Taxes, Social Security Number, ITIN & California ID


Please refer to the tax section of our website for tax resources.


International students and scholars are required to have a social security number (SSN) if they are employed. A SSN is solely for taxation purposes. An SSN is not legally required to open a bank account, obtain a drivers license, open a cellular phone account, etc.

WHEN to apply:

  • For international scholars (J-1, H-1B, TN, O-1, E-3), wait at least 10 days from the date of your check-in with Human Resources.
  • For international students (F-1 or J-1), wait at least 48 hours since your international student program has been validated in SEVIS.


WHAT to bring to the Social Security Administrator's Office when you are eligible to apply:

  1. Passport
  2. I-20 (for F-1 holders), DS-2019 (for J-1 holders) or I-797 (for H-1B or TN-1 holders)
  3. I-94 number
  4. Job Offer Letter
  5. If F-1/J-1 student, letter issued by ISSO Adviser


WHERE to apply:

  1. 1098 Valencia St, San Francisco 94110. Between 21st and 22nd St
  2. 90 7th St, Annex 1st Floor, San Francisco 94103. Between Market and Mission St
  3. 560 Kearny St, San Francisco 9408. Between Sacrament and California St

AFTER you apply:

Your social security card will be mailed to the address that you listed on the SSN application 7-10 business days after you apply.

Additional SSN information: 1-800-772-1213.


ITINs are required for taxation purposes. Please find additional information at the Internal Revenue Service ITIN website.


A California State I.D. may replace your passport for identification when you are within city limits.  You will need some form of picture I.D. that specifies your age to buy alcoholic beverages (drinking age is 21 and over), enter most concert halls and clubs, cash checks, and sometimes to pay with a credit or debit card.  You can apply for a California State I.D. card or a California driver's license (cost ranges from $26 to $31) at the Department of Motor Vehicles (see TRANSPORTATION chapter for more information).  *Please note, if you will be applying for a California driver's license, you do not need to apply for a California State I.D.