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OK - this isn't exactly a credit question, but....

Does anyone know what the statute is (or whatever the proper term would be) that says you do not have to give out your social security number if you don't want to? I'm not having any luck finding it.

Thanks.

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I think that would be the social security privacy act of 1974 U.S.C. 552a. I think they amended some of it in 2004 and it is called Act 454 of 2004 or something like that. I had the page pulled up then I closed it out.

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There are some cases where it's not optional. Like when you apply to a college or University which required SSN before 1975 (when the 1974 privacy act went in effect).

As for private businesses requesting it, you are absolutely under no obligation to disclose it. However, it works both ways and they are not required to do business with you if you refuse to disclose it. This does not apply to companies like utilities, but then again, they may require a deposit instead or in addition to what they customarily ask someone who provides his/her ssn.

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Don't forget the US Patriot Act (Good ol' Pres. Bush... and I say that with sarcasm). Financial institutions (banks, credit care companies, etc) are required to obtain such information to prevent "money laundering". I know because I work in retail... if a customer wants to open a charge account, a ssn number is required. If they don't want to give it out... then they don't get to open the account. This has nothing to do with a business asking for your ssn number for "tracking" purposes. Some retailers used to use customers' ssn numbers as a way to id them in a data base. This is completely different and you don't have to give out your number for that purpose.

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Thanks so much for the help thus far. That website is good - but so far, I'm not really finding the answer to my situation.

Here's the deal...

My job involves working around children, so every 6 months they do regular background checks on us. OK - I understand that and have no problem. However - the paperwork asks for our SS#. I don't like giving my SS# number out unless absolutely necessary. Since they have it on file anyway for wages, I don't like putting on paperwork every 6 months - and I REALLy hate being pressured to do so. It seems to me since it's on file anyway, they shouldn't be able to pressure me to give it again and shouldn't hassle me about not feeling comfortable doing so.

Any thoughts/ advice???

Thanks again!

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42 USC 408 makes it a felony to use threat, duress, or coercion to try to force a person by fear or deceit to provide his SSN in an unlawful manner. In other words, unless a law says you must disclose your SSN, it is illegal to use any means of force, threat, or even to even lie to you about having to disclose it.

31 CFR 103.34(a)(1) says a bank is not liable for failing to obtain a SSN.

26 CFR 301.6109-1© says a bank is under no legal obligation to obtain a SSN.

Internal Revenue Code Section 6041 says that a SSN is not required at all to submit a form 1099 statement of interest

The PATRIOT Act and the International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001 changed the rules a little bit by requiring banks to obtain a "Taxpayer Identification Number" (TIN) which does not have to be your SSN before they can process any transactions over $10,000 per day, or if you are purchasing more than $3,000 in traveler's checks in a single day. A TIN is also required if you are not a US Citizen. These provisions override the other laws cited above.

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