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Documents You Need for Employment

Whenever you start working for a new employer, you'll need to provide documents that prove that you are legally allowed to work in the United States. This is true whether you are a US citizen, a noncitizen national, a lawful resident, or an alien authorized to work in the United States.

Your new employer must complete a Form I-9, and to do this they'll need to see one or more documents that show both your identity and your authorization to work.

Certain documents, called List A documents, show both your identity and your employment authorization. The employer requires only one document from List A.

List A documents

  • U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card 
  • Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign passport containing an I-551 stamp or I-551 printed notation
  • Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I-766)
  • Foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A with Arrival/Departure Report that contains an endorsement to work
  • Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A

If you don't have one of these List A documents, you'll need to present both a document that shows your identity and a document that shows your employment authorization.

Documents that establish your identity are known as List B documents.

List B documents

Please view the Manual for Driver's License Restoration for assistance restoring a suspended driver's license.

If you present a List B document you also must present one of the following List C documents that show your employment authorization.

List C documents

  • Social Security card that is unrestricted
  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal
  • Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the US Department of State (Form FS-545)
  • Certification of Report of Birth issued by the US Department of State (Form DS-1350)
  • Native American tribal document
  • US Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)