Employers who are interested in hiring you may want a photocopy of your driver's license for their own protection. For instance, they may want to ensure you're eligible for employment before they extend a job offer. Employers can pay hefty fines if they hire people who are ineligible for employment in the United States.
Employers must have all workers fill out the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. The form essentially serves as verification that workers are eligible for employment in the United States. A potential employer may photocopy your driver's license to ensure you have the proper documentation to complete the I-9, although other forms of identification can serve as verification of employment eligibility. The employer also can use the photocopy of your driver's license to verify other information you list on the I-9, such as your date of birth.
Your driving record would be important to a potential employer if you would need to drive a company vehicle to fulfill your job duties. In such cases, an employer may photocopy your driver's license number to get information about your driving record from your state's motor vehicle department. States typically require employers to get job applicants’ permission before accessing their driving records. For example, the Missouri Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Division indicates that only non-personal information on speeding tickets and other traffic violations is included in driving records provided to employers.
A potential employer may want a copy of your driver's license to check your driving record even if you would be driving your own vehicle to handle company business. The Nolo law information website indicates that employers are held responsible for workers' negligent driving if workers cause any traffic accidents while conducting company business. For example, other drivers involved in an accident can require the employer to pay expenses associated with their injuries or damage to their vehicles.
You have the right to ask a potential employer why a copy of your driver's license is required before you turn over your license for photocopying. You also can refuse to allow an employer to photocopy your license if you don't receive a satisfactory answer to your question. Of course, you risk not getting a job by refusing to cooperate. It is appropriate to be leery of a potential employer who doesn't provide a reason for photocopying your license, however.