Go back

Driver's License Center, Social Security Number and Banks

This is only a brief overview on these topics. 
Arrive prepared.
Plan your time carefully
If you have an appointment, be on time.
Know the rules that protect you. 
Remain calm and polite

Open a bank account at the bank’s main office.

Be patient and flexible.  Most businesses use computer systems that run on Social Security numbers.  Not using a SSN is not impossible but can take more time.  Showing proof to the person you are working with that you are not eligible for a SSN could be helpful (see "Know the rules" above). 

Driver’s Licenses

Social Security

In general, only noncitizens who have permission to work from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can apply for a Social Security number. Lawfully admitted noncitizens can get many benefits and services without a Social Security number.

Although sometimes requested, it is not required that you have a social security number for things such as:

The main use of Social Security numbers (SSN) by businesses and landlords is to verify credit history.  International students usually do not have any credit history since they have recently moved to the U.S., so it is useless for businesses to run a credit check on a SSN or to even ask for a SSN.

Many businesses will say that it is a requirement for the customer to provide a Social Security number.  However, this is not true. Social Security numbers are the most common form of identification in the U.S., but they are not the only form of legal acceptable identification. 

The Clarksville Social Security Administration office is located at 119 Center Pointe Drive which is off Wilma Rudolph Boulevard between 101st Airborne Parkway and Trenton Road---from Wilma Rudolph Boulevard, turn onto Center Pointe Drive at the US Bank sign (red, white and blue sign).

Get a map, phone number and hours here (enter ZIP code).

  • completed Form SS-5 application (online)
  • valid passport
  • I-20 form
  • current I-94
  • proof of job/employment documents (letter, job contract, employment authorization EAD), etc.)

You must bring ALL these documents, or your application will be denied.

You should wait at least 10 days after you enter the country and 48 hours after your record has been activated (registered) in SEVIS for the current term.

For more information about Social Security numbers and regulations regarding SSN, see www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber


Return to ESL Home Page