View Full Version : Legal to keep S.S. Card copies?

08-18-2005, 11:02 AM
My company didn't have an HR department at all until very recently and things were done by random office people in the past. A policy that came into existence during that time was to require a copy of the employee's social security card on file for direct deposit purposes. It was determined by someone that we needed the copy and nothing could take it's place, not a background check that verified s.s., not even a receipt for the office of Social Security stating that X number belonged to X person. Is it legal to require an employee to give us a copy of their social security card? Could you please site a law or resource where you got your information when replying so I have something I can show the boss? Thanks!

08-19-2005, 01:12 AM
Your message is confusing. You've asked two questions. Is it legal to keep copies of SS cards? Yes, it is, as long as you do it consistently for all employees.

Your second question was if it is legal to require an employee to give you a copy? No, it is not. As a matter of fact, an employee is not even required to show you a SS card as long as he provides you with other requisite documents which prove identity and elegibility to work in the U.S.


08-19-2005, 01:41 AM
Look on the 3rd page of the new I-9 form under Section 2 - Employer. Step 5 states that the employee must present original documents and that the employer may, but are not required to, photocopy the documents presented. These photocopies may only be used for the verification process and must be retained with the I-9.

08-19-2005, 03:28 AM
I'm afraid I cannot quote you chapter and verse to tell you where this comes from, but at my last job for a multi-state assisted living/long term care "chain" of facilities, we were required to take a copy of the social security card for payroll purposes. I believe you can be fined $50 per occurrence (each paycheck) where you pay a person under a name that is not on their social security card. I have to admit I don't particularly worry about it at this job. Cany anyone else chime in on a source on this? I'll try to do some searching, but not sure where to even look.

08-19-2005, 03:41 AM
The second question was is it legal to require them for payroll purposes, I know the I-9 requirements, and I know that they don't have to show a SS card for that, but that's not what we're using it for. I guess what I am mainly wondering is if other forms of verified SS numbers (background check and receipt from SS office) are just as good to legally verify a social security number for payroll purposes.

08-19-2005, 03:52 AM
It's my understanding that while an employer cannot require that the SS card be used as one of the acceptable documents for completion of the I-9, production of the social security card CAN be required for payroll purposes.

"Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot."
Charlie Chaplin

08-19-2005, 04:16 AM
A few years ago, we had a notice (at this point, I don't remember from where) what we should keep a copy of the SScard to insure the name on the payroll was exactly the name on the social security card. This came about with all the SS letters about names & numbers.

08-19-2005, 10:42 AM
ALICIAC: About three years ago the IRS and the SSA got together and had a police the system program which provided a $50.00 fine for each mis-matched SSN, Name spelling, date of birth, and gender. The SSA put together a verification system which allowed employers to list their employees and verify the above information and also gave employers the ability to make corrections. I do not know of any employer that got fined and paid money; however, we were asked by our accounting department at corporate to get about 15 employees to the SSA to get information mis-matches corrected. We did and submitted the necessary changes and all was cool.

Today we use the I-9 and the value of the data provided there on to guarantee the correctness of SSA/IRS/DHS data required of employers. Only the I-9 and it's requirements for completion will you find any hint of a law that requires the employee to present the SSN or the correctness of same for our employer purposes. The employee does not have to present the SS Card for the employer purposes.

May I recommend to you the SAVE Pilot program as one that can give you peace of mind that the data collected on your I-9 as being verified by the US Government and that your accounting department can rest assured that the HR Department is the holder of good data, as it pertains to employee personal data and record.


08-22-2005, 04:32 AM
Pork - Do you get a stipend from SAVE for promotion? If not, you should.

08-24-2005, 03:55 AM
As mentioned by others, an employer can be fined $50.00 per instance when an employee's name or SSN does not match the Social Security Administration's records. To ensure your records do match, you would want to see an original SS card. I am not aware of a provision in SS law that prevents you from making a copy.