The USCIS has recently announced that it was launching Records and Images from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE) pilot program. The first state that will be using RIDE is Mississippi. The new feature will allow USCIS’ E-Verify Program to validate the authenticity of drivers license used by employees as a Form I-9 identity document. USCIS indicated that more than 80% of employees present drivers license to establish their identities in completing the Form I-9. By enabling E-Verify to compare drivers license data against state records, the USCIS stated that RIDE is designed to improve E-Verify’s accuracy and help combat document fraud when employers are determining an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States while observing safeguards to protect the employee’s personal data. Previously, if the employee was presented a drivers license and a social security card to establish identity and employment eligibility in the Form I-9 process, E-Verify would only be able to confirm the validity of the Social Security Number (SSN). However, the RIDE program will allow employers to confirm the validity of both documents. In addition to drivers license, the RIDE program will also allow employers to verify the validity of drivers permits or state-issued ID cards (if presented during the Form I-9 process).  

The RIDE program will work as follows: Once an E-Verify query successfully passes the Social Security Administration (SSA) validation of the SSN, E-Verify will then send relevant license information to the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) database. If the MVA can not find a matching record or if E-Verify can not match the document number and date of birth for the employee entered in E-Verify based on the record in E-Verify, E-Verify will instruct the employer to check and if necessary, correct the document number and/or date of birth fields and resubmit the information through E-Verify. If after the second attempt there is still is no match, the employer will receive a Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC). In the case of a TNC generated because of a RIDE program mismatch, the employee will be required to call the USCIS status verifier and fax a copy of the document (e.g. drivers license, state permit or state ID) provided to establish identity on the Form I-9. The USCIS status verifiers will then contact the MVA to determine whether there is a true mismatch or an error in the MVA database and place the E-Verify record in continuance pending resolution. A response of employment authorized or Final Non-Confirmation (FNC) will be displayed to the employer pending resolution. Employers will not see the employees MVA record. Additionally, unlike the process when an employee presents a U.S. passport, Permanent Resident Card or Employment Authorization Document (EAD) as part of the Form I-9 process, the employer will not be required to retain a copy of the employee’s drivers license presented as part of the Form I-9 process.

Additional information about the expansion of the E-Verify RIDE program will be contained in our firm’s future Immigration Updates when it becomes available.