It has become standard practice in the last few years for Employers (especially those out of state or country) to request a Notary to verification identification for I9 forms. Most likely because the notary is aware of what correct identification documents look like as they utilize them in their day to day notary work.
However this is not something that is allowed in the State of California, unless, the notary is also an Immigration Consultant.
As we’ve had a couple of requests again lately to verify I9 documents we’re publishing the following from the California Secretary of State Notary Newsletter January 2017.
A notary public may notarize the signature on a document affecting the immigration or citizenship status of any person; however, under current law,a notary public who is not also an immigration consultant cannot do the verification tasks in
connection with completing immigration forms because this activity is prohibited by the broad language of California Government Code section 8223.
Only an attorney, a representative accredited by the U.S. Department of Justice, or a person who is registered by the California Secretary of State and bonded as an immigration consultant under the California Business and Professions Code section 22441 may assist a client in completing immigration forms. Additional information concerning immigration consultants, including the offering of non-legal assistance or advice on immigration matters, the qualifications to act as an immigration consultant and the requirements of an immigration
consultant can be found in California Business and Professions Code section 22440 et seq.
The I-9 Federal Employment Verification Form is an immigration document in that it covers both citizensand noncitizens and also requires the employer or employer’s authorized representative to record and verify data. The duties of an immigration consultant
cover these tasks too. Even if a notary public is functioning in a non-notarial capacity and does not use the phrase “notary public,” a notary public who is not also an immigration consultant is prohibited from completing the I-9 Federal Employment Verification Form.