PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEMPart RM – Records MaintenanceChapter 102 – The Social Security Number, Policy and General ProceduresSubchapter 10 – SSN Evidence RequirementsTransmittal No. 33, 07/07/2022
RM 10212.210 was identified as problematic and selected for Phase I of RISE (Reinvest in Subject Experts) from submissions from the 10 regions and Operations. It provides step-by-step instructions for accepting and evaluating evidence presented with an SSN application.
However, regarding evidence in a foreign language, the current version contains instructions that are insufficient, confusing, and contrary to our policy on preferred (primary level) evidence. Moreover, it is silent on the process of document translations as it applies to enumeration. Therefore, we have made the following changes:
Summary of Changes
RM 10210.210 Reviewing Age, Identity, Citizenship and Lawful Alien Status Evidence for an SSN Card
We reverse Step 1 and Step 2 to determine if the evidence is primary before discussing translations,
Provide instructions (and appropriate references) for obtaining a translation of a foreign language document,
Clarify the steps if the evidence is not primary level evidence,
Clarify our policy when an English translation accompanies the foreign document, and
Provide detailed instruction for the information required in the SSNAP Remarks screen.
The revision does not depart from current policy; it only clarifies it.
Follow this procedure when reviewing documents submitted as evidence for an SSN card.
Is the document acceptable evidence and of the highest probative value available?
Accept the evidence only when permitted under the requirements for the evidence factor the document is establishing (i.e., age, identity, citizenship and lawful alien status). See GN
00307.000 for instructions about the acceptability of foreign evidence.
If YES, go to Step 2.
If NO, attempt to obtain available evidence of the highest probative value based on the SSN requirement factors for evidence.
If the document is unacceptable and there is no other evidence available, provide written notice to the applicant explaining why the application cannot be processed per RM 10215.110.
Requirement factors for evidence:
RM 10210.020 for the number of documents required for an SSN card
RM 10210.085 for acceptable forms of evidence
RM 10210.250 for information on evidence of age
RM 10210.405 for information on evidence of identity
RM 10210.500 for information on evidence of citizenship
RM 10210.600 for information on evidence of lawful alien status in America Samoa
RM 10211.000 for information on evidence of lawful alien status
RM 10212.000 for information on evidence for name changes
RM 10210.170 Regional Office/Center for Programs Support International (RO/CPS Int) process.
a. Is the document in English or is English one of the languages used on a multi-lingual
b. Is there a written translation by an authorized non-SSA translator (as provided in GN
00301.350) to accompany the document?
If YES to either a or b above, go to Step 3.
If NO, (document is not in English and is not accompanied by an acceptable translation) review the document as provided in Step 3, prepare an SSA-533 and refer to GN 00301.365 and GN 00301.330 to request a translation of the document. See Note in Step 9.
Enter the application in SSNAP, pending receipt of the translation as provided in RM
Examine each document
Compare the document with a valid document:
Compare when possible, the characteristics of the submitted document with the characteristics of a document known to be valid. Use the Administrative Confidential Memorandum (ACM ), the National Identity Document Database (NIDD ), the Docutector Site , which are all accessible on SSA’s Document Verification Website (DVW ), and POMS RM 10210.700 through RM 10210.710. For more information on the DVW and the resources found there, see RM 10210.405 and RM
EXCEPTION: If you are completely familiar with all the features of a State-issued driver’s license or identity card, see RM 10210.425A.1 and RM 10210.425A.9 respectively.
Visually examine the document to detect erasures and alterations. Determine if the document’s characteristics match those of a valid document.
If the document contains black light security features, use a black light to detect alterations and determine if the document’s security features match those of a valid document. Use the ACM and other DVW resources to determine which black-light security features exist.
Consider if available, using a magnifying glass (e.g., jeweler’s loupe) to inspect security features described in the DVW document.
Be aware that a document may not appear authentic for reasons other than those specified in POMS, the ACM , and other resources, since there are continuously new instances of fraudulent activity.
Some characteristics of valid documents
The printed copy is evenly centered on the paper;
The font size and style are uniform;
The item numbers are in consecutive order with none missing;
If the subsection is lettered with a capital letter, all other subsections will have capital letters;
The print is clear and clean, not smudged;
The lines of print are even and regular;
The dates are consistent.
EXAMPLE: The date the document was registered is always after the date of the event (to which the document attests).
There are no erasures.
Compare all submitted documents with each other
Compare the information on all of the documents. Reconcile any discrepancies. Follow the Step 1 requirement factors for evidence.
Ensure that the information on the SSN application is correct
Compare the information on each document the applicant submits with the information on the SSN application. Reconcile any discrepancies. Annotate the name of the authorized translator and pertinent document information in the “Remarks” block on the SSNAP Summary screen. List any additional evidence or documents the individual submitted not previously captured in SSNAP. Follow the Step 1 requirement factors for evidence.
Is the applicant’s identity questionable?
If YES, ask the applicant to submit more evidence of identity and resolve any discrepancies following the identity requirement factors in RM 10210.405.
If you suspect the applicant is using a fictitious identity, see RM 10205.300.
If NO, go to Step 7.
Is the applicant’s age questionable?
If YES, see GN 00302.165 - GN 00302.180.
If NO, go to S t ep 8.
Was the document or stamp on the document issued by the Department of Homeland Security?
If YES, see RM 10210.560.
If NO, go to Step 9.
Based on the review, does the document appear to be valid and to belong to the
If YES, continue with the next step in the SSN application process. The next step depends upon the particular document and issuing agency. The next step may be further review, verification, or to process the SSN application to completion.
When an authorized translation is used, record the following information in SSNAP "Remarks" block:
the country of record
type of document
SSA official translator’s initials and position or name/agency of non-SSA official translator, and
any other information that will be useful to subsequent reviewers.
If the request for enumeration is associated with a claim for benefits, see GN 00301.286.
Otherwise, shred the translation and the SSA-533 following records management timeframe. Return the original document to the applicant.
If NO, the document appears suspect, fraudulent or that it does not belong to the applicant, see RM 10205.300 and RM
RM 10210.205 for verifying evidence
RM 10210.405 and RM 10210.425 for information on evidence of identity
RM 10210.555 for reviewing U.S. passports
RM 10210.560 for information on reviewing a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document submitted for SSN
RM 10210.610 for reviewing lawful alien status documents in American Samoa
RM 10213.000 for verifying evidence with the issuing agency.
SSNAP User Guide .