Social Security Number


Your Social Security Number: You Will Have Only One

When you get a Social Security number, it’s yours for life. Be sure to record your number in a safe place, and protect both the card and number to prevent misuse. The number is important to you. Without it, you can’t work, and you’ll need it when you file your tax returns.

You’ll need your Social Security Number:

When you get a job

  • Show your Social Security card to the employer, and
  • check your name and Social Security number on the employer’s records for accuracy.

You may use it for other reasons
The privacy of your Social Security number is protected by federal law. If any federal, state or local government agency asks for your number, you should know:

  • how the number will be used;
  • whether giving the number is mandatory or voluntary; and
  • the authority for requesting the number.

Private industry (other than your employer) and some organizations use Social Security numbers to keep records.

If someone asks for your number, you can refuse to give it to them. However, your purchase or service may be denied.

Federal law does not require or prohibit this use of the number. Giving your Social Security number is a personal matter between you and the person who asks for it. But, you should know that no one can get information from your Social Security record just because he or she knows your number.

If you lose your card or change your name, call Social Security’s toll–free number, 1–800–772–1213, 24 hours a day, to request an application to replace your Social Security card. Type to get the application form on the Internet. (click here for an Application for a Social Security Card)

Our primary message is this: be careful with your Social Security number and your card and protect their privacy when-ever possible.


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