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Social Security Number (SSN)


A Social Security Number (SSN) is for employment purposes only.  You can only apply for a social security number if you have a job and have been in the U.S. for 10 or more days.

The SSN is also used to track your credit and work history.  Many vendors will require a social security number to deliver services.  While you are waiting for your social security number, many vendors will allow you to substitute your student ID number until your social security number is obtained.  Never give your SSN to anyone other than a merchant who requires it or your bank.  This number should be kept confidential. It’s safer to memorize the number, rather than carry the card with you.  Not only is there a risk for it to be stolen, but also it is difficult to replace if it is lost.

Social Security Numbers (SSN) are for work purposes only, meaning you must receive funding from a U.S. based source (i.e.: Vanderbilt salary). The SSN is not to be used as a general ID. After arriving in the U.S., you should wait at least 10 days before applying for a SSN.

DO I NEED A SSN?

For more information on when you need a Social Security Number please visit the Social Security Administration (SSA) website.

WHERE TO APPLY FOR A SSN?

Social Security Administration office address and directions: SSA ADDRESS AND DIRECTIONS 

HOW TO APPLY FOR A SSN?

To apply for a Social Security number, you must appear in person at the Social Security Office, complete an application form and provide original supporting documents to verify your age, your identity and your lawful non-citizen status.
You will need to take with you the following documents:
  • Valid passport
  • Valid I-94
  • All original I-20s (For F-1 Students only)
  • All original DS-2019s (For J-1 Visa Only)
  • Letter of Employment (Appointment Letter)
    or
    Social Security Letter Form (For Students Only)
  • Peabody students applying for a Teaching License should take a copy of the Teaching License application as proof of need for an SSN

TIPS FOR COMPLETING SSN APPLICATION

#5 Citizenship – check “Legal Alien Allowed to Work”.
#9 A. Mother’s Maiden Name – Please put the name your mother had before marriage (if it was different).
B. Mother’s Social Security Number – If your mother ever lived in the U.S. and had a Social Security Number, put it here. If not, leave this blank.
#10 A. Father’s Name – Please put your father’s name.
B. Father’s Social Security Number – If your father ever lived in the U.S. and had a Social Security Number, put it here. If not, leave this blank.
#16 Mailing Address = Your Residence in Nashville 

  • The U.S. Post Office will not forward Social Security Cards or deliver them to you at another person’s address. Do not use c/o addresses!
  • If you do not have residence in Nashville yet, it is best to wait to apply for a card when you have one.

ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR SSN CARD

After receiving the SSN, students MUST FIRST take their SSN card to the Registrar’s Office located in the Baker Building Suite 110 (For a map, click here and use the drop down for “Select a Building.”), and then to Human Resources at 2525 HR Express.  Students will have problems with their VUNETID if you fail to take the SSN card to the Registrar’s Office first.
Scholar’s should take their SSN card to HR Express at 2525 West End to update their I-9.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBILE FOR A SSN?

Individuals not paid from a U.S. based source may apply for an ITIN number.

IDENTITY THEFT

Once you have your social security number please keep it in a safe place. Identity theft is a big program. Do not share your SSN over the phone with individuals you do not know or through e-mail. To learn more about identity theft please visit the Federal Trade Commission website.