So a recruiter from a staffing company is asking me for my driver's license in order to submit me to a company(The State of Washington supposedly) and setup an initial interview. My issue comes from giving personal info such as Social Security Number and Divers Licence Number to anyone unless I'm being hired or at the very least going in for a face to face( and I'm only giving it to them once I see them not before via email).

From what few reviews, which I understand should be taken with a grain of salt, these people are not to be trusted.

I've actually spoken to them on the phone and the woman I spoke to raised some red flags in just how detached she was from the conversation. I sent her an email asking what the information would be used for only to be told that it's for the client(state of WA). I asked again only to not receive an answer but they're still waiting for the information to be sent to them in an insecure email. I even considered a visit where I could visit with the recruiter face to face, but they have refused to give me an address.

Is there a good reason for a recruiter to request this information prior for an initial interview? Is there a better way to clarify what they intend to use my information for?

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    Welcome to the Workplace, Fenrir190 -- appreciate your question. Can you be more specific in the question body what you are asking? "Am I being paranoid" is hard to answer specifically.
    – mcknz
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 17:33
  • @Fenrir - I have edited your question by removing the opinion - Am I being too paranoid from your question title and adding in an explicit question that I think you are trying to ask.
    – Anthony
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 17:40
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    @StephanBranczyk Lol completely legit. Too many of these guys just pull my information from job boards. This is why when I'm done with the contracting agency I'm with now, it's straight to dealing with companies directly. I've found too much shady stuff happens through some of these recruiters. Very few legit ones out there from what I've seen.
    – Fenrir190
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 19:21
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    I think I would pass then. This company sounds like they are a consulting meat grinder. They do not care about how good you are or if you are treated well they want 50+% of what the contract pays for you to put a butt in a seat. This is not usually a good sign. Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 19:32
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    Possible duplicate of Why do recruiters ask for ID and/or references?
    – user8036
    Commented Feb 11, 2016 at 10:45

3 Answers 3


I've never been asked for my driver's license by any recruiter (at least not until we are actually at the point where the job is accepted and W2s are being filled out), and I have interviewed for several jobs for the state. I'd go with your gut instinct, especially since you don't have an established relationship with this company and what you have found in reviews are setting off red flags. As they say on the infomercials - "you only have one identity". There are lots of recruiters out there and it's unlikely that this group has exclusive rights to any jobs that you absolutely need.

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    These we're my thoughts on the matter. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything as far as rather this would be a good idea or not. I've other interviews through other recruiters with place like Dept of Agriculture and Defense and they've not asked me for any sort of PII other than my name.
    – Fenrir190
    Commented Sep 14, 2015 at 18:07

In my experience Social Security numbers and drivers' license numbers are usually required for background checks. Background checks are expensive and usually only done after the offer has been made, but a government agency may well have different guidelines.

However, this recruiter is setting off a lot of red flags. These days a lot of recruiters are mostly virtual -- their local address may just be a mail drop that forwards mail to their real office in India or the Philippines, for example. (That's not necessarily a stopper, but remember that recruiting is a field with very low barriers to entry.)

2022 addendum: (1) Some recruiters are asking for government photo ID in an attempt to ensure that the person who shows up for a video interview is the same person who accepts the job. I found in 2021 that I could get away with sending a photo of my driver's license with the most abusable information covered. (2) Some recruiters are asking for SSN, or at least the last 4 digits, to create their own unique identifier for candidates. At least one recruiter told me (in 2021) to just make up a 4 digit PIN for their system.

  • Drivers' license numbers are required for gate entry where I work, otherwise, guests have to be escorted in by someone authorized to enter the facility. The info is sent ahead of the the visit until right before a new employee starts or a service vendor is scheduled to visit, then the visitor just shows their license to the guards. So we do not ask for DL number until we are sure it will be needed.
    – danak
    Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 16:20

Giving Driver's License copy and copy of visa open lots of possibilities for the mis-use of that information. SO I would refuse that information to any overseas recruiter.

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    This answer doesn't add anything that the other answers hadn't already covered. It also doesn't answer the actual question asked. In general, here, answers can (and often should) include additional insights where appropriate, but they need to answer the specific question asked
    – Ben Barden
    Commented Feb 27, 2020 at 15:59

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