The Social Security Number (SSN) of an employee has nine digits, organized as follows:  000-00-0000.  Employers are required to get each employee’s name and SSN and enter them correctly on Form 499R-2/W-2PR.

Applying for a social security card

Any employee who is legally eligible to work in the United States and does not have a social security card can get one by completing Form SS-5, Application for a Social Security Card, and submitting the necessary documentation.

Applying for a social security number

If you file a Form 499R-2/W-2PR on paper and your employee applied for an SSN but does not have one when you must file Form W-2, enter “Applied For” on the form. If you are filing electronically, enter all zeros (000-00-000) in the social security number field. When the employee receives the SSN, file Copy A of Form W-2PRc, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, with the SSA to show the employee's SSN.

Correctly record the employee's name and SSN

Record the name and number of each employee as they are shown on the employee's social security card. If the employee's name is not correct as shown on the card, for example, because of marriage or divorce, the employee should request an updated card from the SSA. Continue to report the employee's wages under the old name until the employee shows you the updated social security card with the corrected name.

Verification of social security numbers

Employers and authorized reporting agents can use the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) to instantly verify up to 10 names and SSNs (per screen) at a time, or submit an electronic file of up to 250,000 names and SSNs and usually receive the results the next business day.

For more information, visit:

Application for a social security card - Form SS-5:

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