How to obtain Social Security Number (SSN) ?

SSN stands for Social Security number (SSN), it is a nine-digit number issued to U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents. In early days, its primary purpose was to “track individuals income earned in USA for taxation”.

Social Security Card - SSN

Social Security Card

You can not apply for bank account, driving license without SSN. And consider this SSN as your serial number in USA. Even you cannot even obtain a post paid mobile phone service without SSN in USA. Ask any friends, relatives in USA and they would say if you want to live and work in USA , obtaining SSN ( Social Security Number) is must

You can apply for SSN at local Social Security Office by filling out Application for Social Security Card.

Who would help me to get this Social Security Card ?

  • If you are in USA on a work visa, most likely your employer will help you obtain the Social Security Card, but if they don’t, you can apply with the help of friend or even by yourself.
  • If you are on student visa the Internation Services office at respective college/university will help you and as always you can also ask any Indian/Asian student about the process.
  • A helpful hint : Social Security Card will be mailed to you so better you provide the address from where you can get it.

Please visit Social Security Administration Web site for more information

If you can not apply , you need to get a proof that you are not eligible to get Social Security Number (SSN) – ( Optional Step )

  • Holder of certain visa category is not eligible for Social Security Number in USA. However, if you still want that visa holder be eligible to drive in USA ( which means he/she would need a driving license) , you must have a letter or form SSA-L676 from the US Social Security Administration (SSA) that states that you are not eligible.
  • The SSA Letter or form must have been issued no more than 30 days before the date of your application for driving licnese. You must also show the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) document ( usually your passport containing the visa) that the SSA used to determine that you are not eligible for a Social Security Card.

The USCIS was formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

  • In short, for those drivers who are not citizens and not authorized to work in the United States, you will need to obtain a Form SSA-L676 ‘SSN CARD DENIAL NOTICE’ from a local SSA office before visiting a DMV Customer Service Center to apply for a driver’s license.

You may contact the SSA at (800) 772-1213 or visit their website at and select ‘field office locator’ to find the SSA office nearest you. Please note that Form SSA-L676 is not available from the Social Security Administration web site.

Have you ever opened a bank account ? Not yet ? It is quite easy. Once you have obtained the SSN ( the Social Security Numebr) you need to open a bank account at the earliest.
If any bank in USA denies you from opening a bank account because you don’t have SSN, it is against the law. Read this article.

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