Can I Run a Background Check without a Social Security Number?

If you use the criminal background check products offered by, you will notice we request the Social Security Number of the person you want to screen. We often hear the question, “Can I run a background check without a social security number?” Customers wonder if they can run reliable background checks even if they only have certain pieces of information about a person.

With our background check products, the answer is no. We require SSN information because it allows us to provide superior background check results for our customers.

Technically, criminal records are not tied to Social Security Numbers. Criminal records, unlike SSNs, are part of the public record, which means they are typically filed based on  name . Even though criminal records are not tied to Social Security Numbers, however, there are significant benefits to including an SSN in a background search. If someone has been convicted of assault, that record might not be linked with their Social Security Number. However, that person’s address history and alias history is linked with their Social Security Number. Including the SSN as part of the background check can give you more information about the person you are screening.

Let’s say the person in question—someone with an assault conviction—is applying for a job with your business under a false name. If you ran a name-based check, you would likely never find that person’s conviction history. If you  ran  a background check that included their Social Security Number, you’d be able to find a list of names and addresses associated with that SSN. You could then order additional checks for the candidate—both for the other aliases you found and in the counties where the candidate used to live—to widen the scope of the search and find the conviction.

A background check without a Social Security Number can lead to a less thorough screening than one with an SSN. To achieve dependable results, requires Social Security Numbers for every criminal background check we do.

Explore address and alias history with’s US AliasSEARCH service.

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Michael Klazema

About Michael Klazema The author

Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments

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