October 2, 2000
DOL now requires Social Security numbers
On Oct. 1, the Washington State Department of Licensing began the mandatory collection of Social Security numbers (SSNs) from applicants for original, renewal and replacement driver licenses. This complies with a 1996 federal law that makes the availability of federal welfare funds contingent upon states collecting SSNs to assist in the enforcement of child support laws. Washington State recieves $500 million per year in welfare grants as well as child support administration dollars.
To comply with the federal law, the State Legislature passed a law in 1998 requiring the collection of SSNs on applications for professional and occupational licenses, commercial driver's licenses, recreational licenses, and marriage licenses. Until now, DOL has been collecting SSNs for drivers on a voluntary basis. After October 1, failure to provide a SSN will result in an incomplete application and no license will be issued. Commercial driver license applicants were already required to provide their SSNs.
There are approximately 4.2 million licensed drivers in Washington. About 80% have already volunteered their SSN.