Social Security Requirements

Image of Social Security Card

Why is a Social Security number needed to apply for a driver's license or state identification card?

Michigan law requires the Department of State to collect and verify Social Security numbers before issuing a driver's license or state identification card.
(Michigan Vehicle Code, 1949 PA 300, as amended by 1998 PA 330; and State Identification Card Act, 1972 PA 222, as amended by 2008 PA 31.)

Social Security numbers are used for child support collection and to assist in establishing identity.

What do I have to bring to a Secretary of State office to prove I have a valid Social Security number?

The following documents will be accepted:

  • Your Social Security card.
  • W-2 or 1099 form.
  • Pay stub containing your name and Social Security number.
  • Valid U.S. military ID card with photo (DD-2 or CAC card). (Documents expired less than one year will also be accepted.)
  • If you are ineligible for a Social Security number, you must have a letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration attesting to that fact. Letters that are more than 30 days old won't be accepted.

All Social Security information will be verified. If you fail to provide a valid Social Security number or provide proof demonstrating your ineligibility, your driver's license or state ID application can't be processed.

Who will see my Social Security number?

Concerted effort and planning has taken place to ensure this information is protected. It is important for the public to know that the Social Security numbers aren't displayed or encoded on the driver's license or ID card. This information is limited to select individuals in government agencies as allowed by law. Michigan has worked hard to ensure the proper safeguards were in place to protect the personal privacy of state residents.

How do I apply for a Social Security number?

If you have never been issued a Social Security card, you may apply for one at no cost at a local Social Security office. You will need to:

  • Bring a completed Form SS-5 (Application for a Social Security Card) and,
  • Provide at least two documents to confirm your age, identity and citizenship or legal presence.

Acceptable documents include, but are not limited to, an original birth certificate, valid U.S. driver's license, state-issued identification card or U.S. passport. If a U.S. birth certificate exists you MUST submit it. See Learn What Documents You Need to find acceptable documents. Only originals or copies certified by the agency that issued the document will be accepted. Individuals who aren't U.S. citizens must provide a current U.S. immigration document and foreign passport with biographical information or photograph.

My Social Security card was lost or stolen. How do I get a replacement?

You can use a mySocialSecurity account to request a replacement Social Security card online if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen age 18 years or older with a U.S. mailing address;
  • Aren't requesting a name change or any other change to your card; and
  • Have a driver's license or a state-issued identification card from Michigan or one of the other states listed.

If you can't apply for a card online, you will need to work with your local office and provide documentation. See Learn What Documents You Need to find out what documents you will have to show. Fill out and print an Application for a Social Security Card; and take or mail your application and documents to your local Social Security office.

My name has changed since I got my Social Security card. Will it be accepted when I apply for my driver's license or state ID card?

You should first visit your local Social Security office to apply for a card in your new name before heading to a Secretary of State office. The Social Security Administration requires you to provide proof of your identity, U.S. citizenship or legal presence and name change. Additional proof may be requested.

If you don't inform the Social Security Administration of your name change, the Department of State can't process your driver's license or state ID card application. The department verifies all names and Social Security numbers before issuing a license or ID card. If your name and date of birth don't match with what is on file at the Social Security Administration, your application will be denied.

After changing your name with the Social Security Administration, wait three business days before visiting a Secretary of State office to apply for your license or ID card to ensure your records with the Social Security Administration have been updated.

Where can I get more information about applying for a Social Security card?

Contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213 or visit its Web site at