Social Security Card and Colorado State ID

Social Security Card

To apply for a Social Security number you must first obtain employment permission. The documents you need to apply with will vary depending on the type of work permission you receive. Please see the international student advisor for further information.

Once you have collected all the proper documentation, go to the Social Security Administration office, 4949 Pearl East Circle, Suite 101, with your passport, I-20 and valid I-94. In the lobby you will find application forms to fill out before you can see a clerk. You will receive your Social Security card and number in the mail in about two weeks.

Because the Social Security Office must verify your student status with immigration, it is recommended that you wait until at least two weeks until after you enter the U.S. to apply for a Social Security number. If Social Security is unable to verify your status online, a paper request is required and the assignment of your number will be delayed eight weeks or more.

Your Social Security card will probably carry the notation "Not Valid for Employment." This notation does not mean what it seems to mean. If you have authorization for employment under the immigration regulations, you may use your Social Security number for that employment. The notation means only that the Social Security card itself does not give you permission to be employed. Employment permission or authorization must come from other sources. See section IV, " Employment."

Either a Social Security number or a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that you have been denied a number is now required when you apply for a Colorado ID or Driver License. If you are not eligible for a Social Security number (are not employed), but need a denial letter, you should go to the Social Security office, complete an application for a number and, when the clerk tells you that you are not eligible, request a denial letter. This can be provided immediately.

Colorado State ID

If you will not be getting a Colorado Driver License, you can get a Colorado ID card at the same office that handles driver licenses (see below). The ID card can be very useful, particularly for cashing checks. There is a $10.00 fee for the card and you must have a Social Security number or denial letter (see Transportation / Automobiles) as well as your passport, I-20 and I-94.