Do I Need a Social Security Number Work Without a Social Security Number SSN ITIN
When Do I Need a Social Security Number / SSN?
If you are a lawfully admitted alien with permission to work in the U.S. from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you need a Social Security Number (SSN).
Even if you do not have permission to work, state and local governments (in conformity with federal law) may require you to have a Social Security Number to administer laws related to:
- General public assistance;
- Driver licensing; or
- Motor vehicle registration.
IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
If you need a number for tax purposes, but do not meet Social Security's requirements to be assigned a number, you can apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) using Form W-7, Application for IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (pdf). You may also want to review a detailed publication explaining the ITIN, Understanding Your IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (pdf). which also lists telephone numbers overseas where you may call for IRS assistance in preparing your W-7 form.
If you have any questions or need assistance, call the IRS from inside the U.S. toll free at 1-800-829-1040, or from outside the U.S. at +1-215-516-2000 (this is not a free call). If you are outside the U.S. you may also request Form W-7 at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate .
What Can I Do Without A Social Security Number / SSN?
As a lawfully admitted alien, you can obtain many benefits and services without having a Social Security Number (SSN), even though you are asked to give one. You do not need a Social Security Number to:
- Report group health insurance coverage. Employers are not required to report Social Security numbers for lawfully admitted alien family members who are covered by group health plans but do not have numbers.