Your Social Security number allows you to take gainful employment and receive Social Security benefits and other government services. Under certain circumstances, you'll need to provide proof of your number; examples include beginning a new job or applying for a driver's license in a new state. In these cases, several documents can provide the verification you need.
Social Security Card
Everyone born in the United States is entitled to receive a Social Security card with their official Social Security number on it. Naturalized citizens and legal residents also are eligible if they submit the required paperwork to the Social Security Administration. Do not laminate your Social Security card; doing so negates the federal government's counterfeiting precautions.
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Official tax documents include your Social Security number and often are acceptable as proof for agencies that need to verify your number. These documents include a W-2 form, which you receive annually from your employer, or a Form 1099 if you are an independent contractor rather than an employee.
Company Payroll Document
Pre-printed pay stubs from your employer should include your full name and Social Security number. Most government agencies accept these stubs as proof of your Social Security number.
Military Identification Cards
If you are a member of the U.S. armed forces, you should have a military identification card. The Common Access Card has your photo, full name and Social Security number, as does the Department of Defense Form 2 identification for retirees. If the military has discharged you, your military separation document, Form DD-214, also should have your Social Security number.
Medical Benefits Card
Your health insurance or Medicare card should have your full name and Social Security number on it. If the card has expired, it may not serve as valid verification of your Social Security number.
State ID Card
Your driver's license will not have your Social Security number. If, instead of or in addition to your driver's license, you have a state-issued identification card, that card likely includes your Social Security number. Government agencies or new employers may accept it as verification.
- Social Security Online: Your Social Security Number and Card
- Social Security Administration: Application for a Social Security Card
- Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles: Proving Your Social Security Number
- South Dakota Department of Public Safety: New Requirements for All Driver License and ID Card Applicants
- Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Numbers and Cards