BASIC (08-09)

RM 10201.060 Social Security Number (SSN) Card Security Features

Section 205(c) of the Social Security Act includes a provision that requires SSN cards to be made of banknote paper and, to the maximum extent practicable, be a card that cannot be counterfeited. This provision applies to original and replacement cards issued after 10/31/1983.

NOTE: SSN cards issued before 10/31/1983 remain valid.

Since 10/31/1983, there have been several versions of the SSN card with security features designed to discourage counterfeiting. SSA updates security features on the SSN card as new technology becomes available.

One or more of the following security features appear on SSN cards issued since 10/31/1983:

  • Tamper-proof background

  • Color-shifting ink

  • Intaglio printing in some areas on the front of the card

  • Latent image on the face of the card visible only when viewed at specific angles

  • Red fluorescent nine-digit alphanumeric number on back (beginning February 1996)

  • Intaglio microtext in signature line (when magnified, the line is actually letters spelling out SOCIAL SECURITY)

  • Yellow, pink, and blue planchettes (small discs) randomly displayed on the front and back of the card

  • Anti-copy pattern that is discernable when the card is photocopied

  • For original cards, a dash in each column on the same line as the SSN

  • Date the card is issued (CYD from the Numident) is printed under the signature line on the face of the card (beginning April 2007).


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110201060
RM 10201.060 - Social Security Number (SSN) Card Security Features - 05/17/2010
Batch run: 05/17/2010
Rev:05/17/2010