IDENTITY CHEK looks at the Social Security Number (SSN), the last name and first three letters of the first name and the date of birth you entered, compares this information to the database of known valid matches, and answers these questions:
  • Does the date of birth fall within the published parameters for that SSN? Social Security Administration publishes the date range in which every SSN was issued. Early SSN date ranges cover many years; more recent date ranges are expressed in months. If the SSN you entered is on this list, you need to follow your established procedures for handling IDENTITY CHEK warnings.
  • Does the SSN occur on the published Death Master List? The only information about individual SSNs published by the Social Security Administration is the Death Master List. If the SSN you entered is on this list, you need to follow your established procedures for handling IDENTITY CHEK warnings.
  • Does the Last Name / First Name combination match Primary Payment Systems' (PPS) matchup tables?
Because SSA does not release this information to anyone, the SSN/Name matchup table is obtained from several independent, third party sources. These are all 'consumer-facing' sources, meaning sources who glean the information from credit applications, membership applications in which the consumer gives his or her SSN, etc. The four most common reasons why a SSN is not on the list are:
  1. The person presenting the SSN is a woman who has been married or divorced, and has not used her SSN with her married/divorced name to apply for credit as the primary borrower. If this is the case, try resubmitting the inquiry (there is no charge to resubmit) using her maiden or married name.
  2. The person presenting is using a hyphenated name, or a multiple word last name (e.g., Sharon Smith-Jones, or John Smith Jones). This can also occur if a person's last name is a common first name (e.g., William Crawford James, which may be 'corrected' at some point to be William James Crawford). If this is the case, try resubmitting the inquiry (there is no charge to resubmit) using her maiden or married name.
  3. The person presenting the SSN is young enough to have never applied for credit in his/her own name, or doesn't believe in applying for credit. If this is the case, your credit union will have procedures in place to obtain "documentary evidence" (e.g., asking the person to bring in his or her actual SSN card, or a letter from the Social Security Administration).
  4. The person presenting the SSN is presenting a fraudulent or erroneous card.