I've been a freelancing entrepreneur, basically a "hustler", for the past couple of years, but I applied for a job and got it. My employer has asked for my driver's license and Social Security number, and I don't feel all that comfortable with that. It seems like I'm a sucker if I give it. What information can my employer acquire with this information? What can be done with it? How can I have the informational advantage here? I don't have anything to hide, but I just want to know how this information is an advantage to my employer outside its obvious use.


in the United States your employer will need to do two things:

  • collect taxes from you, and send that money to the proper authorities. They need your SSN in order to do that.

  • The other thing they will have to do is complete with your help the I-9 form to document your right to work. They will keep this form for the entire time you are an employee, plus and additional 2 years. The form details the types of document you may have to show to prove you are allowed to work. They will make copies of these identity documents.

Your employer wants to safeguard these documents to make sure they can't be accused of identity theft. The number of people who will have access to the documents will be very limited.

  • Can they collect interest on the collective tax total of all employees? – SilverGrass Nov 7 '16 at 20:26
  • @SilverGrass - They can collect interest on the money in their bank accounts. They are required to file and regularly submit payment to the IRS for those taxes they collected. – IDrinkandIKnowThings Nov 7 '16 at 20:31
  • There's just me, the employer and the front desk lady, so that's not really happening here, just curious. – SilverGrass Nov 7 '16 at 20:37
  • 3
    The federal and state taxing authorities specify how often the company has to send withheld money to the treasury. The IRS takes that very seriously. – mhoran_psprep Nov 7 '16 at 20:55

Those two documents are standard to prove citizenship and the right to work.

As to what can be discerned from them, literally everything, which is why your company can get into a huge amount of trouble if they are leaked.

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