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Social Security Number Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why does PennDOT need this information on driver’s license/learner’s permit and photo identification applications?
2. Does Federal law permit the collection of this information?
3. Will PennDOT give out this information?
4. Is the social security number printed on the driver’s license, learner’s permit or photo identification card?
5. What if I never had a social security number?
6. Are there any exceptions to the social security number requirement?
7. Why am I asked to provide my social security number again when having my photo taken?

1. Why does PennDOT need this information on driver’s license/learner’s permit and photo identification applications?
We are required by law to obtain your social security number, height and eye color under the provisions of Section 1510(a) and/or 1609(a)(4) of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code. It is important in order to:
  • Prevent identity fraud, and
  • Ensure that unsafe drivers whose licenses are suspended in other states are not able to obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license.
NOTE: Your social security number will only be part of your driver record. It will not be printed on any of our products.

2. Does Federal law permit the collection of this information?
Yes. The use of the social security number by driver licensing agencies is critical to prevent identification fraud and to ensure highway safety. Therefore, federal law specifically allows states to collect the information.

3. Will PennDOT give out this information?
No. We do not distribute this information anywhere outside of PennDOT. It is used internally as an identifier to maintain security of files.

4. Is the social security number printed on the driver’s license, learner’s permit or photo identification card?
No. PennDOT does not include the social security number on any of our products. The magnetic stripe and bar codes on the reverse side of the driver’s license/photo ID only contain the same information that is on the front.

5. What if I never had a social security number?
You must contact the Social Security Administration for an application. You will need your birth certificate, identification, proof of citizenship or acceptable non-citizenship status. Photocopies of documents are not acceptable. It will normally take approximately 3 weeks to receive your social security number.

6. Are there any exceptions to the social security number requirement?
You must submit a social security number unless you have obtained a waiver permitting you to not have one from the Social Security Administration.

7. Why am I asked to provide my social security number again when having my photo taken?
Photo technicians are required to compare your driver’s license/ID card number with the one that is maintained on the computer. This is an additional security feature to protect you, your record and other PennDOT customers from identity theft.

Department of Transportation
Bureau of Driver Licensing
Mail Products and Services Section,
1101 South Front Street
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17104-2516


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