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Why Does My Dentist Need My Driver's License Number?

Updated: May 15, 2023

You are registering as a new patient in a dental office and the health form is asking for your driver's license number. Does your dentist need that information and do you have to give it?

Our long island city dentists will tell you all the truth and nothing but the truth!

Photo ID at the dentist

Do you NEED to give your dentist your driver's license number?

Your dentist does not need your driver's license number for anything whatsoever so you don't need to give it if you don't want to. The driver's license number is not necessary at the dentist nor at the doctor's office because the information is not required for processing insurance claims. That number is useless for administrative purposes.

What does your dentist want instead?

What is more helpful for your dentist is your SSN in lieu of your driver's license. The reason is because a lot of dental insurance companies will use your SSN for processing insurance claims. In fact, some insurances won't even assign you an alternate member ID for your insurance subscriber number. They will simply use your SSN as the subscriber ID.

There are also situations where you are assigned an alternate member ID but you've lost the insurance card so you do not remember what it is. In these situations, you can use your SSN in lieu of the member ID to process the insurance claim.

If you do not want to give your dentist your SSN, you don't have to do it but you will be responsible for submitting your own insurance claim. The vast majority of dental offices in the US will submit the claim on your behalf and you don't have to do anything because they have your SSN on file. Therefore, the choice is yours to make if you want to give your SSN.

  • Don't give your SSN. You will be responsible for submitting your own insurance claim.

  • Give your SSN. Your dentist will submit your claim on your behalf.

What is your driver's license numbered used for at the dentist?

The license number isn't used for processing insurance claims but it is not completely useless at the dentist. What your driver's license number can be used for is applying for dental financing to be used for dental treatment.

Dental financing are personal loans that you take out in your name to finance any type of dental treatment. The most common treatment that are being financed are Invisalign, Braces, dental implants, and dental veneers. Most of these are for cosmetic purposes and your insurance either has no coverage or very little benefits for it, which is why financing is used.

Most of the dental financing companies will ask for photo ID with the most common being your driver's license. Your number is being used to check your credit score to see if you are eligible for the loan.

Dental financing companies

Dental financing loan terms

The financing options typically come with multiple length of repayments. Most of them are interest free as well.

  • 6 months

  • 9 months

  • 12 months

  • 18 months

  • 24 months

Should you give it?

You don't have to give your driver's license number to your dentist nor your doctor because it is unnecessary information. The number isn't used to process insurance claims so they don't really need it. It is useful for them to have on file in case you need to apply for dental treatment financing but you may not always need it. If you do need financing, you can always give it to them on the day of.

What you should do is show your dentist your driver's license just so that they can verify your identity. They only need to see it to make sure that you are actually who you say you are. There has been a lot of identity theft these days so your dentist just wants to make sure that they are processing the insurance claim for the right person. You wouldn't want someone else to be using your identity and use up your insurance benefits would you?

Therefore, you can show them your driver's license but your doctor doesn't need to photo copy your ID card. That last step would be unnecessary.

That is what our dentists in long island city think about your driver's license necessity at the doctor's office. Other offices may disagree but that is ok since this is just our opinion!



David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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