Requirements for Social Security Numbers

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) was notified by MorphoTrust, the Texas Department of Public Safety fingerprinting vendor, that effective August 1, 2015, P-numbers can no longer be utilized for completion of the fingerprinting process.  

An online certification application will prompt individuals to pay for fingerprinting, if needed, for issuance of certification or completion of certificate renewal. Once payment has been submitted in ECOS, the certified individual will be contacted by MorphoTrust via email to schedule an appointment to be fingerprinted. The fingerprinting process cannot be completed without a valid social security number, and an application for teacher certification cannot be processed without completion of the fingerprinting process. 

Issuance of Temporary Number  

TEA staff recognizes that the use of the P-number has been a longstanding practice, and the timing for this change is not ideal. Unfortunately, this is a process change outside the control of the TEA. TEA staff will continue to process requests for P-numbers for the purpose of establishing a TEAL account. 

TEA has the ability to assign a temporary file number to educators who do not have a United States social security number for the purpose of establishing a TEA Login (TEAL) account. This will allow an individual to access the Educator Certification Online System (ECOS) to complete any type of application needed for certification. The temporary file number begins with a “P” and is used for certification purposes only until the individual obtains a social security number. 

School districts and charter schools are advised to upload only valid 9-digit social security numbers to initiate the fingerprinting process for new hires. Individuals attempting to be fingerprinted using a non-valid 9-digit number will not be allowed to complete the fingerprinting process. 

Supporting Information

In an effort to provide guidance with the process of obtaining a Social Security Number, the TEA offers the following supporting documents and helpful links. 

International Students and Social Security Numbers  


United States Citizenship and Immigration Services letter 

USCIS Premium Processing                                                 


Internship Eligibility Form

Statement of Eligibility for Internship


Sample Internship Attestation

Sample Internship Attestation


If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Fingerprinting by submitting a help desk ticket: Fingerprinting HelpDesk