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Poll: Are you willing to provide your ID/passport number for a contract with a client?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:11
SITE STAFF
Nov 26, 2016

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Are you willing to provide your ID/passport number for a contract with a client?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:11
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Nov 26, 2016

I've never received such a request!

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:11
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In some cases Nov 26, 2016

Sometimes, some agencies require an ID number. It's quite rare, but some do.
I believe we are able to get a feeling of the client after a few negotiation e-mails, and realize if it's a serious contract or otherwise. When I feel it's real and there will be jobs, and the company has a recent average in the Blue Board above 4.7, I don't see a problem there.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:11
Spanish to English
+ ...
It depends Nov 26, 2016

I've never had to do so, and probably never will, but if I wanted to work with someone and that was a prerequisite, I don't see why not.

PS: Unless of course they offer insulting rates and insist on Trados, like an ad I've just seen which has annoyed me more than I should've let it...

[Edited at 2016-11-26 11:14 GMT]


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
No Nov 26, 2016

Only if it's really a must and worthy, and I have double-checked the party, then I could agree, perhaps.

Never understand people who eagerly send their personal data even to anonymous contacts (just to make it easier to abuse) and later they are unpleasantly surprised: "How come?!"


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svenfrade  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 15:11
French to German
+ ...
No Nov 26, 2016

I faintly recall that a potential client asked me for my ID-card number years ago. Needless to say, I never got any jobs from them.
A lot of red tape usually means zero jobs in the end (or denotes a problematic business relationship), both of which is not worth the bother.


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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:11
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes Nov 26, 2016

My friends and I were talking about this at the Thanksgiving dinner table yesterday. One of the guests (a naturalized American) had been asked to give her Social Security number (SSN) to a potential employer and had refused to do so. Another person explained to her that it was a routine request.

In this regard, it's a fine line between about-to-be-hired and actually hired.

As an American, I have often given my SSN to potential employers. Of course *all* my U.S. clients have to know my SSN before they can pay me a penny. Every year they have to report the total of what they pay me to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Don't other countries have the same requirement?

As for passport numbers, when I've traveled in Latin America I've had to show my passport at hotels, airports, shops, conference registration desks, etc., etc. Why not future employers?

The truth is, anyone could probably find out anyway. Nothing is private anymore.

[Edited at 2016-11-26 10:14 GMT]


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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:11
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Absolutely not Nov 26, 2016

Clients can have my VAT number any day - DK 27093892 - and for business purposes that gives them access to all they need to know - they can check me up in the Danish Companies Register.

Not that it tells them a lot, but it shows I run a legitimate business, and how they can get in touch with me. My ID number is private, and I am very careful about my British passport, which is not relevant to business anyway.

A casual client who sends me a few hundred words to translate and pays for them must trust me. I will honour that trust, or they can use business channels, but they stay out of my private life! The same applies in fact to my best long-standing clients and probably most of my friends in practice.

That is the way we work in Scandinavia at any rate.


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Mario Chavez  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:11
English to Spanish
+ ...
In America, only in specific cases (passport number) Nov 26, 2016

As Muriel discussed, we give our passport number or show the document at different places for legitimate reasons when we travel.

Whoever wrote the quiz question was either deliberately or ignorantly ambiguous, however.

I can't speak about European practices: not in my experience. Although here, in Portugal, you are required to carry a NIF (fiscal ID number) if you want an invoice for your purchase showing what you paid in VAT (so that you can recoup it here or elsewhere).

In America, giving your Social Security number (which is not an ID card) to a bank, a client or an employer is common practice, and it is a legitimate request. If you are hired to work for a company, whether in-house or remotely, your employer is requested by law to show that all employees are legally authorized to work in the United States. To that end, all employees are required to fill out federal form I-9. See it here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/acceptable-documents

The government lists several forms of identification, including driver's licenses and passports.

If you are European and an American company is interviewing you for a job, you should expect to be asked to fill out a form I-9 and submit at least two forms of identification (including your passport) if the company decides to hire you after the interview process.

Now, American companies do not offer a job contract (unless you are a high executive) as they all observe the “as-is work” legal framework (voluntary employment).


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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 12:11
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In Brazil... Nov 26, 2016

Muriel Vasconcellos wrote:

Don't other countries have the same requirement?

As for passport numbers, when I've traveled in Latin America I've had to show my passport at hotels, airports, shops, conference registration desks, etc.


... we have the CPF, individual tax ID. It's a unique number, always (9 digits + 2 control digits). Everyone above 14 years of age in Brazil needs one, otherwise it will be very difficult to do anything involving money other than cash.

Americans are scared at the idea of me giving it away, as it resembles their SSN in function. For the record, every check of mine has it printed on it. I must provide it to PayPal, Western Union, Moneygram etc. to receive payments from overseas. And if a client abroad is kind enough to include it in some unused field when they send me a wire transfer, it may speed things up.

Formerly, the BR Federal Revenue issued cards with it. No photo; just the name and the CPF number. They did away with that too. Now you go online, enter some data, and can print as many such cards as you want. Also, for many year now, the number (at the bearer's option) may be printed on the driver's license.

It's easy to get one online, or at any port office in Brazil. Yet one doesn't have to be Brazilian nor live in Brazil to have a CPF. It is possible for a foreigner who has never (and who might never) set foot in Brazil, nor paid any taxes in Brazil to get a CPF from any Brazilian consulate. It will be necessary, e.g. if a person inherits some property in Brazil.

We have other IDs too, but they are often useless. The RG is the identity card, with photo. However its numbering is statewide, so the issuing authority and the state must be mentioned for it to mean anything. Professional board registration numbers are also valid as IDs here, just as military IDs issued to people in the armed forces.

The CPF is the only unique Brazilian ID that covers everybody, and it is not secret at all.

What would be the point of a passport number? A Brazilian passport expires every five years.

Some people just love the activity trap. They create as many fields as they can, and then force people to fill all of them with data, just for the sake of the exercise.


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Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:11
Member (2008)
English to Italian
same here Nov 26, 2016

neilmac wrote:

I've never had to do so, and probably never will, but if I wanted to work with someone and that was a prerequisite, I don't see why not.


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:11
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Spain: Yes, of course Nov 26, 2016

In Spain we have an identity card number different from the passport number. This ID number, with the letters ES, is usually the VAT number too for free-lancers.


If we need to subscribe an agreement, mentioning the ID is mandatory for both parties. The VAT number is mandatory too on the invoices, if applied.


As for day-to-day jobs, there is no need to provide any ID, even for a new client. I'm sometimes asked to provide my ID number by foreign agencies, in these long and boring forms that never lead to a real job.


But, yes, of course, I willfully provide my ID if required.


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Susana E. Cano Méndez  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 15:11
Member
French to Spanish
+ ...
Ad Nov 26, 2016


PS: Unless of course they offer insulting rates and insist on Trados, like an ad I've just seen which has annoyed me more than I should've let it...

[Edited at 2016-11-26 11:14 GMT]


Hm, I think I know which ad it is: I have been upset myself too.


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:11
Member (2012)
French to English
No, but... Nov 26, 2016

... if it was some kind of top-secret James Bond-style mission, who knows?

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Erzsébet Czopyk  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 15:11
Member (2006)
Russian to Hungarian
+ ...
yes Nov 27, 2016

And when I do diplomatic certification and/or apostille, I have to do so.
The embassy of China, for example, has a special form for it, and I need to give all my data, color photo and a copy of my ID plus my authorization from a person who gave me the document/order for translation.


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