Can a payee write your social security number on your personal check?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a payee write your social security number on your personal check?

I am currently paying off my wife’s student loan. After checking my statement, I see where my wife’s SSN has been written on the front of her check. I have asked for this to be

stopped multiple times and have accommodated their request of writing the last 4

of her SSN in the for line for identification. Is there an opportunity for legal action?

Asked on December 8, 2016 under Business Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

It's not specifically illegal, so you can't force them to not do this. IF your wife suffers identity theft, etc. due to the fact that her social security number is on the check (you'd have to be able to provide some evidence linking the SSN on the check to the theft: e.g. was done by your babysitter or cleaning service (if you have one), who saw the check laying around, or by someone in the loan provider's mail room, etc.), you could sue for that loss,  but again, you can't affirmatively or proactively prevent this.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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