The SSN Numbering Scheme | Social Security Card History

The SSN ( social security number ) is an identification number issued to US citizens, permanent residents, and temporary (working) residents under the Social Security Act. The SSN was first issued in November 1935 by the Social Security Board (which evolved into the SSA or Social Security Administration).

The SSN Numbering Scheme

The SSN Numbering Scheme for the United States Social Security System is a numerical system used to track citizens for taxation and other purposes. SSNs are issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration, which was established in 1935 as part of legislation authorizing social welfare programs such as unemployment insurance and assistance for the needy. Try downloading Social Security Card Template PSD and create your own fake SSN at home.


The first nine numbers that make up a SSN typically identify an individual’s geographic location and year of birth. The first three numbers are assigned according to geographic area, as indicated below:

In July 2011, it was announced by the SSA that effective immediately SSNs would no longer be printed on cards or labels sent through the mail; they will instead be distributed only through digital means from this date forward . In addition, SSNs issued after 2011 are no longer publicly exposed on documents sent through the mail, but SSN records continue to be widely available through other means.

The SSN is composed of nine numerical digits (the area number followed by the serial number) and can often be mistaken for a “customer number” or other identification code found in everyday life.

SSA field offices assign SSNs; law enforcement agencies do not make them, nor issue SSN cards or SSN certificates of authenticity . No one actually needs an SSN to live and work in the United States , only a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), though most banks will insist on one with deposits over $500

. It would be highly unusual for SSN cards to be used in such a way . SSNs are not intended to be used as personal identification

. SSNs assigned prior to June 25, 2011 may still be made visible when the SSN holder requests a copy of his or her SSN record

. The Social Security Administration (SSA) suggests that SSNs should not be considered secret and that there is no law prohibiting disclosure of the number . Anyone, including a SSN recipient, may look up an SSN on the SSA website free of charge. However, most financial institutions require customers who open accounts to provide their SSNs; they use them for customer verification purposes , and this practice is sanctioned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

. SSNs may be used to verify identities when applying for credit, acquiring a passport, renting a residence, and some other activities . SSNs are also sometimes used as go vernment-issued identification numbers when conducting business with the federal government

. SSNs have replaced customer numbers in many areas, including toll-free telephone service

. SSN applications are processed at all SSA offices

and some non-SSA sites throughout the United States and its territories . The SSN is issued by states on driver’s licenses and state identification cards for people who do not have an SSN but need official forms of identification such as citizens registering automobiles or boats . A person cannot legally get a SSN without proper identification.

SSNs cannot be issued until a birth certificate is filed with the SSA. SSN applicants must provide evidence of age, identity, and U.S. citizenship or “qualifying immigration status” (a resident alien assigned a SSN). The SSN card itself does not expire; however, many people now receive new SSN’s as their old SSNs are compromised by data breaches and ID theft The Social Security Administration (SSA) was established in 1935 as part of legislation authorizing social welfare programs such as unemployment insurance and assistance for the needy administratively , the SSA is headed by a commissioner who oversees a staff at headquarters in Woodlawn, Maryland operating out of 34 offices nationwide.

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