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.

  • 7
    Did you meet them on the internet?
    – Fattie
    Jan 17, 2019 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, 2019 at 19:02
  • 50
    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, 2019 at 19:44
  • 10
    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, 2019 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, 2019 at 9:23

4 Answers 4


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)


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:

  6. Foreign passport; and

  7. Form I-94 or Form I-94A that has the following:

  8. The same name as the passport; and

  9. 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

  10. 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

##LIST B ###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

##LIST C ###Documents that Establish Employment Authorization

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




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

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

  7. Native American tribal document

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

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

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

transcription above

  • 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, 2019 at 18:20
  • @zakinster you'll get that error if you try to open the document in a browser, you need to download it and then open it in a valid PDF viewer such as adobe acrobat.
    – willuwontu
    Jan 17, 2019 at 18:36
  • 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, 2019 at 18:36
  • 8
    @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, 2019 at 18:42
  • @LightnessRacesinOrbit: PDF Xchange opened it (the printable I-9 form, and the instructions, and the fillable I-9 form) just fine, so it is not restricted to Adobe.
    – Ben Voigt
    Jan 18, 2019 at 3:56

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, 2019 at 14:58
  • And in the USA, a US passport also proves that you have the right to work. A German passport for example would show that you are who you claim to be, but you would have to show separately that you have the right to work in the USA.
    – gnasher729
    Feb 2 at 10:10

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.


In most countries, the employer must check that you have the right to work. This has two obvious parts: They have to check that you are who you say you are, and that you have the right to work. Most people are lucky and their identity gives them the right to work. In the USA, that would be any official photo ID that also shows you are a US citizen, typically in the USA a US passport or US driving license, or a document showing that you have the right of work that also has a photo.

In the UK it used to be that any EU passport identified you and gave you the right of work. Nowadays only a UK passport gives you the right of work; an EU passport identifies you and then there is a simple procedure to check that you have the right of work. US citizens would have to show their passport and an additional document showing their right to work.

  • A US driver's license does not show that you are a US citizen or that you have the right to work. Some states issue driver's licenses to non-citizen residents, and some states issue them to undocumented residents.
    – shoover
    Feb 2 at 20:49

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