When this song came out ...
it was still true that your Social Security card said right there on it that it wasn't to be used for identification purposes. (When we started with Social Security Cards, we were still more than a little bit nervous about the way identification papers were being/had been being used in certain European Countries).
Now... the story is clearly very different. Which I find to be more than a little disturbing -- and once I get over today's frustration, I'll likely also find it amusing.
Today we went to the DMV with the intent of replacing my suddenly missing Driver's License, and having Kitty take the DRIVING test to get her Driver's License. We were foiled in this attempt because evidently, your Social Security Card is vital to obtaining any documents that you can use for identification. Alas, while I could find MY Social Security card (but not my drivers license), and Bookworm's Social Security Card, and Golf Pro's Social Security Card and even Golf Pro's old draft card -- we still can't find Kitty's Social Security Card. Today's trip to the DMV yielded only a replacement for my drivers license (for which I even did my make-up and hair etc. in an attempt to avoid a zombie photo, only to have them reprint the old one).
In order to get a Driver's License you have to prove your identity. That seems reasonable, until they get so tied up in their rules that you trip over them. Oddly, More important than your identity is proof of residency (you need two documents that prove that, but only one for your identity). To get my replacement license, I produced a current Passport and my voters registration card.
Alas, Kitty's passport has expired. Evidently when that happens, not only is the Passport no good for travel outside the country, but the information on it becomes invalid, since you can't use it for anything.
So, for Kitty to get a Illinois State ID/Driver's License she needed to "provideproof of legal name, date of birth, Social Security number and residency (twice)". They have four groups of documents: one provides something for them to do a signature comparison, one provides verification of your date of birth, one (okay TWO, since they need duplication here) provides proof of your Illinois address/residency, and one..... verifies your social security number.
To get an Illinois Driver's PERMIT, you need to provide proof of identity and residency. It's confusing as to whether they require proof of your social security number. I know that Kitty's permit record DOES have her social security number in it, but I don't recall whether she had to show the card then or not.
The best document to get your Illinois Driver's License appears to be your Illinois Driver's License. But without that, your birth certificate is good for proving age (as is a Driver's License, or a valid Passport). To prove residency you can use -- your Driver's License or State ID, or a bank statement, or a certified High School or College transcript (got one), or a tuition bill (got one) or report card or...things no-one under 18 will have. To verify your signature you can use ... your Driver's License, your Social Security Card* or your Driver's Ed certificate (is that a Driver's Permit?) or your Passport (note, it's not clear whether this one needs to be "valid" since the list is silent about validity) or a bunch of things 17 year olds aren't likely to have. But to verify your social security number, you either need the Driver's License or State ID you're trying ot get, or...your Social Security Card, of course. Well, they will accept a couple of other things to verify your social security number ... all of which require military service.
Please note that Kitty's Drivers PERMIT record includes her social security number, but evidently they don't VERIFY the social security number with the SSA for PERMITS. So, while they have a proto-driver's license record, it's not good enough.
I tried bringing tax returns - Federal and State. They clearly show her name, address, and social security number. No good. We had no choice but to go to the Social Security office to apply for a replacement card. First, of course, we looked through every file in the house. We've looked through most drawers in the house. I touched every piece of paper on my desk. And finally, we trekked over to the Social Security office.
In order to obtain a social security card, you have to prove your identity. That means you have to bring some documentation. Here is what they say:
"Identity: We can accept only certain documents as proof of identity. An acceptable document must be current (not expired) and show your name, identifying information and preferably a recent photograph. Social Security will ask to see a U.S. driver’s license, state-issued non-driver identification card or U.S. passport as proof of identity." (emphasis added). If you don't have any of those, they'll accept other things -- like a school ID, but they really prefer state ID, Driver's License or Passport.
To get one document we need the document that you need the first document to get. My head is spinning in circles.
Now, the Social Security folks are pretty reasonable. They will accept other things. But to get your Drivers License.... the Department of Motor Vehicles will only accept your social security card as proof of your Social Security number, which is document that you can use your Drivers license to get. They won't even accept a letter from the Social Security Administration that identifies your name and social security number (which kind of sounds like the Social Security Administration has verified the number to me. We have that letter now, but the DMV says it's not good enough).
As it turns out, we were able to order the new Social Security Card by producing a High School ID and telling the nice staff member Kitty's social security number. Of course, that doesn't yield up the card itself, which they'll MAIL to us. It's necessary to get an ID, but they don't actually check to see who receives it as long as we showed ID to get it? That makes sense. I mean why make sure that the one document everyone wants to see in order to give you a state ID of any kind actually gets to the right person?
We've been told the following things about when we can expect to receive the replacement card:
By the woman who answered the phone at the local office: 7-10 days after the application is processed.
By the woman who answered the phone at the 800 number: 3-5 days if we do the application in person.
By the woman who actually looked at our documents in the local office: 2- 14 days.
We're crossing our fingers and toes that it takes no more than 7 days - if it's here in 7 days, we might have a licensed driver before she leaves town -- making the whole getting-on-an-airplane thing much easier. (Luckily -- you don't actually need ID if you're under 18).
Meanwhile, I'm thinking of taking all the other cards to the bank so we can lock them up in the safety deposit box. (Of course, that would mean I'd lose the key).