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Old Oct 29, 04, 11:19 pm   #1
 
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Social Security Number printed in passport?

Okay, strange question (and moderator please feel free to move... wasn't sure where this should go)

Last week I went to the local passport office to have pages added to my passport. I filled out the form, paid the expedite fee, and included a return envelope. My passport, with 24 pages added, showed up a week later.

On the third page of the new pages, there is a seal and a clearly printed block of text which says "This passport was amended on October 25 2004 to add visa pages to passport number 000000000." However, 000000000 is not my passport number, it is my Social Security Number!

Has this ever happened to any of you? On the form, SSN is REQUIRED. There is a printed handout explaining the State Dept's statutory right to ask for this information. Has SSN become a new way of identifying travelers? (If so, I have SERIOUS privacy concerns about handing my passport to every hotel desk clerk.) Or do you think this is just an error and they typed the wrong number?
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Old Oct 29, 04, 11:37 pm   #2
 
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My extra-page insert (added to my passport by the Shanghai consulate in 2002) has my passport number, not my SSN.

Perhaps the clerk doing your passport just accidentally copied down the wrong number?
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Old Oct 29, 04, 11:42 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSinNYC
Okay, strange question (and moderator please feel free to move... wasn't sure where this should go)

Last week I went to the local passport office to have pages added to my passport. I filled out the form, paid the expedite fee, and included a return envelope. My passport, with 24 pages added, showed up a week later.

On the third page of the new pages, there is a seal and a clearly printed block of text which says "This passport was amended on October 25 2004 to add visa pages to passport number 000000000." However, 000000000 is not my passport number, it is my Social Security Number!

Has this ever happened to any of you? On the form, SSN is REQUIRED. There is a printed handout explaining the State Dept's statutory right to ask for this information. Has SSN become a new way of identifying travelers? (If so, I have SERIOUS privacy concerns about handing my passport to every hotel desk clerk.) Or do you think this is just an error and they typed the wrong number?
Nowaday DHS links passport numbers to SSNs and uses SSNs (especially on the backoffice/rootlevel side) for a variety of activities from validation of passports/identity to customs flagging/tagging.

It appears that the passportocrat messed up since the adding of passport pages overseas has not, in my limited experience, tacked on SSNs.
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Old Oct 30, 04, 8:39 pm   #4
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I'm guessing they screwed up, though you may want to carry around a social security card now in case somebody realizes that isn't your passport number.
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Old Oct 31, 04, 1:48 am   #5
 
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It's illegal for the government (US) to use the social security number as an identification number in records (except, I suppose as used for Social Security).

However, they *can* and in some cases are required to ask for it to ensure that you are not failing child support payments. For example, I heard that many states are now linking their drivers licenses to SSN's, which before was not done. This, from what I hear, was done to ensure that people who failed to pay child support would not be issued drivers licenses.

I think the same type of thing is for the passport, howver, maybe they are using the "child support" type of things as a reason to legally ask you for your SSN number... and then they use it or record it for whatever other purposes they want (hey, I'm not paranoid, but I also don't think that all national security gov't agencies follow regulations).

Anyway, I suspect that they accidentally put your SSN number in your passport instead of your passport number.

I'd give them a call and get that fixed, or else it may not be accepted if a foreign government sees the mismatch in numbers.
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Old Nov 2, 04, 12:42 am   #6
 
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Problem solved

Yes indeed, it was a mistake. I went back to the office and got it fixed. A waste of a day, but I am very happy it's been fixed.

by the way, I asked the supervisor (who happened to be fixing it) if passports are going to have RFID chips and he said no way. We'll see...
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Old Nov 2, 04, 12:53 am   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSinNYC
Yes indeed, it was a mistake. I went back to the office and got it fixed. A waste of a day, but I am very happy it's been fixed.

by the way, I asked the supervisor (who happened to be fixing it) if passports are going to have RFID chips and he said no way. We'll see...
It's good to know that RFID implementation won't be happening in the near-term. Whether it happens over the medium- or longer-term is a different story entirely -- and a typical Passport Agency supervisor will likely not have much influence on a decision involving RFIDs over the longer time frame.
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Old Nov 2, 04, 6:14 am   #8
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If I hadn't seen this thread I never would have noticed that my passport number that they printed under the seal for the new pages has an incorrect digit. I hope no one every really scrutinized it!
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Old Nov 2, 04, 1:15 pm   #9
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Ok, btwn you & stimpy. I'm off to go check my passport #s! Cheers. Sharon

Edited to add: mine has an extra digit. passport # - extra digit, USA, bday in yr-mth-date format, F for female, exp of passport in yr-mth-date format w/ another extra digital that matches the first extra digit.

so i'm assuming it's ok, especially since i've been using it for 2-3/4 years since the renewal.

also, unrelated - i live in la but it was renewed at the charleston passport ctr.
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Last edited by SkiAdcock; Nov 2, 04 at 1:21 pm.
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Old Nov 2, 04, 2:09 pm   #10
 
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I believe it was a mistake by the passport agency. My passport # was added on my extra pages.
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