I'm applying for a visa to enter China.

One of the questions asked is my "Local ID / Citizenship number". What would that be as a US citizen?

1.9 身份证/公民证号码
Local ID / Citizenship number

Visa Application Form of the People’s Republic of China

Edit: There is another box for passport number

1.11 护照号码
Passport number 
  • I guess the most important rule is to be consistent about whatever you put there... – user541686 Jun 21 '18 at 0:40
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    Wouldn't it make more sense to just contact them and ask? You can't be the first American citizen who doesn't know what to put here... – user541686 Jun 21 '18 at 5:41

Some websites suggest putting your state driver's license or state ID number there.

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    State driver's license number worked for me when I applied. – ajd Jun 21 '18 at 2:29

For use in a foreign country, I would put my passport number.

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    There is another section on the Chinese visa application for passport number. – ajd Jun 21 '18 at 2:29

Do not share your SSN!

Not all countries have local id numbers that are suitable for this field. In Netherlands we have BSN, which is similar to the SSN. I left this field blank when applying for a visa in 2016 and got granted the visa.

The goal of the application form is to verify that you are a genuine applicant. You want to supply them information that is useful and true. Another field already asks for your passport number, so re-entering that is not useful. Your drivers license is not valid in most of China, so that is not useful either. Leaving it blank worked for me.

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The U.S. does not have a federal/national ID number for its citizens and residents, formally, so I think you can leave it empty or write N/A. Otherwise, you could also put your social security number there. I don't think they would be bothered too much about that.

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    The social security number should never be used in this case, never. – Giorgio Jun 20 '18 at 19:44
  • @Giorgio I understand that SSN is not supposed to be used outside of social security. Any deeper reason? – xuq01 Jun 21 '18 at 1:00
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    It's a great way to get your identity and bank accounts stolen. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Jun 21 '18 at 1:11
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    @xuq01 identity fraud (est. cost 16B) and fraud, abuse, misuse (est $3B); e.g., in 2015 about 6.5 million people who had active Social Security numbers appeared to be at least 112 years old (the actual number is 5). This year, Social Security Numbers (SSNs) are being removed from all Medicare cards, are no longer used for driving licenses, university id numbers, etc. – Giorgio Jun 21 '18 at 2:45

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