social security number

My question is a two-part question. 1. Is there a law requiring citizens born in one of the fifty states to have a SSN? 2. If so can anyone cite it and if not how does an individual go about withdrawing from the system.

Can I Cancel My Social Security Number.

I couldn’t find anything there about requiring one to have a number, however.

There is no law requiring a person to have a Social Security number, per se. But . . .

From the Social Security Administration:

When do I have to provide my Social Security number?
How do I get a Taxpayer Identification Number?

You don’t HAVE to get an SSN, but to be claimed as a dependent on federal taxes now, the person must have an SSN, which is why even babies get one now if their parents are on the ball, whereas I didn’t have one until I got a job as a teenager.

One of the problems the insurance and mortgage companies run into is the immigrant housewives who never got a number, because they’ve never had a job in the States, ever.

But once you’re in, you cannot drop out …

Source: Social Security Answers

Thanks for responding. If I may I would like to continue this discussion with some follow question regarding the SSN. First off, it would appear that this is a scam. I don’t know however I have heard of this afidavit.

Any thoughts?


And a very old one, judging by the 1997 copyright.

There is currently an ongoing thread over in Great Debates that has segwayed into this topic. Here’s the link to the thread:

… and a specific link that appears inside of that thread of a guy who no longer has an SSN number:



Unless the thread is riding that gyroscopic scooter.

OK, so it’s taken the Social Security Administration two weeks! to answer a simple basic question I posed to them. It’s taken two weeks and numerous emails because the SSA responder kept listing reasons why a SSN is needed, yet never answered the question.

My last email response to them before I obtained the answer I was seeking was:

"I hate to constantly beat a dead horse, but you failed to answer my original question. Is someone born and raised in the United States required by law to have a social security number? All the responses you have provided only show the consequences of not having a social security number. They are all irrelevant if the primary question remains unanswered. As a voter and taxpayer researching this topic for others, I am seriously disappointed in the assistance I’ve received. As a federal employee with another agency, I am horrified! The responses provided so far would be unacceptable in our agency.

“Please lift your game!”

Here is their response – finally! – to my question:

"The Social Security Act does not require a person to have a Social Security number to live and work in the United States, nor does it require a Social Security number simply for the purpose of having one. However, if someone works without a Social Security number, we cannot properly credit the earnings for the work performed, and the worker may lose any potential entitlement to Social Security benefits.

"Other laws require people to have and use Social Security numbers for specific purposes. For example, the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 6109 (a)) and applicable regulations (26 CFR 301.6109-l(d)) require a person to get and use a Social Security number on tax documents and to furnish the number to any other person or institution (such as an employer or a bank) that is required to provide the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information about payments to that person. There are penalties for failure to do so.

"The IRS also requires employers to report Social Security numbers with employees’ earnings. In addition, people filing tax returns for taxable years after December 31, 1994, generally must include the Social Security number of each dependent.

“The Privacy Act regulates the use of Social Security numbers by government agencies. They may require a Social Security number only if a law or regulation either orders or authorizes them to do so. Agencies are required to disclose the authorizing law or regulation. If the request has no legal basis, the person may refuse to provide the number and still receive the agency’s services. However, the law does not apply to private sector organizations. Such an organization can refuse its services to anyone who does not provide the number on request.”

Yeah, consider me a dog with a bone. I would have let this thread and the matter drop had the Social Security Administration answered my initial question as asked. I shudder to think I will one day directly deal with this SSA mentality when I retire.

I know when I got briefly admitted to a hospital in Utah, I was asked at least 20 times what my SSN was. Everyone who noticed the field on the form was empty ran up and asked me for it again.

You’d think they’d never seen a foreigner in their hospital before, OR they didn’t realise the SSN is a US-only thing.

It seems to me that the SSA is perpetuating a fraud here. Thanks for your response Duckster. It was very informative. The next thing I would like to know, is since there is no law (which has been established) requiring this number and a private organization refuses services to you because you don’t have a number can they 1) Legally compel you to get one and 2) can they be sued for discrimination? Can some one out there help me with the anti-discrimination act? I’ve looked for it on but had no success finding it. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Also as a side note:
Since there is no legal requirement for the number how do you leave the system? I was told when I was about 14 that I HAD to have that number for high school. This is a contract legal and binding. Can the government have contractual agreements with a minor? I thought you had to be legally an adult to sign a contract. And if that were the case it would make the contract null and void meaning the number is null and void. Further more, in my research I’ve discovered that it is actually their number and you can’t get it removed. But from what I understand you can rescind and revoke you signature. Any insight on those topics would be greatly appreciated.

You can’t find it on because there is no such thing as “the anti-discrimination act” involving Social Security numbers.

When your parents or guardian enroll you in high school, the high school may require a Social Security number. You are not enrolling yourself in high school. And what “contract” are you talking about? Are you sure you understand what the legal definition of a contract is?

Furthermore, you’re being vague when you say “the government” in this school context: do you mean the local public school system, or the federal government?

If you reread my first post in this thread you will find out that once in, there’s no escape.

There is no discrimination here. You are not required to give your SSN to a merchant, but he or she is free to refuse you service if you don’t.

If you read Druckster post, you’ll see that you have to have a SSN so that your employer can report your income. Your employer has to report your income. Therefore, you have to have a SSN.

Exactly. In fact, a company is legally required to procure your SSN prior to hiring you, for tax reporting purposes. You don’t have to have one, but you cannot get a legal job without one, AFAIK.