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Getting a Social Security Number

Students applying for a driver's license or seeking employment will have to apply for a social security number. It is used for employer payroll, Internal Revenue Service (federal taxes), driver's licenses and credit history.

Driver's License

If you are applying for a driver's license, but do not have a social security number and have never had a job on campus, you will have to apply for and officially be denied a social security number. If you get a job on campus at a later time, you will have to re-apply for a social security number. Go to KU Driver's License information website.


International students who work in the U.S. will need a social security number. You will use the same social security number for your entire stay in the U.S. You only need to apply for a social security number one time, when you receive your first job offer. If you get a new or different job on campus, you will use the same social security number. Keep your social security card safe once you receive it. Go to KU International Student Employment website.

Social Security Application Process

There is no fee for the social security application. You must be present in the U.S. for 10 days before applying for a social security number. Social Security offices are located in Reading and Allentown. Allow plenty of time when you plan your trip to the Social Security office, as there may be a long wait time. The Reading location is within a short walking distance of the bus terminal, which you can access by taking the Bieber bus from Kutztown.

You will need the following items to apply for a social security number:

  • A job offer, in writing on KU letterhead, from the prospective employer (if seeking employment) which includes the following information:
    • Your full name
    • A description of the employment
    • Anticipated or actual start date (J-1 students also need an end date)
    • Number of hours you will work per week
    • Employer contact information, including full name and telephone number of immediate supervisor
    • Verification that you have been hired for the position
    • Original signature with signer's title and date
  • A letter from the International Advisor (Letter Request form PDF)
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Form I-20/DS-2019
  • Form I-94 (I-94 retrieval tips)
  • Social Security application

Social Security Office Locations:

41 N. 4th Street
Allentown, PA 18102

201 Penn Street, Suite 200
Reading, PA 19601

Refer to the Social Security Administration website for specific information.