A Tax ID Number can be used to buy a car under circumstances, but it depends upon what kind of TIN you are in possession of and whether you want to apply for personal or business credit. If you don't follow the rules for using a TIN to get credit, you could find yourself in violation of the law.

Types of TIN

There are five primary types of TINs: Social Security Numbers, Employer Identification Numbers, Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions and Preparer Taxpayer Identification Numbers. Of these five different TIN types, only two are usually used to apply for credit: SSNs and EINs. If you want to buy a car using a TIN then you need to use either a SSN or an EIN.

Difference Between SSN and EIN

If you are an individual taxpayer, you may use your SSN to report taxes. You'll need your SSN to get a job and many governmental bodies and organizations ask for your SSN as proof of identity. In addition, you can use your SSN to apply for credit to buy a car. Your SSN is also used to report your payments to the credit bureaus after your purchase. An EIN works similarly to an SSN, but it can only be used for business purposes.

Purchasing a Car With an EIN

If you want to purchase a car using your business's EIN, fill out the credit application in the same way you would for a personal loan. However, you'll need to identify yourself as a business and not an individual: tell the salesperson that this is a business purchase so that they can provide you with the correct application. There should be a box for your EIN, but if there isn't, place it in the space for the EIN.


A credit repair scheme called file segregation encourages consumers to apply for an EIN to segregate their credit files and apply for credit using the EIN. Making false statements on a credit application is a federal crime and if you also use the mail to apply you could face mail fraud charges as well. The general rule of thumb is don't use an EIN unless it is for business purposes.