Official Website of the United States Department of Homeland Security

Self Check works with an independent, secure, identity assurance service. This allows Self Check to be confident in the security of the service.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
02/09/2012

The government records used by E-Verify and Self Check are generally accurate and few people have any problems identified by E-Verify. In fact, E-Verify finds about 97% of the work force to be employment authorized.

Depending on your citizenship or immigrant status, there are several alternatives to using Self Check to confirm your employment eligibility. The following methods may be used to gain access to your government records to ensure their accuracy.

  • Wait until an employer checks your employment eligibility through E-Verify:
    Some companies use the E-Verify Program to check the work eligibility of their new hires. If there is an issue with your records, your employer will inform you of the next steps at that time.
  • Contact the Social Security Administration:
    If you would like to check your records with the Social Security Administration, please contact their toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 or call or visit your local Social Security office. Social Security can handle most inquiries over the telephone.
  • Contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) National Customer Service Center (NCSC):
    Call the NCSC to check the accuracy of your immigration records and to determine next steps with an immigration specialist. Noncitizens may contact the NCSC at (800) 375-5283, TTY (800) 767-1833.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 
02/09/2012

Self Check uses an identity assurance process to protect your privacy. The service is designed for you to check your employment authorization records and by forcing a user to first establish his or her identity, Self Check can be sure that the system is not being misused. Because Self Check is providing information about a person’s government records, it is very important that we defend against misuse of the service.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
02/09/2012

There are several reasons why you may not have passed the quiz.

  • You may have answered one or more questions incorrectly. Please read each one carefully and consider every answer. 
  • There may be errors in the information on file with the credit reporting bureaus. This could cause a question to be generated that you cannot answer correctly. 
  • You may have entered your identifying information incorrectly, causing the independent service to ask questions that you are not able to answer.

If you would like to confirm the accuracy of the information found in your credit reports you may do so by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com and requesting free copies of your credit reports. If you find a discrepancy in any of your credit reports you should follow up with the individual credit reporting agency to correct those records. If you want information on your rights relating to credit reporting, or more detailed information on the steps you can take to correct errors found in your credit reports, please visit www.ftc.gov/credit.

Even though an error prevented you from successfully completing the identity assurance quiz, you may still be authorized to work in the United States.

Please read the “I am unable to use Self Check. How else can I check my records?” question and answer for alternatives to using Self Check.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
02/09/2012

No, Self Check will not affect your ability to get credit. If you look at your credit report after using Self Check, you may see a record a “soft hit” or “soft inquiry” in your report. However, soft hits are not shown to businesses and are not used to calculate your credit score.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
02/09/2012

This identifying information (and your Social Security number, if you provide it) is sent to an independent identity assurance service. They search public and private data sources and return a quiz designed so that only the person with that name, date of birth, and address will be able to answer the questions. The questions asked and the answers you choose are between you and the independent identity assurance service – the Department of Homeland Security is never told any additional information about you. When your identity is verified, the Department of Homeland Security is notified only that you may proceed to the next step in the Self Check process.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
02/09/2012

There may be several reasons why a quiz could not be generated for you.

  • You may have moved recently and your credit files and public records do not yet reflect your new address. If so, you can try running a Self Check again using your former residence in the address field.
  • You may have entered information incorrectly, preventing the independent service from locating any records about you.
  • You chose not to provide your Social Security Number. In some cases, providing this additional information may make it easier for the third party identity assurance service to find your records and generate quiz questions for you.
  • You may have attempted to take a quiz too many times recently. In this case, if you need to access Self Check you should wait a few days and try again. 
  • You may not have enough of a financial footprint for enough questions to be generated. This can happen if you have entered the country or the workforce recently or you simply have not applied for any type of credit.
  • You may have certain fraud alerts reported to your state or a credit bureau. These fraud alerts are usually created by an individual who was the victim of identity theft or is at a greater risk of becoming a victim. 
  • You may have put a security freeze on your credit report.

If you want to confirm the accuracy of the information found in your credit reports you may do so by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com and requesting free copies of your credit reports. If you find a discrepancy in any of your credit reports you should follow up with the individual credit reporting agency to correct those records. If you want information on your rights relating to credit reporting, or more detailed information on the steps you can take to correct errors found in your credit reports, please visit www.ftc.gov/credit

Even though an identity assurance quiz could not be generated, you may still be authorized to work in the United States.

Please read the “I am unable to use Self Check. How else can I check my records?” question and answer for alternatives to using Self Check.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
02/09/2012