who are you required to give your social security number too? In particalar the police?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your SSN is for the use of the Social Security Administration.

    Any valid request for it must include a Privacy Act Disclosure Notice.

    42 USC § 408. Penalties

    '(a) In general

    Whoever -

    (8) discloses, uses, or compels the disclosure of the social security number of any person in violation of the laws of the United States; shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction thereof shall be fined under title 18 or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

    The kicker is here: http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/1974ssnu.htm

    "Note also that the Tax Reform Act of 1976, 42 U.S.C. § 405(c)(2)(C)(i), (iv) (2000), expressly exempts state agencies from this restriction to the extent that social security numbers are used "in the administration of any tax, general public assistance, driver's license, or motor vehicle registration law within its jurisdiction." See, e.g., Stoianoff v. Comm'r of the Dep't of Motor Vehicles, 12 Fed. Appx. 33, 35 (2d Cir. 2001)"

    Whether police can legally request it is highly questionable, as though they may be enforcing laws related to motor vehicle administration they are not themselves that administration and thus do not have, as far as I would think, any legitimate reason for having anyone's SSN.

  • 1 decade ago

    You are only LEGALLY required to give your Social Security number to employers or any matter relating to your Social Security benefits.

    No other business or agency may force you to divulge your SSN, though it seems nearly every agency or business in the world uses it for identification.

    Now you should understand there may be consequences of not using your SSN when requested to, including:

    1) Not being issued credit

    2) Not being allowed to travel on an airplane

    3) Being forced to show some other solid piece of identification, such as a passport or birth certificate

    BUT, you are not required to give your social security number to the police in most circumstances, even if they request it from you.

  • 1 decade ago

    Other than providing some form of photo-bearing identification (i.e., NOT a Social Security card), you have no obligation to provide any numbers, statements, or other information to the police, even if you are placed under arrest. You have the right to remain silent, remember? Unless it is specifically related to a criminal investigation, the police should not be asking for your SSN, and it should not be provided to the person asking for it unless or until that person provides YOU with THEIR identification and explains to your satisfaction their purpose for asking.

    Lv 4
    1 decade ago


    The only reason police might need it would be to distinguish between you and someone with a similar name IF you don't have a drivers license. If you have a drivers license that should be enough for 99% of cases.

    Whenever someone asks for my SS#, I ask why, if they can't give good reason I say NO!

    Anyone who needs my SS# should already have it on record. Banks, place of work, IRS, credit card company, they all have it and shouldn't need me to do more than give the last four numbers....

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  • 1 decade ago

    Don't give your SSN to police just show your ID. The main people you give your ssn to is your employer for the purpose of taxation. Never use it on line in any way. Lowe's requires applicants to enter it online for job consideration - find a job elsewhere.

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