when did SS numbers become so important?

what has always amused me is the kinds of documentation one must provide to get a state ID-commonly known as a driver’s licence in most cases. Here one can get a driver’s licence at 16. So my children could have provided their military discharge papers, or the certificate one gets when one ‘graduates’ from prison, or the one document that almost all kids have-their picture ID from high school (a “government issued photo ID”). This amuses me because one of the very few pieces of ID an illegal immigrant has a right to get is a student ID from a public high school. All students are issued photo IDs here. Federal law requires that undocumented children will be admitted to public school.

Show up one day at the local high school with a utility bill from your maternal grandmother where you are now living, attend classes for a day, get a photo ID at the office, get a driver’s licence that afternoon, and you are done. Now you can board an airplane or enter a federal building anywhere in the country.

That was my point - you used to be offered the option of putting your social security number on your license/ID, but they never asked for the card, which was safely locked up in a safe deposit box per the instructions NOT to carry it with you. Then they took the option to have it on your ID off the table, but you still needed to give them the number, which you’d presumably memorized, as the card was still somewhere safe and not on your person. Now you have to give them the actual CARD, making it difficult to not carry with you. Yet the card itself is no more secure from forgery than any other piece of paper.

And no, they wouldn’t take his passport or his high school picture ID or his birth certificate (well, they did require that, but in addition to the SS card, not instead of) or anything else, I tried. Social security card or no ID.

(Of course, the Illinois DMV is notoriously fickle and arbitrary. I was with a friend once who had picture ID (school), birth certificate and two pieces of mail with her address, and they made her go home to get her high school YEARBOOK as another form of identification… WTF?)