Form W-12: Paper Application Process (Individuals With SSNs)


If you have never filed a U.S. individual income tax return or were unable to complete your online PTIN application as a result of identify proofing/authentication issues, you must submit the following:

  1. Completed Form W-12, PTIN ApplicationPDF
  2. A copy of your Social Security Card
  3. One of the documents from the list below.* This document must be current and include a photograph.  Since it is used to verify your identity, the name must match that used on the PTIN Application, Form W-12. If the document displays information on both sides, attach copies of both the front and back.
    a. U.S. Passport
    b. U.S. Passport card
    c. U.S. Driver’s License
    d. U.S. Military ID card
    e. U.S. State ID card

*Note:  The IRS will accept original documents or certified/notarized copies of documents.  Original documents will be returned to the preparer at the mailing address shown on the Form W-12.  Although the IRS will accept original documents, it is recommended that preparers submit copies of original documents in accordance with the requirements outlined below: 

  • The copies are certified by the issuing agency or official custodian of the original record.  All certifications must stay attached to the copies of the documents when they are sent to the IRS.
  • The copies are notarized by a U.S. notary public legally authorized within his or her local jurisdiction to certify that each document is a true copy of the original.  To do this, the notary must see the valid, unaltered, original documents and verify that the copies conform to the original.  Preparers must send the copy that bears the mark (stamp, signature, etc.) of the notary.  Photocopies or faxes of notarized documents are not acceptable.