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Citizens of the United States are not actually required to have a Social Security number, but most are given one at birth when their parents consent to it, and therefore the government considers it to be a "voluntary" enlistment. You do have the right to no longer participate in the Social Security program, though the government has not made it easy to get rid of the number. In fact, it turns out, the easiest way to get your number out the government system is by avoiding use of it.

Declare independence from the Social Security system. The 13th Amendment prohibits involuntary servitude, which means that a contract with the government Social Security system cannot, by law, be binding.

Because most citizens accept the use of the Social Security number and assume that it is compulsory, no government infrastructure is in place to assist those wishing to opt out of Social Security. So, since this is an independent contract between the individual (executed by the legal guardian), and the state, the individual may dissolve the contract simply by filing a document of asservation with the county court. This letter should say that you no longer wish to participate in the Social Security system, though this is not a renouncement of citizenship. Sites such as even provide helpful templates.

Establish alternative methods of identification. To reduce use of the Social Security number, you will likely need to provide other methods of identification to potential employers.

One type of identification you can acquire is an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). To obtain an ITIN, fill out a W-7 form, available on the Internal Revenue Service website, and return the form to the IRS. Note that this form is most commonly used by foreign nationals or foreign spouses of citizens who are not eligible for Social Security numbers and that in the first section asking why you are applying for a W-7, you should mark Box H, "Other." Make a note that documentation is attached and then attach a copy of the paperwork turned into the county office declaring emancipation from the Social Security program.

Avoid ever using a Social Security number again. The federal government will likely not read the letter of asservation, much less bother to delete the Social Security number assigned to you. However, if you are able to use alternative methods of identification, such as a birth certificate, driver's license or passport, to enjoy the same privileges as fellow American citizens, the government will no longer be able to track activities using the Social Security number, making it useless as a data collection tool. You may not have removed the number from the system in fact, but you will have removed any use the number may have served the government.

The only way to have the government destroy the number and all records connected to it would be to file suit in court. There are no court precedents on such a case, and the trouble and expense may not pay off and will likely only make you a higher-profile target for the government. However, if you do decide that it is important, consult an attorney who is sympathetic to such causes, and maybe look at such activist groups as the Freedom Lawyers of America.


  • Working freelance or running a small business yourself may help you avoid use of the Social Security number, as you will not have to deal with employers who question the lack of a Social Security card.

    You are not required to register your child for Social Security. So, if you want to prevent offspring from going through the trouble to emancipate themselves, do not register them. This will require extra work when it comes time to enroll the child in school.


  • While avoiding use of the Social Security number is legal, it is not accepted in mainstream society. You may encounter some social ostracism and even frightened employers afraid to hire you without a Social Security number. It may also attract unwanted attention from the federal government. If you choose to make this decision, know that you may have to fight legal battles to maintain freedom from the Social Security Administration.

    You may encounter problems crossing the border into the United States without a Social Security number, so be careful to always have the necessary materials to prove citizenship. If you obtain a passport by submitting an appropriate alternative form of identification, you should be fine, but be aware that there is always the chance for confusion and delays.