• Social Security number (SSN) Trace

    Read More

    Checkr SSN Trace process

    A Social Security number (SSN) Trace searches databases (including lending institutions, utilities, schools, and credit card companies) for a particular name and Social Security number. The trace returns jurisdictions where a match is found and also searches identified alternative names, such as aliases or AKAs, if your package configuration includes aliases.

    To run an SSN Trace, Checkr submits the candidate's name and SSN to a data provider that then generates a report from market-leading sources for address and alias information. This report returns information about known names and addresses for the SSN, compiled from credit and banking history for the given SSN.  

    SSN Traces are used as a "pointer" to possible criminal records. The SSN Trace result identifies additional counties and databases to search for public records associated with the candidate's personally identifiable information (PII). If your package configuration includes aliases, address and alias information from the SSN Trace can then guide additional searches. 

    The SSN Trace can provide the information below:

    • An indication of the SSN's validity (for example, other names associated with the number or being on the Social Security Administration's Death Master File)
    • Address history associated with the SSN
    • If your package configuration includes aliases, a list of previous names, which could be birth names or aliases such as nicknames
    Note

    Because the SSN Trace is a pointer search, aimed at casting a wide net to identify records associated with the candidate’s PII, SSN Trace results alone aren't reportable. SSN Trace results shouldn't be used for Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) purposes.

    An SSN Trace doesn't validate that the person submitting the information is who they claim to be. An SSN Trace can identify whether the candidate’s SSN appears to be false (such as 555-55-5555), but an SSN Trace doesn't verify identity. For more information, read about SSN traces and identity verification.

    The SSN Trace is part of Checkr’s Basic+ report package, which includes the screenings below:

    • SSN Trace
    • Sex Offender Registry
    • Global Watchlist Records
    • National Criminal Records

    The SSN Trace is unavailable as a standalone screening.

    Candidate experience

    Candidates will be asked to provide PII, including their full name, birth date, Social Security number (SSN), email address, and phone number.

    Candidates then read and acknowledge applicable forms and notifications, including Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and an Acknowledgement and Authorization for 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 number, which can delay report completion. In some cases, Checkr asks candidates to submit a copy of their SSN card or a letter from the SSA confirming that the number belongs to them.

    Tip

    If you've applied for a job and are looking for information about your background check’s status or progress, log in to the Checkr Candidate Portal.

  • Social Security number (SSN) Trace exceptions

    Read More

    SSN Trace (Social Security number Trace) is a pointer search that searches various commercially available data sources to establish a candidate’s address history. Checkr uses SSN Trace to obtain candidate address history as well as aliases to inform subsequent background screenings. 

    SSN Trace exceptions happen if there is a material discrepancy between submitted candidate information and information that the SSN Trace returned. The SSN Trace exception handling process is designed to address these discrepancies as they happen.

    SSN Trace exception types

    Checkr issues 6 types of SSN Trace exceptions. Resolution paths are based on the type of data discrepancy.

    Exception

    Reason

    Resolution

    Unable to Proceed

    Checkr can't proceed with the report based on the SSN provided.

    The candidate receives an email request to confirm their SSN. If the report can't proceed, it will suspend. Incomplete screenings automatically cancel after 30 days.

    SSN Issuance Year Mismatch

    The entered SSN was issued in a year before the candidate's birth year.

    The candidate receives an email request to confirm their SSN. If the report can't proceed, it will suspend. Incomplete screenings automatically cancel after 30 days.

    Data Mismatch

    The information returned from the SSN Trace doesn't match the candidate-provided information.

    The candidate receives an email request to confirm their SSN. If the report can't proceed, it will suspend. Incomplete screenings automatically cancel after 30 days.

    No Data/Thin File

    No address history was returned from the SSN Trace. This situation is typically called a "thin-file" case, which is common for young or underbanked people.

    The candidate receives an email request to confirm their SSN. If no data is returned for the confirmed SSN, the report will indicate that the SSN Trace returned no data and will be marked Complete.

    Name Mismatch

    The candidate’s birth date matches the data from the SSN Trace, but the name doesn't.

    The candidate receives an email request to upload a copy of their photo ID. If the report can't proceed, it will suspend. Incomplete screenings automatically cancel after 30 days.

    DOB Mismatch

    The candidate’s name matches the data from the SSN Trace, but the birth date doesn't.

    The candidate receives an email request to upload a copy of their photo ID. If the report can't proceed, it will suspend. Incomplete screenings automatically cancel after 30 days.

    Note

    In some rare cases, when candidates dispute the exception following confirmation (by claiming that the SSN submitted was correct and the SSN Trace data returned were erroneous), Checkr team members can manually override the suspension if the candidate can produce documentation, such as an SSN card, that ties the SSN to their name.

    If the SSN Trace returns no birth date and there are no matches between the submitted and the returned candidate name, Checkr handles the lack of birth date as a date-of-birth mismatch, and flags a Data Mismatch exception.