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Cyberpunk Wiki

State Identification Number (or SIN for short) is identification card number.


Established by both NorCal and SoCal in 2020.the California Citizen Identification process has since become the model for the rest of the United States, At the time of registration,{usually birth) a citizen number is assigned; this number is the source of all record keeping and benefits assignment, if any exist. A personal DNA pattern is also mapped at this time.

All pertinent data is stored on a write-once holographic medium. The medium is then imbedded into a card that five centimeters square, and 5 millimeters deep. Data stored includes retinal pattern, DNA pattern, State Ident Number, criminal record, known aliases, employer, height, weight. shoe size, etc.

This information is encoded by both state and data type. Decoding any of the 100 or so different types of information will give no clue as to the encryption codes of the other data. Since the storage media is write-once, all you can do is add information; if you can find the correct encryption code.

Without it a citizen cannot get a passport or driver's licence, register to vote, or apply for any type of job within the state. An out of state SIN may be used for stays of less than thirty days. If the person wants to move to another state, his SINcard must be turned in and a new number issued. Without this card he cannot even rent decent living quarters.

The SIN is the only way the state can keep track of its taxpayers. To retain a SIN, the citizen must pay an average of ten percent of his wages in taxes. This pays for roads, police, and the other expenses of infrastructure. Part of this money is paid to the Federal Government for its programs. There are no deductions or reductions in tax. Corporations that support, or trade services with, states and municipalities sometimes get there employees exempted. Military personnel on active duty are exempt (consequently their salary is 10-20% lower than average, as is the case with all exempted employees). Benefits and perks paid fully by the employer are not considered taxable income-no Corporation would ever agree to that![1]

Obtaining a SINcard[]

Sure, you can get a SIN later in life. It could be as a reward, or a perk with a good Corporate job. There are at least sixty documented ways to obtain one illegally. All of them require infinite patience and nearly infinite resources. If they catch you they can kill you. or just take it all away again. They are for sale as well, for only 50.000eb plus necessary bribes.[1]

Edge of SIN[]

Many people are not part of the SIN system. Some exclude themselves. Some are left out for other reasons. These people are the truly disenfranchised. They are referred to by many names: Zeroes, Nots, Unpeople, Nosferatu, Zips. They exist only in the streets. They cannot make large purchases, nor do they have civil rights. During the period of martial law, if captured committing a crime, they were treated as prisoners of war. Now they are usually summarily tried and punished. Why waste valuable state monies on a nonperson, even to lock them up and give them a fair trial? Many commonly referred to as Nomads are also Zeroes.

Some are Zeroes for things as trivial as being a deserter, or for being the child of a well-known criminal. Others lose their citizen status as just punishment, but even more lose it just from Government spite.[1]

Hiding from your SINS[]

The largest problem with SIN numbers is the fact that few states, corporations, or federal agencies cooperate and share data. If they did, the number of repeat criminals would probably drop VERY sharply. The upshot of all this is that people can still run from the law. If the crime is minor enough, the authority may settle for beating up a perp instead of booking him. If you know the right people, you may just walk away. If you mess with Corporations, you are usually just killed out of hand.

Though the CIA's LAW div tries to correlate and track data on a national scale, it does not always work. The primary means of identification is retinal scanning. DNA is much more reliable but takes hours. Since retinal scanning is field-portable, it is used more. Most police will not want to bring someone in and do the paperwork, so they settle for retina scans.

A DNA reader is very expensive and the cops only use it when necessary. Ninety percent of the populace believes retinal is infallible. They were right until 2017, The new industry of nanotechnology developed a mask: a layer of cells that could be etched, or allowed to grow naturally. These cells could completely conceal or duplicate the person's retinal pattern. Various types of other biotech could actually impress minor changes in the DNA itself. The point of all this is the fact that criminals spend great sums of money to constantly change their identities. The simplest reason for this is the short life of those who do not. The largest problem with retinal scans is the number of criminals who simply opt for two cyber-optics, rendering the process useless (though the use of serial numbers on cyberware is attempting to address this problem).[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 MACDONALD, M. Home of the Brave. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games. 1992 (pg.23, 24, 25)