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SSNVS (Social Security Number Verification Service)

The Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) is a free online service provided by SSA that allows registered employers and third-party submitters to verify employee names and SSNs against SSA's records, for wage reporting purposes. SSNVS is available to all employers and third-party submitters, but SSNVS can only be used to verify current or former employees and only for wage reporting (Form W-2) purposes.

Many employers are now using the Social Security Administration's (SSA) on-line tools for verifying the name and Social Security number (SSN) combinations of their employees. Increasingly, employers are also using this tool at the time-of-hire as part of their payroll intake process because it saves them from having to correct wrong information later in the process and ensures that correct wage information will be credited to their employees' earnings records. However, it is illegal to use the SSNVS to verify SSNs of potential new hires or contractors or in the preparation of tax returns.

While the service is available to all employers and third-party submitters, it can only be used to verify current or former employees and only for wage reporting (Form W-2) purposes.
Employers Use SSNVS Verify Names and SSNs Online
SSNVS allows Social Security to properly credit your employees' earnings record, which will be important information in determining their Social Security benefits in the future.

If the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) returns a mismatch for an employee, and the employer has checked its records and determined it did not make a typographical error the employer should:

  1. Check with SSA to ensure that the error was not the result of improper formatting or name order (i.e., submitting surnames in the incorrect order or separately, using a middle name or initial, or using a married name for which SSA has no record).
  2. Review prior successful SSNVS queries to ensure that data submissions/formats are correct.
  3. Ask the employee if the employer's records are correct. The employee may have made an error when recording his/her SSN or the employer may have recorded the number incorrectly.
  4. If the records appear accurate, ask the employee to visit the Social Security Administration to resolve the discrepancy within 90 days of the employer receiving the mis-match, and to report back to the employer.
  5. Remember that a mismatch is not a basis, in and of itself, for the employer to take any adverse action against an employee, such as laying off, suspending, firing or discriminating.
  6. Apply company policy consistently to all workers.

An employer who uses an SSNVS mis-match to take inappropriate adverse action against a worker may violate State or Federal law.
Information received from SSNVS does not make any statement regarding a worker's immigration status.


This is an advertisement. The Goulder Immigration Law Firm is the law office of Gerald Goulder and limits its practice predominantly to US immigration and naturalization law; and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than Nort Carolina. The information contained on this site is intended to educate members of the public generally and is not intended to provide solutions to individual problems. Readers are cautioned not to attempt to solve individual problems on the basis of information contained herein and are strongly advised to seek advice from an experienced immigration attorney regarding specific case situations. The information on this website may not be up to date and should not be relied on without the advice and representation of your attorney. The links to government agencies and other websites are provided as a convenience only and no warranty express or implied is made regarding the accuracy of information obtained from those websites.