Obtaining a Social Security Number or NYS ID

Social Security Card

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a policy that social security numbers are issued to F-1 international students for the purposes of employment only. Therefore students must show employment authorization when applying for a social security number. Students can obtain work authorization for On-Campus Employment, Curricular Practical Training (CPT), and Optional Practical Training (OPT).

Students who obtain employment on-campus must receive a social security letter from a Designated School Official (DSO) and a dated letter on department letterhead indicating the student's name, nature of job, start date, number of hours per week, employer contact information indicating the name of the student's immediate supervisor with original signature, title and phone number, as well as the Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Remember to take:

• a letter from the DSO to the Social Security Administration & on-campus employment offer letter, or;
• a SEVIS I-20 with CPT authorization, or;
• an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) issued for OPT, and;
• Original immigration documents (Form I-20, passport, visa, I-94)

Please note that F-1 students who have been offered on-campus employment must wait at least 15 days after entering the U.S. to submit a social security card application. The SSA office may take between 2 to 4 weeks to process the social security application and to send an official social security card to students.

Social Security Card Centers in NYC

Manhattan Social Security Card Center
123 William Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10038
Monday to Friday: 7:00am to 4:00pm

Brooklyn Social Security Card Center
154 Pierrepont Street, 6th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Monday to Friday: 7:00am to 4:00pm

Bronx Social Security Card Center
820 Concourse Village West, 2nd Floor
Bronx, NY 10451
Monday to Friday: 7:00am to 4:00pm

Queens Social Security Card Center
155-10 Jamaica Avenue, 2nd Floor
Jamaica, NY 11432
Monday to Friday: 7:00am to 4:00pm

Staten Island Social Security Card Center
1510 Hylan Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Staten Island, New York 10305
Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri: 9:00am to 3:00pm • Wed: 9:00am to 12:00pm

Staten Island Social Security Card Center
2389 Richmond Avenue
Staten Island, New York 10314
Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri: 9:00am to 3:00pm • Wed: 9:00am to 12:00pm

Office hours for all locations may change. Visit here for additional Card Center locations. For further social security information related to international students visit here.

NYS ID/Driver's License

Students can obtain more information about getting a New York State ID card or driver’s license by visiting the NYS Department of Motor Vehicle website. If you do not reside in NYS, visit the department of motor vehicle website for that state.

Non-Driver State Photo ID

In New York State, students must provide various documents which may include the following:

1. a valid passport with your visa and Form I-94 indicating F-1 status and Form I-20
2. a U.S. Social Security card or a non-eligibility letter from the Social Security Administration
3. a U.S. college photo ID card and an academic transcript
4. a bank card and/or bank statement

Please visit the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for more information. An F-1 international student seeking to get a State ID card or a driver’s license other than NYS should apply to the department of motor vehicles office in the state where they reside.