Identity checking: DOB and SSN

In this post, we’ll continue sharing the feedback we’ve heard about challenges and opportunities with the identity checking (TPIV) process for the National Verifier.

Date of birth

Entering the customer’s date of birth does not appear to have the same level of challenges as entering their name. As such, we haven’t received a lot of feedback about DOB!

One piece of advice we heard is to specifically label which fields are for day, month, and year, because some cultures enter the day first and the month second, rather than the U.S. standard of entering the month first.

We also heard that some customers may have multiple official DOBs on record, and may have to attempt their eligibility check twice to see which date passes.

Last 4 of SSN/Tribal ID

Driver's license
Consumers can prove their date of birth with a state ID card, but don’t usually have proof of their social security number on-hand.

To prove the last four digits of a customer’s Social Security Number or Tribal ID, the main challenge we heard was that customers don’t usually carry around proof of this information with them.

If the system shows an error with the customer’s last four digits of SSN, proving their SSN causes extra complexity because the customer would have to go home to retrieve their SSN card (or other documentation).

Explaining and resolving identity failures

In general, we heard that the National Verifier should inform customers in advance about what documents they may need (and we’ll go into more detail about documentation in a later post).

We also heard that we should keep the TPIV dispute process simple because it is quite common, and identity verification failures may not be the customer’s fault. Some Lifeline customers are difficult to find in the TPIV system because they don’t participate in the consumer credit world.


Are there any common challenges you find with verifying a customer’s DOB or SSN? We’d like to hear your stories and advice for how to assist the customer and resolve the dispute.

Author: lifelineprogram

The Lifeline Program helps families in need afford voice and broadband connectivity services.

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