Issuing Authority definition

Issuing authority refers to any government agency or office that has the power to issue a specific official document. For example, in the United States, birth certificates are issued by the office of vital records from the state in which the individual was born.

On most official documents, there is a space where the issuing authority is included. For example, the issuing authority of passports is located on the lower right of the photo page. Instead, the issuing authority on birth certificates is listed at the top of the page.

It’s important to note that in certain cases, the term issuing authority can also refer to the authorized representative of a department or city, as well as the treasurer of a state. Keep reading to discover the most common issuing authority examples.

Issuing Authorities for I-9 Documents

An I-9 Form is used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to verify the legal work authorization of all paid employees within the United States. It is also officially known as the Employment Eligibility Verification, and it was first mandated by the 1996 Immigration Reform and Control Act.

To complete this form, employees must provide documentation to their employers to establish their identity and authorization to work. For this process, the USCIS accepts “List A” documents, which prove both identity and employment authorization.

If a candidate is not able to provide a “List A” document, they will have to present both a “List B” document, which only establishes identity, and a “List C” document, which solely demonstrates employment authorization.

The following list includes the issuing authorities for I-9 List A, List B, and List C documents:

List A Documents Issuing Authority
Employment Authorization Document with photograph (Form I-766) USDHS (United States Department of Homeland Security)
Foreign Passport with I-551 stamp or Form 1-551 printed notation printed on a machine-readable immigrant visa (MRIV) Country where the foreign passport was issued (e.g., Spain, Australia, Japan, etc.)
Foreign Passport with Form I-94 or Form1-94A with Arrival-Departure Record and containing endorsement to work Country where the foreign passport was issued (e.g., Spain, Australia, Japan, etc.)
Passport from Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 Nation that issued the passport. (e.g, Marshall Islands or Federated States of Micronesia)
Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551) USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)
U.S. Passport U.S. Department of State, National Passport Center or State Passport Agency
U.S. Passport Card U.S. Department of State
List B Documents Issuing Authority
Driver’s License issued by a Canadian Government Authority Province or Territory where the driver’s license was issued (e.g. British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec)
Driver’s License Learner’s Permit State where the Driver’s License was issued (e.g., State of South Carolina, State of California, State of New York, etc.)
Identification Card State which issued the Identification Card (e.g., State of Ohio, State of Massachusetts, State of Hawaii, etc.)
Military dependent’s ID Card Military Branch which issued the Military dependent’s ID card (e.g., Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, etc.)
Native American Tribal Document Native American Tribe which issued the document (e.g., Navajo, Choctaw, Dakota Sioux, etc.)
School Identification Card School which issued the School Identification Card (Ex: University of South Carolina, New York University, etc.)
U.S. Military Card or Draft Record Military Branch which issued the Military Card or Draft Record (e.g., Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, etc.)
U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card U.S. Coast Guard
Voter’s Registration Card County or territory where the voter registration card was issued (e.g., Puerto Rico)
List B Documents for minors under 18 that are unable to provide one of the List B documents listed above Issuing Authority
Clinic, doctor, or hospital record Clinic, Doctor, or Hospital which issued the record (Ex: New York Hospital)
Day-care or nursery school record Nursery school or day-care which issued the record (Ex: River Park nursery school, Golden Heights day-care, etc.)
School record or report card School which issued the report card or school record (Ex: Lyman High School)
List C Documents Issuing Authority
Certification of Birth Abroad (FS-545) U.S. Department of State
Certification of Report of Birth (DS-1350) U.S. Department of State
Employment authorization documents other than those included in the List A documents USDHS (United States Department of Homeland Security)
Identification Card for Use of Resident Citizen in the U.S. (Form I-179) INS (Immigration and Nationality Service)
Native American tribal document Native American Tribe which issued the document (e.g., Navajo, Choctaw, Dakota Sioux, etc.)
Original or certified copy of birth certificate bearing an official seal State of the U.S. which issued the certificate (Ex: State of Florida)
Social Security Card Social Security Administration or Department of Health and Human Services
Social Security Receipt Social Security Administration
U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197) INS (Immigration and Nationality Service)