-9 processor and am NOT afraid to process them.

Best Wishes,

Kjamison
Charlotte, NC

Kimberly



It's not a matter of being afraid - as noted in prior posts; Texas prohibits notary processing of I-9. The issue is what specific state laws allow their notaries to do. Your training and skills would not be an advantage if your state laws prohibited such activities. I for one would not want to be in the position of litigating my activities; claiming that they were permitted under federal law; when the same activities were prohibited by my state laws. Just not worth it. I do indeed think it's right for me to WARN fellow notaries to verify, with their license authority; their state's position on such activities.

It has been mentioned that I am both an individual and a notary. One school of thought is that I as an individual can process the I-9; not using my "notary hat". If someone finds me due to my notary advertising, selects me because of my notary commission, and, to some extent; relies on my "integrity" as a "public official"; then they have hired a notary. IMHO it would be wrong to "split" the notary from the individual; when the individual benefits from the notary "image".

I have not taken the electronic training, however I have very carefully read the form; and it's related instructions. I don't like the "agent relationship"; the statement of "qualified to work", nor the fact that at least one state specifically prohibits their notaries from signing the form. Some choose to do these, some do not - it is indeed a "gray" area.

As this is not a notary notarization; it would appear to fall outside of my E&O "umbrella" coverage. THAT scares me a bit.


Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
http://www.kenneth-a-edelstein.com

Edited by - edelske on 10/24/2011 10:43:35 AM
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17336

North Carolina
7 Posts

Posted - 10/24/2011 :  04:50:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I agree with Notary007... unless you have gone through the training and are certified electronically to be an I-9 processor through the DHS, then you don't fully understand. Please don't WARN, people of something that you have a limited understanding.
I am an approved I-9 processor and am NOT afraid to process them.

Best Wishes,

Kjamison
Charlotte, NC

Kimberly
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LindaH

Florida
1610 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2011 :  05:52:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit LindaH's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I see your point and agree with you Ken - but unless you know of a strict prohibition in the State of New York against a "business" signing these (if that "business" also happens to be a notary) my point is, remember, the "notary" part of you is not doing it - it's the "businessman" that's doing it.

Just like field inspections - notaries don't do them - businesspeople do them.

Now, if the employer insists you sign off as "notary public" THEN that employer has a problem.


MHO



Linda
http://www.notary.net/websites/LindaHubbell
http://www.columbiacountynotary.webs.com
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edelske

New York
742 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2011 :  04:27:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LindaH

Ken - I think you can save yourself some time and determine the answer yourself..



Linda,
It's so unusual for me to totally disagree with you. I think caution is required and saving some time - at the risk of running "afoul" of my license is not typical of your usually conservative approach.

With the very firm precedent of the State of Texas issuing a total prohibition of notaries processing I-9, this is not a judgement call for me to make on my own.

Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
http://www.kenneth-a-edelstein.com
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LindaH

Florida
1610 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2011 :  03:53:37 AM  Show Profile  Visit LindaH's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ken - I think you can save yourself some time and determine the answer yourself..

Just as you change hats to do loan signings - switching between your notary public hat and your signing agent hat - this is just another hat you wear...one where the employer appoints you, Ken the citizen, as its designated agent to meet with the employee, review original ID and say "okay, the ID is good"...you do not sign off on this as a notary. They call you, the notary, because of the perceived trustworthiness of the notary public, but it's you, Ken, the citizen and designated agent, who are performing the service and signing the I9.

Linda
http://www.notary.net/websites/LindaHubbell
http://www.columbiacountynotary.webs.com
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edelske

New York
742 Posts

Posted - 10/04/2011 :  03:25:38 AM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
TGS,

Thank you for a logical and well structured approach. As the "tide" of educated opinions is running against me..... I will ask my County Clerk here in New York County if they would approve of such activity. I will bring along a copy of your post - which summarizes the situation. They usually say "You notarize the signature - nothing more". However, as a "designated agent" perhaps THEY will see your logic as clearly as I do.
I will report back their "ruling" - which will guide my activity. It's not a good idea to "annoy" the one who renews my commission; nor do I intend to perform "behind their back" such activities. If they say it's OK - it's time for me to reread the I-9 handbook!

Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
http://www.kenneth-a-edelstein.com
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TGS1985

California
201 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2011 :  05:15:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit TGS1985's Homepage  Reply with Quote
No problem Ken. I can appreciate your cautiousness regarding the document. Having been an insurance agent prior to being a notary you can never be too careful.

That said, after reading the employer handbook provided by 007 and my knowledge of my state's notary laws I don't see anything preventing me nor putting me in substantial risk from performing this service.

I think Linda nail it on the head with her loan signing example. That said I think I've come up with a solution if you still feeling uncomfortable providing the signing as someone who is a notary public.

When the employer calls you saying "Hi, I need a I-9 notarized" why not respond "Well the I-9 actually doesn't need notarization, but based on my years of experience confirming identification I can still offer you my services as your designated agent." That way right off the bat you’re eliminating yourself as a notary and instead establishing yourself as an agent (The I-9 Employers Handbook specifically lists Employer, Designated Agent, or Notary as individuals that can complete the certification). When you actually meet the employee to certify the I-9, you can now put down Designated Agent as your title. That way you eliminate any chance of being mistaken as a notary public regarding this service.

Edited by - TGS1985 on 10/02/2011 05:44:09 AM
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edelske

New York
742 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2011 :  12:09:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I doubt if the I-9 is covered under an E&O policy. Any "Notary" activity that is outside my E&O coverage is simply refused.


Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
http://www.kenneth-a-edelstein.com

Edited by - edelske on 09/29/2011 12:10:55 PM
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designated1

California
7 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2011 :  11:12:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BEWARE! I recently received an offer to verify an applicant's identity on an I-9 Form. Initial offer via email was alluring. Who doesn't want extra revenue? Prior to doing some research - a "red flag" went up. When I received the employer's "Agreement", red flags were waiving. The email invited me as a "designated agent". I was later sent an Agreement that read "NOTARY" in every sentence (in bold print). I-9 Forms do not require notarization. Verifying a person's work credentials is not an official notarial act. I was being asked to sign the Agreement as a Notary. The Agreement was made and governed by laws in another state too. Oh, they also wanted a copy of my E&O Policy! As we all should know, E&O is for "....liability for breach of duty while acting as a duly commissioned and sworn Notary Public,...".

As an individual, yes! (not a Notary Public), this might be something I would look into doing for some extra $$, however, without proper training -"no can do"
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edelske

New York
742 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2011 :  06:34:43 AM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
on the blank entry i accidentally pressed enter - then went in and added the body - brain and fingers are sometimes out of sync
ken
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LindaH

Florida
1610 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2011 :  06:30:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit LindaH's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by edelske

Linda,


Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
http://www.kenneth-a-edelstein.com



Yes??...:)

Linda
http://www.notary.net/websites/LindaHubbell
http://www.columbiacountynotary.webs.com
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edelske

New York
742 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2011 :  06:18:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Linda,

As usual you have done a perfect analysis of of my (flawed) posting - and I thank you for showing its defect.

Allow me to correct the mess I made in my prior post.

What is at issue is the use of my Signature. It is perfectly acceptable for me to be "selected" based on my (laying it on thick) sterling reputation as Notary Public.

I can (because I am a Notary) be selected to judge a beauty contest (I wish), babysit, walk the dog or clean the oven.

However, what I am forbidden is to use my Signature other than to notarize the statements of others. During a Signing, (actually prior to), I am selected for Signing Agent knowledge. I use those skills during the process, and affix my signature to notarize. One document often calls for the notary to "make a statement". That is the common "Statement of Identity" whereby the notary is asked to confirm the ID documents presented. I have the borrower sign where their name is printed and notarize their signature. Never had a "call back" on it.

Again, my thanks for highlighting my lack of completeness in my prior post and I shall try to be more thorough in the future; always mindful that you are indeed watching!


Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
http://www.kenneth-a-edelstein.com

Edited by - edelske on 09/28/2011 06:30:53 AM
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LindaH

Florida
1610 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2011 :  05:41:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit LindaH's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"In other words I cannot "switch back and forth" between roles (individual / notary) when sought out for being a notary"

Ken, based on this rationale, then you don't do loan signings? Because most companies contract a "notary" to facilitate their loan signings - so based on your statements, you would only go, notarize those docs where required, and skip the rest - because you can't "switch" roles? I know you know that the bulk of a loan signing package is non-notary work - you statement would preclude you from doing any loan signings.

JMO

Linda
http://www.notary.net/websites/LindaHubbell
http://www.columbiacountynotary.webs.com
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edelske

New York
742 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2011 :  04:56:27 AM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thank You Tylor,

That was a Great Post, showing the specific prohibition.

Can I complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, on behalf of an employer?

No. Although the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would allow a notary public to fill out Form I-9 on the behalf of an employer, Texas notaries public are not provided this authority under Texas law. Therefore, if an employer requests that you complete any portion of a Form I-9 in your capacity as a notary public, you should refuse.


I wish I had a similar citation to post.

Here in New York County (Manhattan) the rule is very specific from the office of the County Clerk - who "holds" my license.

"As a notary, you notarize the signatures (following proper procedures) on the document, nothing more". We are strictly forbidden from "certifying anything", we cannot certify copies, or even certify that it was raining on Tuesday. We many not make "statements of fact" that are not part of a standard notarization.

Of course as an individual (not in my "notary role") I can make a statement and have it notarized if I wish.

However; if someone "seeks me out because I am a notary" - then I may not use my "identity checking skills" to "certify" their identity.

In other words I cannot "switch back and forth" between roles (individual / notary) when sought out for being a notary. I regret this is not codified into law. But anyone doubting the accuracy may call the office of the New York County Clerk and will be told - "You notarize the signature - nothing more".

Consider me "chicken", or consider me "law abiding"; over the past active decade I have never been in a courtroom - and a (usually) minor fee for the (very) rare I-9 request is always declined.

Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
http://www.kenneth-a-edelstein.com

Edited by - edelske on 09/28/2011 07:41:55 AM
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Renee

Michigan
549 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2011 :  04:25:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Renee's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I also do I-9's as 007 & Linda (and I'm sure lots of others). I never found it all that confusing - but the training mentioned by 007 would likely be helpful in understanding the procedures.

*Linda - I think 007 mentioned that available training just for information purposes, not as anything actually required.
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TGS1985

California
201 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2011 :  03:52:45 AM  Show Profile  Visit TGS1985's Homepage  Reply with Quote
This seems very straight forward to me and as long as you know what you're doing you shouldn't have to worry about getting in trouble.

Basically it’s a form that requires no notarization however most employers mistakenly hire notaries to act as agents thinking that it does. That said there is nothing preventing a Notary from acting as an agent. All the notary needs to do is NOT notarize the document for any reason and make sure their ID checking skills are up to the task.


However, during my research I did come across this interesting tid-bit from the Texas SOS.

http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/faqs2300.shtml#np24

How I interpreted it was, while the USCIS might allow an employer to appoint anyone they feel fit to act as an agent, the Texas SOS strictly prohibits Texan notaries from performing the act. So definitely want to cross reference with your state’s SoS website.

So probably worth wild for everyone to ask check their State SoS websites to see if they say anything on the matter.

- Tyler Soares -
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LindaH

Florida
1610 Posts

Posted - 09/27/2011 :  03:21:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit LindaH's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I'm curious 007 - twice in your post you mention "training" to deal with an I-9 signing? What kind of training is required? I've seen this form - other than obtaining a letter from the employer designating the notary as their "agent" for the particular transaction, I don't see where any "training" is required at all to do this.

JMO

Linda
http://www.notary.net/websites/LindaHubbell
http://www.columbiacountynotary.webs.com
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Notary007

60 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  4:04:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why would a mobile notary drive to an appointment without first asking the customer what type of document they have when accepting the appointment? If they say it is a Form I-9 you can decline or refer them to someone else, or if you are trained for it, then you can accept.

The notary may not choose or recommend to attach an acknowledgement or jurat to a Form I-9. That is practicing law. The Form I-9 needs to be completed according to the instructions.

A notary does not attest to anything on a Form I-9. It is not a notarial act. It is a contracted service you can choose to provide to an employer, if you are trained, just like you can choose to provide loan signing services.

Many general notaries do not offer loan signing services. They may feel it is too risky and too complicated. They can also choose to seek training and develop new skills to increase their revenue.
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jbelmont

California
2618 Posts

Posted - 09/26/2011 :  1:21:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbelmont's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A big issue for mobile notaries is that the client does not inform you ahead of time that you have an I-9 to notarize. You might find out after an hour's commute to the job and have to sacrafice your trip fee when the client refuses to pay.

It seems dangerous for a notary to attest to anything they are not qualified to attest to. I think it is safer to stick to notarizing a signature. That might mean adding an acknowledgment form. Or have the employee attest in a Jurat that they are legal to work in the USA. There are all types of ways around tricky situations.

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edelske

New York
742 Posts

Posted - 06/21/2011 :  1:10:19 PM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Regarding form I-9 available at:
http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf

Over the past few months I have received several requests for me to "notarize" form I-9. There are 2 possible places where the caller is wanting me to put my signature, stamp, seal, etc. Both are inappropriate.

The first is in Section 2 (The instructions say to be completed and signed by employer) where I have been asked to sign as "Authorized Representative" it states:

CERTIFICATION: I attest, under penalty of perjury, that I have examined the document(s) presented by the above-named employee, that the above-listed document(s) appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee named, that the employee began employment on [mm/dd/yy] and that to the best of my knowledge the employee is authorized to work in the United States.

The second is in Section 3 (Again, the instructions say to be completed and signed by employer).

I attest under penalty of perjury, that to the best of my knowledge, this employee is authorized to work in the United States, and if the employee presented documents(s) the documents(s) I have examined appear to be genuine and to relate to the individual.

It appears IMHO that employers want to have notaries get "on the hook" for qualifying prospective employee's "legal to work" status.

This is NOT notarization - BOTH signature areas ask for "Signature of Employer or Authorized Representative" - that surely is not me. There is no place on the form that requests a notary signature.

The ONLY way I would "touch" this form is to add a loose ack to notarize the signature of the employee at the top of the form. But, in my experience - that is not what the client wants.


If you get a request to notarize an I-9 - in the immortal words of Clint Eastwood, "Think it Over".

Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
http://www.kenneth-a-edelstein.com
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