Social Security Number & Date of Birth Collection Policy

PrevueAPS is committed to privacy and security of personal information gathered during the application process and stored by the Applicant Tracking System (ATS). It is our policy to respect applicant’s privacy and the privacy of corporate records and reduce the security risk to both the client and PrevueAPS concerning personal information. Based on that policy, we do not collect or store social security numbers or date of birth for any applicant or client.


This policy was based on the following reasons:

1. Social Security Numbers are not needed for EVERY Applicant.

There is no need to collect the SSN number of EVERY person who applies for your company. Most employers don't need the SSN until they decide to hire the person. Usually, they will need it for their payroll systems, and it will be collected when the new hire fills out the W-4 and I-9 forms. Some employers need the SSN to conduct a background check on the applicant prior to being hired. Background checking companies require that you have the applicant fill out and sign an authorization form, and so we suggest that employers collect the SSN number on that document. We do have the ability to attach only or to integrate the background checking authorization form into the system admin area. By doing this, we will fill out the form automatically with any data that we already have about the applicant. You will then print out the form, and have the applicant complete it, including entering their previous addresses, SSN number, and consent signature to provide to your background checking company and for your files. For this service, contact our Support Team. 

2. Requiring a Social Security number can decrease the number of applicants willing to apply.

Collecting and requiring an SSN number on the application will actually reduce your applicant pool. All major job boards, career centers, coaches, etc. are advising job seekers NOT to provide their SSN number to an employer when applying to a job since they see this as unnecessary during the application and screening process as described above. The average person is very leery of giving out their SSN and other non-public information across the Internet, regardless of the security. An applicant could apply to literally tens to hundreds of companies in the course of looking for work, and by providing their SSN number to all of those people; they would be dramatically increasing their risk of identity theft. It is very simple for someone to act as a real company, post jobs on job boards, and collect this information from applicants. Because of this, various companies have documented that requiring or asking for this information will scare off potential applicants.

3. Collecting Social Security numbers is a security risk.

Finally, we take the security of our systems and your data quite seriously, but it isn't just the risk of hackers that we would be concerned about if we allowed clients to collect SSN numbers on applications. When an applicant enters their information into their application, anyone who has your admin login could access their SSN number. Every time you emailed that application onto one of your managers you would be passing that information along to them. If that manager decided to pass the application on to someone else, yet again, that applicant's SSN would be shared. We would also have to be very strict about requests for downloads or building of reports, since there is the potential that an exiting employee could pull down a database full of SSN numbers, put it on a disc, and leave your company with it. (We could encrypt the SSN number, and show it all x'd out, but then what would be the point of collecting it?) That all seems like a lot of risk that would be taken both by PrevueAPS and by your company just to collect an SSN number that won't be used for anything during the application process. Chances are, you would be collecting a highly valuable piece of information about every applicant, when you would only actually be using the information for a small percentage of people, potentially less than 1%.

Based on those 3 reasons, we decided at the very beginning that we would not allow clients to collect this type of information. If you have any additional questions about this policy, please discuss it with your Implementation Specialist or a Hiring Consultant. We would be more than happy to discuss it.

If you have any questions regarding our privacy or security standards, please review our Privacy and Security Policy.

 

Where can I find information about DOT regulations for collecting SSN & DOB?
In the paragraph below, while it does specify that the information must be collected, it does NOT specify WHEN it needs to be collected - only that it needs to happen before the person DRIVES. To review Section 391.21 in more detail, please click here.

(a) Except as provided in subpart G of this part, a person shall not drive a commercial motor vehicle unless he has completed and furnished the motor carrier that employs him with an application for employment that meets the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section. 

(b) The application for employment shall be made on a form furnished by the motor carrier. Each application form must be completed by the applicant, must be signed by him, and must contain the following information:

     (1) The name and address of the employing motor carrier;

     (2) The applicant's name, address, date of birth, and social security number;

     (3) The addresses at which the applicant has resided during the 3 years preceding the date on which the application is submitted;

     (4) The date on which the application is submitted;

     (5) The issuing State, number, and expiration date of each unexpired commercial motor vehicle operator's license or permit that has been issued to the applicant;

etc....

We understand from FMCSA that the intent of collecting the DOB and SSN by the DOT is to verify that the driver is who they say they are and confirm their driving record. FMCSA has advised that every auditor is different. Most auditors will accept that the SSN and DOB collected on a background check and included in the Driver Qualification File is sufficient and won't argue that it's not part of the application.  Good faith effort should cover that as well, but is not guaranteed. If you are a DOT employer, as best practice, we recommend that you print a copy of the application at the time of hire and include DOB, SSN and Signature line options to be included on the printed application. The applicant can then write this information and sign the printed copy, and include that copy in the Driver Qualification File, which will meet the criteria for having this information on the application.

If you need additional clarification, we encourage you to contact the DOT directly.

Here are some additional resources:

FMCSA 391.21 Guidance

DOT Customer Service number: 1 (202) 366-4000

On the SHRM website, they indicate that it is best practice to NOT ask for SSN on the application.

The EEOC has indicated that running a background check is considered an appropriate stage in the review process to collect SSN and DOB. Collecting this info during onboarding would be the alternative for non-DOT applicants as they are not federally mandated to have a background check.  It is our understanding that the DOT is not superseded by the DOL or EEOC. 

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace legal counsel.

 

Can we add a line on our application to capture Social Security and/or Date of Birth information?

We do not collect Social Security Numbers or Date of Birth information on the actual application. However, the date of birth option can be turned on in the EEOC section. Also, a line for the social security number can be turned on to appear on the printed application that can be filled in manually.