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.