Q: An applicant presented a Connecticut “Drive Only” license along with a Social Security card when completing the Immigration Form I-9. Is this adequate documentation as proof of identity and work authorization, respectively?

A: Before you allow the applicant to begin work, you should take one or several steps to determine if this person can be legally employed.

Call Mark Soycher at the HR Hotline: 860.244.1900.
HR problems? Call Mark Soycher at the HR Hotline: 860.244.1900.

The Drive Only state license law specifically states that a Drive Only license is not acceptable for federal identification purposes or voting and should have a notation on it stating that.

Additionally, if the Drive Only document is valid, the Social Security card may not be valid, since the lack of a Social Security card is one of the circumstances for which someone might obtain a Drive Only license.

The Drive Only license program was implemented in 2013 for individuals 16 years and older who cannot establish legal presence in the United States or may not have a Social Security number.

The program’s purpose was to improve public safety by attempting to ensure that all drivers, regardless of legal status, are tested, know how to drive, and understand driving rules and laws.

If an individual has a valid Social Security card, he or she would be eligible for a regular driver’s license or, if not a driver, a Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles Non-driver Photo ID, either of which would be valid documentation establishing identity for I-9 purposes.

You can easily check the validity of a Social Security number through the Social Security Administration’s online verification service.

If your applicant’s Social Security number proves valid, you should ask for a different form of ID from the Form I-9 List B documents to verify identity. If that is not provided, you should pass on this applicant as someone you cannot legally employ.