The dates on the fronts of Social Security cards are issue
dates, not expiration dates. Those cards with dates on the
fronts are valid.
A card bearing the “Valid only with DHS authorization”
notation is known as a “restricted” Social Security
card; the Social Security Administration typically issues
such cards to foreign nationals who possess time-limited
work authorization. If an employee presents a restricted
Social Security card to you during the I-9 process, you
should tell him that the card is not acceptable as a List
C document and should give him an opportunity to present
alternative documentation. He may be able to present a foreign
passport and I-94 card (an document issued to a foreign
national when he enters the U.S. indicating his visa status
and the expiration date of his authorized stay in the U.S.),
an Employment Authorization Document (also known as an I-766,
Employment Authorization Card, or EAD), or another document
proving work authorization.
While legacy guidance from USCIS indicated that a laminated
Social Security card would be unacceptable if the card stated
“do not laminate” or “not valid if laminated,”
that guidance changed with the government’s release
of the revised Handbook for Employers, which indicates that
laminated Social Security cards should be accepted for I-9
purposes (so long as they appear to be genuine and to relate
to the employees presenting them).
An unsigned Social Security card is acceptable for I-9 purposes,
even if the card states that it is only valid if signed!
Which of the following Social Security cards are
acceptable proof of employment authorization for Form I-9
Only those with no dates or notations on the front.
Those that state "Valid only with DHS authorization" on
Those that have not been signed.
Those that have been laminated.
C & D.