When applying for a job do you have to give your SSN?

My 16 year old son is applying for a job at a number of stores. I’m a little concerned that the application form asks for his SSN. Then he goes back in the store and hands the completed form to anyone working there. Would it be acceptable to leave the SSN off the application form and only give it if he gets the job, or do they do some sort of background search so leaving the number off the form would hinder him getting a job?

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