This article is from the FAQ, by with numerous contributions by others.
There is a change in the rules at Social Security Administration.
Now, they won't issue a SSN to a B-2 resident just for banking purposes.
They have a form letter explaining that the bank must file a form I-8
instead. However, an inquiry at the SSA office revealed that they
*will* issue a number for DMV -- in most states, you need an SSN now to
apply for a driver's license. One has to pass the test and bring the
temporary (paper) license stating that SSN is required for the real
license to be issued. The SSA employee also said that one can request
an SSN for credit verification purposes.