All except the oldest Permanent Resident cards have a document number, which is three letters followed by ten (10) numbers. In some versions of the card commonly known as a “green card,” the document number is in the top row of the computer-printed numbers on the face of the card, toward the right. Some common letter prefixes are “WAC,” “EAC” and “LIN,” although there are many different combinations.
Of the example cards pictured here, the bottom card is the valid card. Note the location of the document number, highlighted in yellow. The top example is missing the document number.
In newer versions of the Permanent Resident Card, the document number can be found on the back of the card.
When a new hire presents a Permanent Resident card as the “List A” identification document, you should include the document number in the “List A” description area of Section 2 of the I-9 form. If the document presented is an older version with no number, enter “AAA0000000000” as the document number.
What if the new hire presents an obviously fake Permanent Resident card?
If the new hire provides a Permanent Resident card that does not reasonably appear to be genuine or relate to the employee or is not on the List of Acceptable Documents (in the I-9 instructions), you should reject the fake Permanent Resident card and ask for other document(s) that satisfy Form I-9 requirements. The standard is “reasonableness.” You are not expected to be a document expert.
Normally, you may not specify which identification documents are presented by the new hire, but must accept documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them. Only if the documents are obvious fakes, if they are not on the list of accepted documents or are not related to the person presenting them may you require another document. Even then, you may not specify which replacement document the new hire will provide.
If the individual cannot present other documents that satisfy the requirements of the I-9 form and E-Verify, you may terminate employment. If you terminate employment at this time, you should not submit the worker to us for verification.
You must apply the same standard of “reasonableness” to all new hires. If the documents presented are on the list of accepted documents and are related to the new hire but you are not sure whether or not the documents are legitimate, you should complete the I-9 process and submit for verification.