Do pawn shops have to take your social security number when you do business with them?
It seems that this in one of those topics that people can get a little funny about and to be honest, I understand why.
In some cases (although not many) when you do business with some pawn shop they may ask you for your social security number.
Now, a lot of people are going to wonder why it is that they do that, if it’s legal and what they use that number for.
Well, the truth of the matter is that the pawn shops that ask for those numbers are normally doing so because they are required to by state and local laws.
What you’ve got to appreciate about pawn shops is that they are heavily regulated by rules and laws that dictate exactly what they do, what information they need to collect and what they can do with that information.
In some cases, certain states require that pawn shops ask you for your social security number.
You’ve really got nothing to worry about in giving it to the pawn shop. They will protect it and your information and identity will be safe – so don’t get too worked up about it.
In some cases you may find that the pawn shop you are working with will need your social security number. This is normally because the state and local laws in your area require them to have record of it to help prevent stolen items from ending up in pawn shops.
What Do Pawn Shops Do With Social Security Numbers
So, why do they even need these numbers to begin with?
Well, as I’m sure you are well aware, pawn shops have a reputation of being someplace where bad guys go to sell their stolen items.
Now, in recent times, that’s really not the case, but partially because of the reporting that pawn shops have to do about the items they take in and the transactions that they conduct on a daily basis.
Part of that reporting may be identifying the exact customer that pawned certain items, or sold something to the pawn shop recently.
What happens is that law enforcement agencies may review these reports just to make sure that everything going on in the pawn shop is legal and being done exactly how it should be.
In the event that something stolen is brought into a pawn shop, the police department can react to that and catch the bad guy that brought those items in.
So It’s A Good Thing
The bottom line here is that pawn shops needing your social security number (in the few states where they do) is actually a good thing that helps to protect everyone from criminal activity.
It gives law enforcement the tools that they need to track down thieves while protecting the rest of us and giving us at least a little more peace of mind knowing that the pawn shop you are working with follows the laws to the letter.
Honestly, if you lived in a state where the pawn shop was required to take this information and they didn’t for some reason, then I’d be a little concerned. But that having been said, that’s just not the case more often than not – pawn shops are truly stand up organizations who want to do everything in their power to keep stolen goods out of the stores whenever possible.
Mandy Dormain started working for Pawn Nerd in 2020. Mandy grew up in a small town in northern Tennessee. But moved to New York for university. Before joining Pawn Nerd, Mandy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers politics and economy stories.