There are many reasons you might want to verify a Social Security number. Perhaps you're an employer looking to verify the identity of a potential employee. Maybe you're a landlord ensuring that a new tenant is legitimate. Or maybe you're engaging in some other sort of business transaction and need to make sure that a person is being honest with you.
The Internet is the best way to verify Social Security numbers, whether you only want to make sure that the number is real or ensure that the number matches the correct name.
Verifying Social Security Numbers
Make sure that the Social Security number is possible. The Social Security number should have nine digits. The number should be divided into the area number (first three digits), group number (fourth and fifth digits), and serial number (last four digits). There are no issued area numbers "000," "666" or above 772. There are no Social Security numbers with a "00" group number or a "0000" serial number.
Go to the SSN Validator website, if the Social Security number is possible: http://www.ssnvalidator.com/default.aspx.
Type in a Social Security number, accept the terms and conditions by hitting the "Yes, I accept!" bubble, and click "search now."
Read the results. SSN Validator will tell you: whether the Social Security number has been issued, the state of issue, the approximate date of issue, and whether there is a record of death for that Social Security number.
Verifying Social Security Numbers for Employers
Go to the government's Social Security Number Verification Service website: http://www.ssa.gov/employer/ssnv.htm. This is much easier than using Social Security's telephone or mail verification systems.
Register for the Social Security Number Verification Service. Use the hyperlink at the bottom of the webpage to access the registration form.
Log in to the site after you have registered and request an access and activation code
Obtain the activation code through the mail, and log in to the website to use it. You are now ready to verify Social Security numbers for new employees or payroll databases by following the instructions provided on the website.
If you are not an employer, you can connect a person's Social Security number to his name by running a credit report on him. For this, you will need the person's signature. Be wary of online verification services that charge a fee. If you have a legitimate reason to verify a person's Social Security number, you can do it without paying this type of company.
If you do not have a valid reason and/or permission to verify a Social Security number, you can be prosecuted for attempting to obtain this kind of sensitive information. You can be prosecuted for attempting to use another person's Social Security number as your own.