Notarizing Authorization for I-9 Forms

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Real Estate Services with Claudia Casasola, Notary Services

I was asked by a customer to notarize a form for Remote Hire attesting that I had verified that the documentation required for the I-9 form was valid. The form basically said that the Notary was acting as an agent of the company in verifying the documents, and provided a place to sign and put the notary seal. I refused to notarize such form since there is nothing in the State of California handbook that says anything about it, and also because I'm not an employee of such company and of course was not going to notarize my own signature.

There seems to be some controversy in the issue where some notaries are actually notarizing this form, and some others have refused. The State of Texas specifically prohibits notaries from notarizing the I-9 (http://www.sos.state.tx.us/statdoc/faqs2300.shtml#np23), but the State of California does not address this specific issue. As explained to me by a representative of the National Notary Association, not all the states cover every specific form there is out there, because there are too many to address! It all comes down to the fact that when notarizing a document, a Notary is not attesting as to the authencity of the same, but is verifying that the person signing the document is who he/she says is, and is signing the document on his/her own volition.

If I would have signed the form attached to the I-9, I would have been saying that I was an agent for the hiring company, and that I had checked the documents provided for identification by the to-be-employee, and that the documents were valid proof of the right to work in the United States. They also wanted the Notary to fill out the I-9 form, and notaries are prohibited from filling out documents for customers, another NO-NO!

The following is from the National Notary Association. http://www.nationalnotary.org/news/index.cfm?text=newsnotary&newsid=1798&newscat=21

"An I-9 is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form submitted by an employer to verify that a job applicant is legally authorized to work in the United States. Notaries often receive contradictory information regarding these forms because the instructions on I-9s state that an employer may designate a ‘third party agent’ to verify an applicant’s ID and sign a statement attesting that they did so. Suggested ‘third party agents’ in the instructions include Notaries and attorneys.However, verifying a person’s work credentials is not an official notarial act. By signing such a statement and affixing your seal to it, you would effectively be notarizing your own signature, which is prohibited in most states. If you choose to perform this task, you must do so as a private individual. Do not use your Notary seal or write the title “Notary Public” under your signature. Be aware that private employers often add erroneous instructions to those already on the I-9, directing Notaries to place their seal on the form. Don’t do it."

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Location:
California
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notarizing i9 forms
notary i9
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Rainer
2,884
Claudia Casasola
Claudia Casasola, Notary Services

It has been almost two years since I posted this blog entry. Not much has changed since then. Thanks all for your contributions/comments. I did some more research today, but all I could find was a notary in Lancaster, CA who says she notarizes the signature on section 1 of the I-9 form with a separate acknowledgement, and would sign section 2 if the employee provides a letter saying she's an authorized representative of the company for the purpose of completing the I-9 form, but does not notarize section 2. Fair enough.

I suppose is a way around having the part 1 signature notarized, and having the I-9 form completed. 

Anyway, I still have to see any company giving such authorization, or accepting only part 1 of the form to be notarized.

If you arrived at this site looking to have your I-9 notarized, I may be able to help you notarizing YOUR signature in part 1, but would require an authorization from the company for part 2, and will NOT notarize my signature.

 

May 17, 2011 04:19 PM
Anonymous #14
Anonymous
N

I work for a staffing company, we hire people outside of the state for clients in those states. I had a question about the I-9's. We are having an "authorized rep" fill out section 2 of the form, a person who can see the original List documents. Then they are faxing the filled out form to us. Do we need them to actually send us the form the ACTUALLY filled out, or does a faxed copy work?

April 03, 2012 10:42 AM
Rainer
2,884
Claudia Casasola
Claudia Casasola, Notary Services

 

"I work for a staffing company, we hire people outside of the state for clients in those states. I had a question about the I-9's. We are having an "authorized rep" fill out section 2 of the form, a person who can see the original List documents. Then they are faxing the filled out form to us. Do we need them to actually send us the form the ACTUALLY filled out, or does a faxed copy work?"

I cannot answer your question with either option simply because I have no legal recourse to do so. You or the company should consult the US Citizenship and Immigration Services rules to see if they have something to say about that, or your company should decide ond what to accept for your records.

April 04, 2012 10:18 PM
Anonymous #16
Anonymous
Loves Key West

My job requires me to review I-9's for employees who work remotely.  I-9's are required by Homeland Security for every employee who works in the US.  The form is readily available on their website and can be downlaoded within a few minutes.  Homeland Security approves of the signing of I-9's by a Notary.  No state can overrule the Federal government.  Because my company does work for the Department of Energy, we are required to go one step further and enter all of the information into the Homeland Securities website which is call E-Verify.  I must match the copy of the document that you just viewed to on one the website and verify they are the same.  Eventually, every employer in the US will be required to do the same thing.  Do us all a favor... just sign the form and collect your money.  You are looking at state and government issued documents and attesting to the fact that the person sitting in front of you is indeed the person pictured in the document.  You are not doing anything illegal!!!

March 25, 2013 01:01 PM
Anonymous #17
Anonymous
Loves Key West

P.S. The form recently changedbut the old form can still be used until May of this year. 

March 25, 2013 01:05 PM
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Claudia Casasola

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