BASIC (08-09)

RM 10201.065 Safeguarding the SSN and SSN Card

A. Protecting the SSN and SSN card

The SSN card is not an identification document (ID) and an individual is only required to show the card when requested by a new employer. SSA encourages number holders to protect the integrity of their SSN by:

  • Keeping their card in a safe place,

  • Not making copies of their card, and

  • Not routinely carrying their card with them.

B. Policy for signing the SSN card

Instructions provided on the front of the SSN card stub advise adults to sign their card in ink immediately. Children are told not to sign until age 18 or their first job, whichever is earlier.

Although the card serves as SSA's official verification of the SSN assigned to the individual named on the card, it is not an identity document. Failure to sign the card does not invalidate it. Therefore, a card sent to an infant or young child may be left unsigned and kept in a safe place with other important documents until needed by the number holder for employment purposes.

C. Policy on laminating an SSN card

Instruct the card holder not to laminate his or her SSN card because lamination can prevent detection of security features on the card. When possible, tell SSN applicants in advance that SSA cannot guarantee the validity of a card that has been laminated. Suggest the card holder cover the card with plastic or other material that can be removed without damaging the card if they feel the need to protect it.

Do not routinely solicit a new application for a replacement card because an SSN card is laminated. If a replacement card is requested, tell the applicant that he or she should return the laminated card before we can process the application.

D. Reference

RM 10201.075, Handling Social Security Number (SSN) Cards Received in the FO


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110201065
RM 10201.065 - Safeguarding the SSN and SSN Card - 05/17/2010
Batch run: 05/17/2010
Rev:05/17/2010