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Old 11-20-2004, 08:24 AM
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Do other countries have social security numbers?

I was thinking about this today and it's crazy how important these numbers are! Imagine that, a 9-digit number that is the key to your existence in the United States. You go to the bank and don't have your account number, they ask for your SS. You call the loan company, they ask for your SS. You take a test, you have to write your SS on it.

I was wondering what other countries use to identify the citizens? Do you have identification numbers like this and are they as important as they are in teh United States?

I don't even know how someone could survive without a SS in this country!

Oh and how do companies actually check to see if ur SS is the correct one? Is there some database they connect to or do they just assume that what you write down is correct?
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Old 11-20-2004, 08:30 AM
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In Australia, we dont have a number that is used for everything.

we have a tax file number, which you get when you get your first job, uness you want to commit fraud, and not declare your income, you need the tax file number. You also need it for Superannuation....

apart from that, i have had to give my licence numbers for a lot of things, any contacts like mobile phones, even video store cards...

apart from that, there isnt really a system where you get one central number that is used as a reference for different things...
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Old 11-20-2004, 08:39 AM
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Old 11-20-2004, 11:16 AM
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In Italy there is the Codice Fiscale, which I guess is pretty much the same thing, I think.
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Old 11-20-2004, 12:22 PM
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in norway we have something called birth and person number, which are the six digits that make up your birthdate and then there's, i think four or five random numbers at the end. they're given to you when you're born and are usually on important papers.
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Old 11-20-2004, 02:20 PM
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In the UK we have National Insurance cards. You get them when you're 16, when you can leave school. I think you generally only use them at work for some kind of tax thing. You cant use it as a form of ID though -- I think the majority of people use their driving licences.
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Old 11-21-2004, 04:13 AM
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Re: Do other countries have social security numbers?

Quote:
Originally posted by mh67511
I was thinking about this today and it's crazy how important these numbers are! Imagine that, a 9-digit number that is the key to your existence in the United States. You go to the bank and don't have your account number, they ask for your SS. You call the loan company, they ask for your SS. You take a test, you have to write your SS on it.

It started out as the identifier the federal gov't used to match people with payroll deductions and reports of taxable income, but businesses have gotten into the habit of using it as the identifier you use for your business transactions. And at some point, I think in the '80's, a social security card became "proof of citizenship", which led to SSN's being issued to children, and required for them to receive public services, whereas back when I got one, there was no reason to get one until you were looking for a job.

Employers, banks, and investment brokers require them because they must report your income to the IRS. Loan companies, and other companies that extend credit, want to have it so they can use it to research your credit history and assets, and find out where you're working if you try to stiff them. Any kind of needs-based program (eg, FAFSA) wants it to verify your income.

I usually resist giving it out in other circumstances. A few times over the years, businesses have asked me for my SSN when I was just buying something (eg, Radio Shack). Though this has gotten pretty rare, as awareness of identity theft has gone up. But there was only one case, in the '70's, where I ended up not buying something because the business wouldn't accomodate me. More often, they have their own numbering scheme in case the customer doesn't want to give them an SSN. I tell the clerk that I don't want to give it out because I'm concerned about identity theft, which is true, but sounds less antagonistic than my first thought, which is, none of your beeswax.

Quote:

Oh and how do companies actually check to see if ur SS is the correct one? Is there some database they connect to or do they just assume that what you write down is correct?
In the case of companies running a credit check, they are going to submit the number you give them to the big three credit reporting firms (Experian, and I can't remember the other two), and perhaps to other services (google for such things and you'll find companies that sell criminal background checks and a host of other info keyed to SSN).

In the past, employers have just set up a payroll account with whatever info you give them on your W-2 form. But I think SS may expect them to verify numbers now. I read somewhere that in the past year, SS has begun checking their data on an employee against the W-2's, and refusing to credit deductions to the employee's SS retirement account unless the employer's records for the employee match SSN's. This has created a problem for some people who have changed their names, but not gotten around to updating their data with the Social Security Administration.

When I got my learner's permit from DMV last month, they compared my SSN to the one in SSA's computer. Which they've never done before when I've renewed my state photo ID.
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Old 11-21-2004, 06:17 AM
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Interesting ideas on identity.

Makes me think of how over here in Australia, if your passport expires, instead of being able to used your old passport to renew it, you have to get other forms of identification.

The way that SSN are portrayed in movies and films really gives off the vibe of robotic mutants that follow orders - thats what you give numbers to.
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Old 11-21-2004, 06:52 AM
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After someone has been deceased for so long, the number can be used again, right? How long do they wait before they re-issue the number?
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Old 11-22-2004, 10:31 PM
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We have(Canada) a social insurance number that is used for Revenue Canada, Employment, Employment Insurance and of course for banks to make credit checks.
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Old 11-23-2004, 01:47 AM
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we have a IRD (inland revenue department) number in newzealand
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Old 11-23-2004, 08:33 AM
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We've got a number like that in Holland i just forgot the name, it's used to see if you worked some were. and you always need to fill it in for official documents.
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Old 11-23-2004, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dyxlecis gril
in norway we have something called birth and person number, which are the six digits that make up your birthdate and then there's, i think four or five random numbers at the end. they're given to you when you're born and are usually on important papers.
Yeah, we have the same thing in Sweden. Its very handy because you have it in your passport and your ID..
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