Sitting in the Mobile Identity Workshop in San Francisco the subject of Social Security numbers came up and how you're stuck with one for life. I brought up that you can get the number changed in cases of identity theft. This was met with some skepticism around the table, so I had to go do some research.
As I suspected, I was right :-). You can get your social security number changed if you can show that you are an ongoing victim of identity theft. You can read more of this on the Social Security Administrations web site (on this page).
Of particular interest were the various reasons why you can get your number changed:
- Sequential numbers assigned to members of the same family are causing problems;
- More than one person has been assigned, or is using, the same number;
- An individual has religious or cultural objections to certain numbers or digits in the original number; (See “Can I request a new SSN because I object to digits used?”)
- A victim of identity theft continues to be disadvantaged by using the original number; (See Identity Theft And Your Social Security Number, Publication No. 05-10064.)
- Situations of harassment, abuse or life endangerment (including domestic violence). (See New Numbers For Domestic Violence Victims, Publication No. 05-10093.)
I was surprised with the 3rd one. I guess I could object to a 13 in the middle of the SSAN or one that starts with 666. Others would probably brag.
My twin daughters have sequential numbers and so far this hasn't caused any problems, but that may be because they are only 13 -- we get much more problems with them having the same date of birth (health insurance systems frequently have problems when we have a claim for the two of them on the same day since they use the DOB as a differentiator).
I should note that changing your SSAN isn't a easy process and don't recommend it unless you really, really need to. Just think that you are going to have to start all over with your credit history and update your SSAN at all of your existing credit suppliers not to mention employers, tax records, etc. This isn't something to take on lightly.