When people ask for your SS#, do you have to comply?

I once met a man who told me that he never gives out his SS# to anybody. This includes bank institutions and etc. He said it is nowhere written, that you have to give people your social security number. He said for them to ask for it, is an invasion of a persons privacy and could be disrimatory if they refuse to service you because you will not give it to them. Has anyone thought about this? Most people don't hesitate, they just write it down when a co asks for it. What do you all think?

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Social Security number was originally devised to keep an accurate record of each individual’s earnings, and to subsequently monitor benefits paid under the Social Security program. However, use of the number as a general identifier has grown to the point where it is the most commonly used and convenient identifier for all types of record-keeping systems in the United States.

    Specific laws require a person to provide his/her number for certain purposes. While we cannot give you a comprehensive list of all situations where a number might be required or requested, a Social Security number is required/requested by:

    Internal Revenue Service for tax returns and federal loans;

    Employers for wage and tax reporting purposes;

    States for the school lunch program;

    Banks for monetary transactions;

    Veterans Administration as a hospital admission number;

    Department of Labor for workers’ compensation;

    Department of Education for Student Loans;

    States to administer any tax, general public assistance, motor vehicle or drivers license law within its jurisdiction;

    States for child support enforcement;

    States for commercial drivers’ licenses;

    States for Food Stamps;

    States for Medicaid;

    States for Unemployment Compensation;

    States for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families; or

    U.S. Treasury for U.S. Savings Bonds

    The Privacy Act regulates the use of Social Security numbers by government agencies. When a federal, state, or local government agency asks an individual to disclose his or her Social Security number, the Privacy Act requires the agency to inform the person of the following: the statutory or other authority for requesting the information; whether disclosure is mandatory or voluntary; what uses will be made of the information; and the consequences, if any, of failure to provide the information.

    If a business or other enterprise asks you for your number, you can refuse to give it. However, that may mean doing without the purchase or service for which your number was requested. For example, utility companies and other services ask for a Social Security number, but do not need it; they can do a credit check or identify the person in their records by alternative means.

    Giving your number is voluntary, even when you are asked for the number directly. If requested, you should ask why your number is needed, how your number will be used, what law requires you to give your number and what the consequences are if you refuse. The answers to these questions can help you decide if you want to give your Social Security number. The decision is yours.

    For more detailed information, we recommend the publication Your Social Security Number And Card .


    Source(s): SSA online
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Actually, only your lending institution has a legal right to have your SSN. The reason for this is that they can report directly to the IRS any funds that are deposited into your bank accounts that are over $10,000. That may also be true for stockbrokers, who handle things like IRA's, 401 K's, Money market accounts, etc. I'm not certain on that.

    Anyone else, does NOT have a right to demand your SSN and must allow you to provide alternative identifcation and they CANNOT legally deny you business based on your refusal to hand over your number. Many do deny it, but it isn't legal for them to do so.

    You do not have to have your SSN when applying for a driver's license or for auto insurance, although many people do use their SSN as their driver's license number or part of it. All the insurance has to have is your driver's license number, whatever it may be.

    You don't even have to have a SSN to pull a credit report. I've pulled credit reports for people with a name and last known address many times.

    Source(s): Former debt collector
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  • 1 decade ago

    It is not discriminatory. In the case of banks and employers, there are laws requiring that they verify the number. If they can't, they are prohibited from opening an account or employing the person.

    In other situations, he may refuse. I was asked for my SSN at a doctor's office, even though they had my valid insurance information (which no longer uses SSN as an identifier) and my driver's license info. I refused to provide it and the doctor treated me anyway.

    If you aren't sure if you can or should refuse, just ask "what is that to be used for"? If they don't know or say that it is routine, just say no.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Well, this man must not have much of a stable life. In order to get a drivers' license, credit cards, credit checks, a place to live, etc., you have to provide your SS number. And since all those things require 100% confidentiality, there's no way it can be called invasion of privacy.

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  • John M
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Your SS# is the hardest pice of info for a person to get to use your info. to get credit in your name and run up bad debts.

    If you give it out, only do it in person when ever possible.

    YOu will get emails for this you win or give a ways or inherit or a lot of other ways they can ask you for your personal info so you can be defruded. don't give it out.

    remember nothing is free but the air your breathing, and if they can find a way to tax it, they will!


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  • 1 decade ago

    It's actually been against the law all along for a person's Social Security number to be used as identification, but it's only recently that that law began to be enforced. It's going to take awhile, but businesses and agencies are moving away from the SSN - my credit union, for instance, stopped using my SSN last year and substituted another number to identify my accounts. Only they and I are privy to that information - and I don't have to memorize the number as long as I keep my credit union ID with me...

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  • wizjp
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Load of crap.

    Discriminatory because they refuse to serve you without it? What a laugh.

    People run businesses; they have requirements. YOu can meet them, or deal elsewhere.

    FYI, you AIN'T getting a job or a bank account without giving up your SS # no matter what some clown told you.

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  • 1 decade ago

    while you have no legal duty to give out the info, it is not illegal for a business to refuse service based upon the person not turning over the ss|#, and thanks to the new laws against terrorism certain institution will not be able to do business with you unless you reveal the number

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's not discriminatory to deny someone services because they won't comply with your company policies.

    I work in the apartment industry, if an applicant refused to give me their Social, we would have no choice but to deny their application.

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  • 1 decade ago

    if you do not give your SS# to a bank or credit card company they will refuse services to you

    Your friend is 100% incorrect

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