Q: What Is an I-9?

When you hire a new employee, they need to fill out an I-9 in order for you to run payroll.

An I-9 is a form from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services agency that confirms your employee’s identity and right to work in the United States.

Along with the form, your new hire must show proof that confirms their identity and can legally work in the US.

What documents count as proof?

  • For eligibility to work: Acceptable documents include a citizens ID card, state ID card, social security number card, and certified birth certificates.

Once you’ve accepted and reviewed their documents, you’ve agreed that the employee has proven their identity and authorization to work in the US.

Who fills out an I-9 form?

Both you and your employee need to fill out the I-9 form; they fill out section one, and you complete section two. It’s your responsibility as an employer to make sure the form is fully filled out and stored safely in your records. You don’t need to mail this anywhere, but have to be able to find it if government officials request it.

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Are there any costs for an I-9 form?


Pro tip: You don’t need to fill one out for a volunteer or a contractor.

Still not sure what other forms you need to onboard employees? Some payroll providers streamline the full onboarding process, so you make sure your employees and your business are compliant and ready to go.


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