Social Security Number

Who Can Apply for a Social Security Number? How to Apply for a Social Security Number After Receiving Your SSN How to Apply for a Social Security Rejection Letter for DMV Resources

NEW STUDENTS: You must submit your arrival documents to ISSS and wait 10 days before you apply for a Social Security Number. 

Anyone who works in the United States needs a Social Security Number (SSN).  The U.S. government assigns the Social Security Number for tax and payroll purposes. You will only be assigned one SSN per lifetime.

You must apply for the Social Security Number while you are actively employed in the U.S. If you wait until after your employment ends, your SSN application will be denied. Please apply as soon as possible after you receive your job offer. For on-campus jobs, the earliest you may apply is 30 days before your employment start date.

The SSN is not a work permit, and you may begin working while you wait for your SSN, as long as you have employment authorization.

A SSN is not required to open a bank account, get a driver’s license, rent an apartment or get a cell phone.

Who can apply?

Visa/Employment Type Eligible? What to Bring to SSA
F-1 On Campus Employment
(including Graduate Assistantships)
Yes, up to 30 days before employment begins.

Not eligible after employment has ended.

  • Passport, I-20 and Form I-94
  • Employment offer letter
  •  DSO Letter from ISSS
  • Application for SSN
F-1 CPT Yes, up to 30 days before CPT begins.

Not eligible after employment has ended.

F-1 OPT Yes, from start date listed on EAD.Not eligible after employment has ended.
F-1 No Employment Not eligible
F-2 Not eligible
J-1 Students and Student Interns
On Campus Employment
Yes, up to 30 days before employment begins.

Not eligible after employment has ended.

J-1 Students
Academic Training
Yes, up to 30 days before AT begins.

Not eligible after employment has ended.

J-1 Scholar Yes

Not eligible after employment has ended.

J-2 Yes, if you have an EAD.

Not eligible after employment authorization has ended.

No employment –
Denial letter needed for DMV

  See How to Apply for Rejection Letter

New students and scholars must wait 10 days after submitting arrival documents to ISSS before applying to SSA.

How to Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)

Step 1: Submit Arrival Documents to ISSS if you are a new student or scholar.

Step 2: Fill out the Foreign National Information Form with UConn Payroll.

Step 3: F-1 students must apply to ISSS for a "DSO Letter" to bring to SSA if you have on-campus employment.  J-1 students must apply for a "J-1 Work Authorization Letter" to bring to SSA.  F-1 students with authorized CPT or OPT, or J-1 visiting scholars (research scholars, postdocs, short-term scholars) may skip to Step 4.

F-1 Students: submit a Social Security Letter Request in the ISSS Portal.  You will need to upload your employment offer letter from your on-campus employer (must be on UConn letterhead and signed). If your on-campus employer does not normally issue offer letters, they may use this template.pdf.

J-1 Students: submit a J-1 Work Authorization Letter request in the ISSS Portal.

Step 4: Submit application to Social Security Administration (SSA)

Visit the Social Security Administration office closest to where you live to schedule an appointment to apply for your SSN.  You will need to search for the SSA office by Zip code to find the address and business hours.  Enter the zip code where you live.  If you are unsure of your zip code in the town where you live, use the US Post Office Zip Code locator tool and search for your zip code with your address.

Bring your immigration and employment authorization documents listed in above table to your appointment. Your card will be mailed to you within 2-4 weeks after you submit your application.


Willimantic SSA (most Storrs campus students): 1320 Main St, Willimantic. This is on the Storrs-Willimantic bus line (stop: Tyler Square).

Hartford SSA (most Hartford campus students): 960 Main St., Hartford.

East Hartford SSA (some Storrs and some Hartford campus students): 478 Burnside Ave, East Hartford, CT 06108

Stamford SSA (most Stamford campus students): 2 Landmark Square, Stamford.

After Receiving Your SSN

After you receive your SSN you must visit UConn payroll or your employer’s payroll department to provide them with your number. Do not mail or email a copy of your card to your employer. Do not provide a copy of your number to ISSS.

It is important that you keep your SSN information private, except when needed to disclose for official purposes, because the number can be used to open up accounts in your name. Do not keep the SSN card in your wallet and try to memorize the number.

Keep the card in a safe place after leaving the U.S. because if you come back in the future, you may need to use the number again.

How to Apply for a Social Security Rejection Letter for DMV

Students applying at the Hartford and Willimantic Social Security Offices see below to apply by mail.  Students applying at the East Hartford Social Security Office, follow the instructions above to visit in person.

When you apply for a CT Driver’s License or Non-Driver’s Identification Card, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles asks you to provide either an SSN, or documentation that you are not eligible for a SSN. Therefore, you may need to apply for an SSN even if you do not have a job or work authorization.

To apply for a Social Security Rejection Letter for the DMV you must follow these steps.

  1. Fill out the Application for SSN (contact ISSS Advisor for help or questions). Be sure your address is written correctly!
  2. Attach a note to the SSN Application indicating that you are only applying for a rejection letter to bring to the DMV.
  3. Find the Social Security Administration office closest to where you live and mail your Application for SSN to this address.  You will need to search for the SSA office by Zip code.  Enter the zip code where you live or if you are unsure use the zip code of your UConn campus.
  4. SSA will send your rejection letter to you by mail.