A conversation I had today made me want to find out exactly how many ITINs (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers) had been issued in the last several years. While that number has proved elusive, (I'm not even sure where to direct my public records request) I have found some interesting stuff:
IRS Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) Application Requirements Have Changed
If you are legally employed in the U.S. you must have an SSN and should not apply for an ITIN.
So having an ITIN is proof that you are violating the law. It seems ridiculous that our federal government would issue a number only for people who are illegaly working. This is really a shocking document to me. Other places on the IRS website try to beat around the bush with regard to who needs an ITIN but here the just came out and said it.
Information for State Departments of Motor Vehicles
Several state government motor vehicle departments are accepting IRS -issued Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) as proof of identification for state driver’s licenses, prompting us to issue this reminder -- ITINs are not valid for identification outside the tax system.
Although we require ITIN applicants to provide proof of identity documents, we accept these documents at face value without validating their authenticity with issuing agencies or conducting applicant background investigations. We do not require applicants to appear in person and third parties may submit applications and provide documentation on behalf of others.
In other words, you could apply as James Bond and they will issue you an ITIN. They will not question you. This .pdf goes on to detail the dangers of state DMVs giving drivers licenses to people whose identity you can't verify... like say, they are using a Mexican Matricula card.
NOTE: Thanks to the commentor who pointed out the incorrect link. (I always have 7-8 windows open when doing research) My error. The DMV link from the IRS.gov website is working now.