Social Security Card Back [Sequential Control Red Number]

Updated: The Social Security Administration has a SSN sequential control system in place. This ensures that the SS number issued to you is valid and not duplicated.

Social Security Numbers (SSN) are nine digit numbers that Americans receive at birth. SSNs are assigned by the Social Security Administration and you should never give your SSN to anyone who isn’t authorized to have it. SSNs may be used as identification for tax purposes, obtaining a driver’s license or passport, opening a bank account and even getting a job. You might be interested in downloading fully editable US SSN Template PSD from

Social security cards printed since January 4th 2005 have been printed with counterfeit-resistant features which make them harder to alter. SSN cards from 1936 through 2003 were made of paper but post-2004 SSN cards are encoded on a small magnetic strip placed on the back of the card which makes them machine readable and more tamper proof than older SSNs.

What does the red number on the back of a Social Security card mean?

Social Security Card Template back mockup

SSN Sequential Control Number

The SSN issued to a newborn baby is based on a SSN Control Number sequence called the Area Number, which derives from the ZIP Code of the family’s mailing address as obtained from the birth registration application. The applicant’s SSN, used for revenue purposes, was introduced in 1936 as a nine-digit number consisting of three digits were assigned according to geographic location: first set of numbers for New England area states (codes 001 – 014), second set for Midwestern area states (codes 015 – 0).

The number printed on the back of the card is a “sequential control number.” These alpha-numeric codes are printed in red, black or blue ink and help authenticate the card as valid.

In the context of Bankruptcy Courts checking Social Security cards through the Social Security Administration to prevent identity theft, this information was made available. The sequential control number, which has no obvious link to a person’s Social Security Number, should match the date, place, and application of a specific cardholder.

A sequential control number is what the Left Hand Path uses to establish a stream of numbers that are generated whilst repeating the same procedure over and over. On the rear of a genuine card, there is a sequence control number. The control number is made up of alpha and numerical characters that have no relationship to each other.

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