Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN)

The purpose of a Social Security Number (SSN) is to help the government keep track of an individual's earnings in the U.S. for tax purposes. If you are eligible for employment, you must apply for an SSN in person at the local Social Security office and provide both originals and photocopies of documents pertaining to your immigration status. Federal law states that you must have valid employment offer to obtain a SSN.

You do not need a Social Security Number to:

  • Open a bank account
  • Rent an apartment
  • Open an utility account (gas, electric, etc)
  • Set up a cell phone
  • Conduct business correspondences

Depending on your immigration status, when applying for an SSN you must provide the following documentation to establish your age, identity, immigration status and employment eligibility. Please note that you MUST also bring with your offer of employment letter. The chart below lists ALL of the documents required to apply for an SSN:

If you have been offered an on-campus job and need to apply for an SSN you must complete and submit the Social Security (SSN) Verification Request Form with the Letter of Employment (provided to you by your employer) to Visa and Immigration Services for authorization.  Please note if you have been authorized to engage in OPT or CPT you are NOT required to submit the Social Security (SSN) Verification Request Form.

Prior to arriving at the Social Security Office be sure to prepare the required documents and complete the SSN Application. Additional information can be found at Social Security Administration (SSA) website.

Directions to the Social Security office from Stony Brook

By Car: take Nicolls Road (Rt. 97) South to the Long Island Expressway (L.I.E.) (Rt. 495). Take the L.I.E. East (toward Riverhead) one exit to Exit 63 South (North Ocean Avenue). Take North Ocean Avenue (Rt. 83) South to Patchogue. Continue on North Ocean Avenue past Sunrise Highway (Rt. 27) for one mile to Oak Street (on your left). Cedar Grove Street and Thorne Street are just before Oak Street. Turn left onto Oak Street and continue for one block. Arrive at 75 Oak Street on your Right. Main Street (Montauk Highway / Rt. 85) is one block South of Oak Street, if you come to Main Street, you have gone too far.

By Bus: take the Suffolk County S-60 bus to Port Jefferson Village by the ferry dock. Ask for a transfer. Change to the S-61 bus to Patchogue. The S-61 bus will go down Route 112 to Oak Street in Patchogue. The Social Security Office is located one block away from the bus stop, on the same side (75 Oak Street). Suffolk County Transit telephone number: (631) 852-5200. Website: