A Social Security number (SSN) trace searches databases, such as from banks, utilities, and schools, for a name and SSN. If your package includes aliases, the trace also searches identified alternative names. An SSN trace has the limitations below:
- An SSN trace doesn't determine whether an SSN is real or fake.
- An SSN trace doesn't work with employer identification numbers (EIN).
- An SSN trace doesn't verify that an SSN belongs to the candidate who submitted it.
- An SSN trace doesn't verify identity.
How Checkr's SSN trace works
To start an SSN trace, Checkr submits the candidate's name and SSN to a data provider. The data provider returns information about potential names, aliases, and addresses for the SSN, compiled from credit and banking history.
Because the candidate has provided an SSN, Checkr can identify known names and addresses associated with that SSN. The SSN Trace also identifies which state the SSN was issued in, and approximately which year. Based on the format of the number, Checkr can also detect whether the candidate is using an SSN that is known to be false.
Checkr uses SSN traces as "pointers" to other possible records. The SSN trace identifies additional counties and databases to search for public records associated with the candidate's personally identifiable information (PII). If your package includes aliases, address and alias information from the SSN trace can prompt additional searches.
Because the SSN trace is a pointer search, the information it returns might be from incomplete or outdated sources. You shouldn't use pointer search information to make final decisions about candidates and applicants.
The SSN trace can provide the information below:
- Address history associated with the SSN
- If your package includes aliases, a list of previous names, including birth names or aliases such as nicknames
The SSN trace is part of Checkr’s Basic+ report package and is unavailable as a standalone search.
Identity (ID) verification
An SSN trace is not the same as ID verification. The SSN trace checks whether candidate-submitted information matches commercially available database information associated with the SSN. The SSN Trace doesn't determine whether the person entering that information is who they claim to be.
Although Checkr is not an ID verification service, we flag PII discrepancies and contact the candidate for accurate information.
The candidate provides the PII below:
- Birth date
- Email address
- Full name
- Phone number
- Social Security number (SSN)
The candidate then reads and acknowledges receipt of applicable forms and notifications:
- A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
- Disclosure Regarding Background Investigation
- Other state and required disclosures as applicable
- Authorization for a background check
After the candidate consents in writing, Checkr starts the SSN trace search.
If Checkr can't complete the SSN trace with the submitted information, Checkr asks the candidate to resubmit their SSN. This process can delay report completion. Checkr might ask the candidate to submit an item below:
- A photo of their Social Security card
- A letter from the Social Security Administration confirming that the SSN belongs to them