History of Social Security Card [USA SSN Background]

The SSN is used for many purposes; previous to 1974 it was also used as a personal identifier on several other documents including income tax forms. Reportedly it is now required on W2s and 1099s, but this varies by employer.

History of Social Security Card

The SSN has nine digits , usually written ” XXX-XX-XXXX ” though sometimes people will put dashes between each group of four numbers. The first three are called the area number ; these correspond to geographic regions of the US which are in turn divided into counties. The SSN is issued by the SSA, and when an SSN is assigned they also assign it to a county (typically the SSN’s owner’s birth county).

The last four digits are serial number  and may be any combination of numbers if all available SSNs in that area have been exhausted. SSNs do not include letters of any sort so they can be transferred easily from one system of record to another without risk of confusion. Try downloading Social Security Card Template PSD and create your own fake SSN at home.

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The Social Security Administration assigns SSNs using several rules:

– If you’re born in the US or on certain US territories or possessions including Puerto Rico , Guam, American Samoa, Swain Island , Mariana Islands, the Canal Zone, and the Virgin Islands , your SSN will begin with “001”. This is because SSNs were never issued to people in these places before 1951 (with a very few exceptions).

– SSNs were not issued before November 1936 in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. As of 2018 SSNs cannot be issued at all in New Hampshire; SSNs issued to residents of Massachusetts prior to 2011 were issued beginning with “051” or “052”. These records are shown as such on NARA microfilm but the SSN was originally supplied by SSA; it has been retired from circulation due to privacy concerns. There is no need for researchers in these states to include this in their requests when asking for searches at NARA.

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