TN 2 (10-14)
RM 10250.200 Self Lock for the E-Verify and Self Check Programs
A. Purpose of Self Lock
In order to help reduce identity fraud in the E-Verify program, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a Self Lock process. Self Lock allows individuals to lock their Social Security number (SSN) so that it cannot be used in the E-Verify or Self Check programs. Locking an SSN helps stop individuals from using stolen SSNs to gain work authorization through E-Verify. DHS launched this new process October 6, 2014 in five states (i.e. Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, and Virginia) and the District of Columbia. On January 12, 2015, USCIS expanded the availability of Self Lock to 16 additional states: California, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Washington. On April 13, 2015, USCIS expanded Self Lock nationwide so that now residents in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands can lock their Social Security Numbers (SSN) in E-Verify.
B. How Self Lock works
DHS USCIS created myE-Verify, a secure portal, for individuals to set up and maintain an E-Verify-related account with USCIS (see www.uscis.gov/myE-Verify). One of the features of myE-Verify is Self Lock. Self Lock allows an individual to place a lock on one’s own SSN so it cannot be used in E-Verify or Self Check. The lock expires in one year and can be extended annually. If an employer enters an SSN into E-Verify that has been locked via Self Lock, the “lock” generates a DHS Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC). This lock prevents a person using stolen identity information from being authorized to work through E-Verify. Locking one’s SSN in Self Lock gives the owner a method to proactively protect his or her identity from being used fraudulently by others to gain employment.
If an employer who uses E-Verify hires an individual who has activated Self Lock, the individual can remove the lock prior to the employer running his or her SSN through E-Verify. When a person removes the lock, the Self Lock process immediately releases the SSN. This “unlocking” action prevents E-Verify from generating a DHS TNC.
C. DHS USCIS resolves Self Lock TNCs
When an employee receives a DHS TNC, the employee must contact DHS at 888-897-7781 (TTY: 877-875-6028) by the date on the DHS E-Verify notice. The employer is required to provide an E-Verify notice to the employee.
D. Self Lock’s impact on SSA field offices, Social Security Card Centers (SSCC), or the National 1-800 Number
Self Lock should have no impact on SSA field offices, card centers, or the National 1-800 number. SSA staff cannot resolve issues related to Self Lock or other DHS TNCs. However, if an individual with a DHS TNC mistakenly calls the National 1-800 number or visits an SSA FO or SSCC for resolution, the office may provide the caller or visitor the DHS telephone number shown in RM 10250.200C in this section. This DHS number is also found on all E-Verify notices.