I've been hired by a company recently and now they're finishing my paperwork. Today, I was asked to provide a photo ID. I'm going to use a picture of my license. I want to make sure this is normal procedure. I believe driver's license is public record so more than likely I won't be risking anything. I just like to be sure.

I'm from the United States.

  • 5
    Did you meet them on the internet?
    – Fattie
    Jan 17 '19 at 15:00
  • I expect you mean 'new-hire paperwork', not immigration paperwork, tax paperwork, job application etc. Please edit the title as needed.
    – smci
    Jan 17 '19 at 19:02
  • 40
    There seems to be a lot of negativity being expressed toward the OP in comments. IMO this question is perfectly reasonable. People should understand the privacy implications of things that they are being forced to do, and it's reasonable to ask about those privacy implications. Personally, I find it creepy and weird to be living in a time and place where a person needs government-issued photo ID in order to live. Historically, this is a recent innovation. There is also a slippery slope here that leads to internal passports as in the USSR.
    – user14026
    Jan 17 '19 at 19:44
  • 8
    Showing your company your ID is very normal in the United States. Giving your employer your ID to hold on to long-term is an enormous red flag, so that's what you should be weary of. But it is something that I have never heard a reputable company in the USA trying to do, so I would be astonished if someone asked you to do that.
    – Kevin
    Jan 17 '19 at 21:43
  • 1
    I applaud you for being sceptical of providing people with identification documents. It being standard practice does not necessarily make it a good practice. Also, note that your employer may be required to verify your identity, but to do strictly that, they will need to have a look at your ID and at you. Merely having a photocopy of identification documents is not proof of your identity or authenticity, and may not be required legally either. The fewer copies are made of your sensitive documents, the fewer possibilities arise for identity theft and other fraud.
    – RQM
    Jan 18 '19 at 9:23

In the United States, employers are required to complete an I-9 form that verifies you have the legal authority to work. That form requires the employer to check your ID, and includes a list of acceptable IDs. (USCIS page on I-9)


All documents must be UNEXPIRED.

Employees may present one selection from List A or a combination of one selection from List B and one selection from List C.


Documents that Establish Both Identity and Employment Authorization

  1. U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card

  2. Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)

  3. Foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machinereadable immigrant visa

  4. Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I-766)
  5. For a nonimmigrant alien authorized to work for a specific employer because of his or her status:

    1. Foreign passport; and
    2. Form I-94 or Form I-94A that has the following:
      1. The same name as the passport; and
      2. An endorsement of the alien's nonimmigrant status as long as that period of endorsement has not yet expired and the proposed employment is not in conflict with any restrictions or limitations identified on the form
  6. Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI


Documents that Establish Identity

  1. Driver's license or ID card issued by a State or outlying possession of the United States provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address

  2. ID card issued by federal, state or local government agencies or entities, provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address

  3. School ID card with a photograph

  4. Voter's registration card

  5. U.S. Military card or draft record

  6. Military dependent's ID card

  7. U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card

  8. Native American tribal document

  9. Driver's license issued by a Canadian government authority

For persons under age 18 who are unable to present a document listed above:

  1. School record or report card
  2. Clinic, doctor, or hospital record
  3. Day-care or nursery school record


Documents that Establish Employment Authorization

  1. A Social Security Account Number card, unless the card includes one of the following restrictions:

  2. Certification of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Forms DS-1350, FS-545, FS-240)

  3. Original or certified copy of birth certificate issued by a State, county, municipal authority, or territory of the United States bearing an official seal

  4. Native American tribal document

  5. U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)

  6. Identification Card for Use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)

  7. Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security

  • 3
    Could you include the list of acceptable IDs in your answer because when I tried to check in the link I got the nice message "Please wait...your PDF viewer may not be able to display this type of document"?
    – zakinster
    Jan 17 '19 at 18:20
  • 8
    @williamporter No, even downloading & opening it will result in that message (I just did it) unless you have one of a small subset of viewers (e.g. Adobe Acrobat). Other viewers are completely "valid" - this is a fairly unnecessary restriction. Also we prefer to have the content here rather than requiring people to download external resources to get the answer (though of course the external site should be considered authoritative!) Jan 17 '19 at 18:36
  • 6
    @LightnessRacesinOrbit Which is why I edited the post to include an image of the valid documents (should be in review queue currently). I figured I'd explain the source of the error to them however, as that seems polite. Also note that providing the content here could be an issue, as there may be updates to the list by the relevant authority, which a person simply viewing this question may not see.
    – willuwontu
    Jan 17 '19 at 18:42
  • 2
    Not having it translated into text makes this completely inaccessible to blind or otherwise sight-impaired individuals who use screenreaders.
    – Cooper
    Jan 17 '19 at 21:39
  • 10
    Well, if the US Gov't had not locked up the PDF so the text could not be extracted, a fellow could do that.
    – K7AAY
    Jan 17 '19 at 21:52

100% standard. They're just verifying that the person in front of them is the person they are claiming to be.

  • Reasons being that they clarify you're the person claiming to be able to do the job and you're not dodging tax.
    – Twyxz
    Jan 17 '19 at 14:58

Yes, this is very much normal in most of the organizations around the world. For example: Passport / voter ID card is the most common ones used in my country.

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