E-Verify begins checking Idaho Driver’s Licenses

by John Fay

Effective July 14, 2013, Idaho is now the 3rd state to join the Records and Information from DMVs for E-Verify (RIDE) Program, which gives employers the ability to validate an employee’s driver’s license, driver’s permit, or state-issued ID card (if presented during the I-9 process) against Motor Vehicle Agency (MVA) data.

Launched in June 2011, RIDE was designed to strengthen the “Achilles heal” of E-Verify – namely its inability to detect certain types of document fraud. As described below, the process itself is fairly simple (and invisible) to the employer. Yet the larger question remains as to whether it will actually improve E-Verify’s accuracy or just create another potential mismatch scenario for work-authorized individuals. Let’s take a closer look!

Frequently Asked Questions about E-Verify RIDE (July 2013)

1. Which states now participate in the E-Verify RIDE program?

The first state to participate was Mississippi in June 2011 (the initial launch). Florida joined the program in December 2012, and Idaho is now the third state to integrate with RIDE.

2. As an employer, does that mean we will only use RIDE if we have operations in Mississippi, Florida, or Idaho?

No, E-Verify will automatically run a driver’s license/ID check for documents issued by Mississippi, Florida, or Idaho, regardless of where the employee resides or works.

3. How often are driver’s licenses and related IDs used in the I-9 process?

While it’s impossible to know for sure, DHS has noted that in approximately 95% of the more than 12 million employment authorization queries E-Verify received during FY2010, employees used a driver’s license, driver’s permit, or state-issued ID card to establish their identity.

4. How does the RIDE process work?

If an employee presents a driver’s license, driver’s permit, or state-issued ID card during the I-9 process, the employer is prompted to enter the document number and expiration into the E-Verify system which will automatically check against MVA records. Although the RIDE program does not actually display the driver’s license photo, the system will check to see if the data itself is valid and issue a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) if there is a mismatch.

In the event of a TNC, the employee must call a USCIS status verifier and fax a copy of the document so that it can be verified against the MVA database. The status verifier will attempt to resolve the TNC within 24 hours, and if they are unable to do so, the case will be placed in continuance while the status verifier conducts further research with the MVA directly. Once the status verifier has completed the research, he or she enters a response that triggers an update to the case in E-Verify (either employment authorized or final nonconfirmation (FNC).

5. Will employers have access to see the entire MVA record?

No, the employer does not see the MVA record, and will only see the final response given by E-Verify, which is either Employment Authorized or TNC, if there is a mismatch.

6. How many documents have been validated in the RIDE program to date?

According to a USCIS presentation in June of this year, RIDE validated more than 379,000 documents against Mississippi records in FY2012 and 463,773 documents against Mississippi and Florida in FY2013 (so far).

 7. What are the top 10 states (by case volume) using E-Verify?

From high to low: Texas, California, Georgia, Florida, Arizona, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, and Alabama.

 *Based on total cases created in FY2012

 8. Are there any potential downsides with the RIDE program?

As with any additional verification check, there is always a risk that more individuals, including U.S. citizens, will receive TNCs and FNCs due to data entry errors in the MVA system. It is therefore extremely important that employers strictly follow the TNC process instructions to avoid any possible issues of denied employment or even discrimination claims.

9. Will other states be participating soon?

Yes, Iowa also signed an agreement with E-Verify (in February 2013), although their “go-live” date has not yet been announced.

 10. Will employers using electronic I-9 systems immediately have access to RIDE updates as new states (such as Idaho) are added?

Yes, your electronic I-9 vendor should have code in place which automatically retrieves the most current list of jurisdictions participating in the RIDE program. In addition, a well-designed electronic I-9 system will also validate the correct number/format of the driver’s license/state ID during the I-9 process so that unnecessary TNCs (due to typos or other mistakes) can be avoided.

Need more information on E-Verify RIDE and electronic I-9 system integration? Please contact us with any questions you might have!

Originally published by LawLogix Group Inc. Reprinted by permission

About The Author

John Fay is an experienced corporate immigration attorney and I-9/E-Verify blogger with a unique background in designing and advising on case management technology. While practicing immigration in New York City, John designed and managed his firm’s proprietary web-based immigration management system, which featured a fully multilingual interface for international organizations. In his current role, John serves as Vice President of Products and Services and General Counsel at LawLogix, where he is responsible for overseeing product design and functionality while ensuring compliance with rapidly changing immigration rules.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.