E-Verify is an electronic system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). It allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees by comparing information from Form I-9 against government databases.

Participants in E-Verify must create cases for all new employees. It is important to note that there is a possibility for false positives as well as false negatives. If E-Verify is initially unable to confirm an employee’s work authorization ( referred to as a tentative non-confirmation), employers must not assume that this means the employee is not authorized to work. Numerous factors, such as name changes, can hinder E-Verify’s immediate confirmation of work eligibility.. Employers must follow E-Verify’s process to permit the employee to resolve any issues with the SSA and/ or DHS databases .

It’s imperative that no adverse employment actions are taken solely based on a tentative non-confirmation. Employers must await a final non-confirmation notification from E-Verify before any such actions are considered. This ensures fairness and compliance with legal requirements, safeguarding both the rights of the employee and the integrity of the hiring process.

Use of this system remains voluntary for many employers, however certain states, as well as Federal Contracts which contain the FAR E-Verify clause may require an employer to use E-Verify.

States With Mandatory E-Verify for All or Most Businesses

Below are the states that require all or most businesses to use the E-Verify system when hiring new employees:

North Carolina (25+ employees/ public employers/contractors)
South Carolina

States That Require Public Employers/Contractors To Use E-Verify (Exclusions May Apply)

West Virginia

States With Local/Municipal Requirements for E-Verify

Colorado (Denver)
Florida (Hernando County, Bonita Springs)
Michigan (Ingham County, Macomb County, Oakland County)
Missouri (O’Fallon)
Nebraska (Fremont)
Washington (Hoquiam, Pierce County, Woodland)

Key features of E-Verify include:

Verification Process: Employers enter information from Form I-9 into the E-Verify system, which then checks it against records maintained by the DHS and SSA to confirm the employee’s eligibility to work in the United States.

Immediate Results: In most cases, E-Verify provides instant verification of employment eligibility. If the information provided matches government records, the employee is confirmed as eligible to work. If there’s a mismatch, the system provides instructions on how to resolve the discrepancy.

Employer Responsibilities: While participation in E-Verify is voluntary for most employers, some states and federal contractors are required by law to use the system. Employers must ensure that they use E-Verify consistently and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Data Security: E-Verify is designed to protect the privacy and security of employee information. Employers are required to use the system responsibly and safeguard sensitive data to prevent identity theft or misuse.