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Can a police officer ask for someone's social security number during a traffic stop ?
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Can a police officer ask for someone's social security number during a traffic stop ?

the police have pulled you over for a traffic violation . can they ask you for your social security number ?


Yes they can ask you. It is one of many ways to positively ID someone. Unless your hiding something you have no reason not to give it to them.

El Scott
Of course they can. It is actually a block on the North Carolina citation. It is not needed though and I usually don't ask for it. You should respectfully decline to answer it or claim not to know it if it makes you uncomfortable to give it.

Dog Lover
Sure they can.... and so you know, when you received your license you social security number was recorded. Thus, it is all ready in the system. All that needs to be done is to run your name and DOB and it is all there.....so you might have been asked for verification purposes.

If you don't have your drivers license on you, or if your name comes up with a warrant ( many people have the same name) so often they will ask for the social security for proper identity, We have had to ask for them several times when we were not sure if the person in the car was the wanted person or not. ** Much better to ask, than to hold them and take them in to be finger printed.

Ranger K
Yes we can.

Ok, people can give you whatever opinion they want on this matter. The fact is, a police officer can request your social. If you are stopped and don't have any id on you, it is quite possible they will ask you for your social to confirm you are who you say you are.

Yep. I do it all the time to confirm outstanding warrants.

Yes, they can and do ask for social security to make sure they have the right person due to more than one having the same name. A social security number is assigned to one person.

Yes they can, especially if they're trying to confirm identity.

I hardley ever ask for it unless I can't get info in the system on a drivers license. To answer your question yes they can.

Sure can. When they call to check on the person's record, that information is recorded along with the date of birth and the tech checks in their file for anything connected to that SS number.

Yes they can ask you for your ssn, name, address, date of birth, and anything else that helps determine your true identity. Remember just because you are being truthful doesnt mean other people are. They arent asking you to be nosey or steal your identity, they just want to make sure they have the right person.

They can, but it doesn't really matter because they'll have that info when they run your name and dob, or your license number. It shows up on the print out....

Couple of good answers here from people who know, and the usual assortment of folks who don't know what they're talking about.

Probably important to look at your own question. Can a cop ask for your social security number? Sure. And a cop can *ask* for your underwear size, too.

Social security numbers are not universally available to the police (certainly not here in California) based on a driver's license check. While California collects the number, it is not available to the cops on a traffic stop.

That said, it *is* listed on a criminal history report and often on arrest warrants. Asking for it is one way of confirming that you do or do not have a warrant or that you are or are not the person listed on a criminal history report.

You don't want to answer, don't. I'd suggest you run the risk of being arrested pending further investigation, though.

Some departments also use it during report their report writing process, too. Again, it's just one more way of making sure we're dealing with *you*, and not some other John Smith.

Now, if you're asking about the impact of the Privacy Act of 1974 (were you in the military, maybe?), I can't give you a good answer to that. I don't know myself, despite the research I've done.


Sometimes it can be difficult to identify a person with just their date of birth and drivers license. A warrant might show up in the system with incomplete info and a social security number can be enough to determine who the party in question is.

It doesn't happen often. The most common time would be when someone doesn't have their drivers license on them, and a DMV search does not show a match.

Then it becomes a more probing investigation if the officer has reason to believe the person is deliberately misidentifying themself, which is a crime.

Mr. PhD
They can ask for anything they wish. You are not obligated to provide it. Once you have provided valid proof of identity (aka drivers license), you have fulfilled all obligations.

I wouldn't provide a SS# as this is broadcast over open air (even the police digital frequencies can and are monitored by other parties).

If the police cannot prove probable cause for an arrest for failure to give a SS#, then it is false arrest. False arrest in CA is one of the few things that cops cannot hide behind immunity laws from (they can be sued personally because it is considered a constitutional violation)

Yes, they can.

Black Jacque Chirac

In my state it be a crime not to identify yerself. Ye can do it by driver's license or by valid social security number. If you don't have one you have to give the other. That be the law me matey!

Well if they come up with two people with your name- do you want them to use your records or theirs? This other person with the same name might have a bad record you dont know.

Scott F
Why wouldn't he ask for your driver's license instead? Asking for someone's SS sounds fishy.

NO they don't need it you have your driver's license and registration and proof of insurance. Your social security number is not part of you driver's license.

Never in all my years have I ever heard of that!

Mopar Muscle Gal
they shouldnt need to

john c
Yes, a police officer can ask for your social security number, however, you do not need to provide that information. Your driver's license or other photo identification is sufficient. If he/she threatens you, ask to speak with their supervisor, usually the sergeant on the shift. Due to affirmative action and other questionable programs, we are not getting the best and brightest on our local police departments. The standards have been dangerously lowered for police officer qualifications, and this type of political correctness endangers the public safety for all concerned.

If one asked me I would report him. If he needed it and could legally get it he could get it through police data centers with my driver's license number. the reason I would report him is identity theft. That number is no ones business but yours and the tax man's

Perry L
If you have a drivers license and insurance they don't need your social security number. Just tell them you don't have one. Cops are not our sheep herders they just work for us...stand up for yourself and remind them where their paycheck comes from. I usually tell them to go F themselves when they want info I don't need to give them.

Hey rbanzai...BAAAAHHHHH...you are the problem with this country...turn your friggin TV off dude.

Police ask for id Okay so I ordered pizza tonight and when the driver arrived the police was with him. They said that they had a issue earlier and someone had tried to hurt the pizza guy. They ask for my Id and wrote my information down. Do they have the right to do that? My issue is I have a warrant out for my arrest, but my last name has changed and I have a Texas id. My warrant is in Ohio and I am in Ohio right now. Will my warrant for Ohio show up? It has been almost six hours since they left, how long does it take to run someone name?

Never, ever trust the police. Despite what they want you to believe, they are NOT working in your best interest.

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