Yes, it is permissible to require Social Security numbers prior to an interview (e.g., on the job application form), but some states are considering or have enacted measures to limit or even prohibit the use of Social Security numbers on some documents and in some communication channels, including mail and the internet.
Despite such restrictions, employers may still use Social Security numbers in the collection, use or retention of information for verification and administrative reasons. Applications sent by regular mail may include a request for Social Security numbers.
Question added to topic Human Resources • October 5, 2008
Is an employer allowed to ask for my Social Security number before an interview?
Penny is a seasoned human resources executive and consultant with over 25 years of diverse business experience in advising enterprise leaders on employment-related matters.