Verifying a Social Security Number (SSN)

Social Security Administration (SSA) Validation, E-Verify, and an SSN address trace search are three methods used to verify the authenticity and accuracy of Social Security Numbers, each with its own strengths and applications.

An SSN address trace search compares an SSN against databases of valid and active SSNs. This approach provides a basic level of verification, but it lacks the more comprehensive capabilities of SSA Validation and E-Verify.

SSA Validation is the most robust and authoritative method available for identity verification, fraud protection, and compliance. It cross-references SSNs with the records maintained by the federal Social Security Administration. This process guarantees an SSN is valid, but also matches the individual’s other information.

E-Verify ensures compliance with immigration laws and prevents the employment of unauthorized individuals. It compares the SSN and other relevant information against records from the SSA and the Department of Homeland Security to determine the individual’s work authorization status.

An SSN address trace search might suffice in many circumstances but could fail to provide important information when it matters most. SSA Validation and E-Verify are well worth a little additional time and expense to prevent more costly mistakes in hiring.

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