Are Americans required to receive SS numbers?

Having somehow sailed blissfully through life without an SS number, I’m now hearing that Americans who renew passports are required to have one. Is this right? Has anybody without an SS number applied for a renewal recently?

Sounds bizarre, since overseas Americans can’t receive SS benefits and won’t make SS payments. It sounds like they’re trying to turn this thing into a de facto national ID number, despite being designed for something else…but couldn’t the passport numbers themselves be used for that?

Does the AIT handle this, or would application have to be made to an SS office in the U.S.?

don’t remember if they asked the last time i reviewed, but i wouldn’t have though twice about it. god bless you for not having one. i’m sure you can apply through ait if you have to.

The official site from the State Dept. does not indicate you need one:

However, on further research, I managed to find a PDF version of the passport renewal form, which indicates that you do need a ssn. But if you don’t have one, it seems it’d be ok too. But they have to report it to the IRS. Here’s the exact wording:

To get the actual form from the State Dept site, go here:

Good luck.


Wow :shock: … How is this possible? I guess you pay your taxes by using a tax ID instead then? Amazing…


I’ve never paid U.S. taxes. Moved overseas early in life…

As a U.S. citizen, Screaming, you are required to file taxes whether you owe or not, I am sure you are aware of this. I am under the impression that every American is supposed to have a SSN. As a matter of fact, I believe my sister applied for her daughters to get one at birth. I will double check with her and post a clarification.