BASIC (08-09)

RM 10201.055 Social Security Number (SSN) Card History

A. SSN card history

There are currently over 50 different versions of the Social Security card, all of which are valid. Until 1976, original SSN cards and replacement cards were different. The following chart lists the changes in the SSN card with effective dates.

DATE

CHANGE IN SSN CARD

2011

Thirty-fifth version of the SSN card (08/2011 revision).

Beginning 08/11, a square 2D barcode of the control number appears immediately to the right of the control number on the back of the card.

2007

Beginning 04/07, the date the card is issued is printed under the signature line.

Beginning 09/08/07, the number holder’s name is always printed on two lines, with the last name printed directly below the first and middle names.

Thirty-fourth version of the SSN card (10/2007 revision).

This version of the SSN card includes additional security features. Some of the more recognizable features are:

  • A unique, non-repeating spiral design, replaced the existing marbleized pattern. The new pattern is the same or a very similar color to the current background and continues to be erasable.

  • Color-shifting inks were added to the face of the card; very recognizable since it is used in currency.

  • A latent image on the face of the card, visible only when the document is viewed at specific angles.

2006

Thirty-third version of the SSN card (11/2006 revision).

  • The left side of the SSN card carrier includes an explanation of the date printed under the signature line on the SSN card.

  • The right side of the carrier provides instructions for signing the card.

2004

Thirty-second version of the SSN card (03/2004 revision).

  • The language, “DO NOT CARRY IT WITH YOU” is added to the face of the card and the anti-copy VOID pattern is removed.

  • In 04/2004, the restrictive legend, “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION” is changed to show INS change to DHS.

2002

Thirty-first version of the SSN card (12/2002 revision).

  • Instructions were updated for clarity and to ask that the NH report changes in name, U.S. citizenship, or alien status to SSA and not allow others to use the SSN.

  • The instruction “do not carry it with you” was added to the back of the card.

1999

Thirtieth version of the SSN card (06/1999 revision).

Corrected the SSA address to which cards should be returned.

1995

Twenty-ninth version of SSN card (04/1995 revision).

Has SSA's new seal on the card.

1994

Twenty-eighth version of SSN card (01/1994 revision).

Language on the card tells NHs to “Keep card in a safe place to prevent loss or theft.”

1992

On 09/14/92, SSA began showing the legend “VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION” for aliens with temporary work authorization.

1988

Twenty-seventh version of SSN card (01/1988 revision).

Anti-copy VOID pattern was added as a security feature for the card.

1987

Twenty-sixth version of SSN card (01/1987 revision).

Same as prior version, with slightly darker shade of blue ink on the back of the card and stub.

1984

Twenty-fifth version of SSN card (04/1984 revision).

The card is the same as the prior version with the instructions reformatted.

1983

Twenty-fourth version of SSN card (10/1983 revision).

SSA began issuing a counterfeit-resistant SSN card (on blue banknote paper with randomly placed, colored planchettes on the back).

1982

On May 17, 1982, SSA began annotating SSN cards issued to aliens assigned nonwork SSNs “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT.”

Twenty-second version of SSN card (06/1982 revision).

  • The card is the same as the prior version.

  • The SSN was removed from the card stub.

  • Instructions add information about the legend on nonwork SSN cards.

Twenty-third version of SSN card (09/1982 version).

The card is the same as the prior version.

1981

Twenty-first version of the SSN card (04/1981 revision).

The card is the same as the prior version.

1980

Twentieth version of the SSN card (05/1980 revision).

The seal is changed to a DHHS seal.

1976

Nineteenth version of SSN card (04/1976 revision).

  • The card is the same as the prior version.

  • The stub size is smaller.

  • There are fewer instructions and they are printed in blue ink.

1974

Eighteenth version of replacement SSN card.

  • This was the last version of the replacement SSN card.

  • Thereafter, original and replacement cards look the same.

1972

Eighteenth version of SSN card (01/1972 revision).

  • The legend, “Not For Identification” was no longer on the card (shown from 1946 to 1972).

  • A large DHEW seal was in the middle of the card.

  • The format of the stub was changed to envelope size (the card was a small two-sided tear-off of the stub).

  • The instructions were expanded on the back of the card and stub and were in black ink.

1970

Seventeenth version of SSN card

1961

Fifteenth version of SSN card (09/1961 revision).

  • The card and stub were revised to read, “For Social Security and Tax Purposes -- Not For Identification.”

  • The instructions on the back were in blue ink.

Seventeenth version of replacement SSN card (11/1961 version).

The card and stub were revised to read, “For Social Security and Tax Purposes -- Not For Identification.”

1959

Fourteenth version of SSN card (05/1959 revision).

  • The card and the stub were the same as the prior version. Instructions added information that a woman should contact SSA when she reached age 62.

  • The instructions on the back were in black ink.

1958

Sixteenth version of replacement SSN card (10/1958 revision).

  • The card and stub were the same as the prior version.

  • Instructions included information that a woman should contact SSA when she reached age 62.

1956

Fourteenth version of replacement SSN card (03/1956 revision).

  • The card and stub were the same as the prior version.

  • Instructions included information for the NH to get in touch with SSA if totally disabled.

Thirteenth version of SSN card (04/1956 revision).

  • The card was the same as the prior version.

  • Instructions on the back of the card said to get in touch with SSA if a worker became totally disabled.

Fifteenth version of replacement SSN card (04/1956 revision).

  • The card and stub were the same as the prior version.

  • Some cards may have been printed with 04/56 revision date (rather than 03/56).

1954

Eleventh version of SSN card (02/1954 version).

The seal on the card was changed to a small DHEW seal.

Twelfth version of replacement SSN card (02/1954 revision).

The seal was changed to a DHEW seal.

Twelfth version of SSN card (07/1954 revision).

  • The card was the same as the prior version.

  • There were small changes in the instructions on the back of the card.

Thirteenth version of replacement SSN card (07/1954 revision).

  • The card and stub were the same as the prior version.

  • Instructions on the back of the card and stub used the term “field office” rather than “district office.”

1953

Tenth version of SSN card (04/1953 revision).

  • The card was the same as the prior version.

  • The instructions on the back of the card were revised.

  • Back also showed: “Department of Heath, Education, and Welfare, Social Security Administration”.

Eleventh version of replacement SSN card (04/1953 revision).

  • The card was the same as the prior version.

  • Instructions on back of card were changed.

  • Back showed: “Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Social Security Administration”.

1952

Ninth version of SSN card (01/1952 revision).

“Signature” instead of “Worker's signature” appeared on the card and stub.

Tenth version of replacement SSN card (01/52 revision). “Signature” rather than “Worker's signature” appeared on the card and stub.

1949 – 1951

Printings of the 06/48 version of the SSN card had a header “Social Security” with a small SSA seal between the two words.

1949

Ninth version of replacement SSN card (07/1949 revision).

The card was the same as the prior versions with the “Social Security” header.

1948

Eighth version of SSN card (06/1948 revision).

  • Some cards were the same as the prior version; others had a new header, “Social Security” with a small SSA seal in the header between “Social” and “Security.”

  • There were variations in the printings of this version.

Seventh version of replacement SSN card (03/1948 revision).

  • The card had the Social Security Administration seal instead of the Social Security Board seal.

  • Back of card showed, “Federal Security Agency, Social Security Administration”.

Eighth version of replacement SSN card (10/1948 revision).

  • The SSA seal appeared as a slightly stippled design in the same shade of blue as the rest of the format.

  • Instructions on the back of the card and the stub were printed in blue ink.

1946

Seventh version of SSN card (01/1946 revision).

  • The seal was now the Social Security Administration Seal and both the card and the stub bore the legend, “For Social Security Purposes Not For Identification.”

  • The back of the card showed, “Federal Security Agency, Social Security Administration”.

Sixth version of replacement SSN card (01/1946 revision).

  • Both the card and stub showed, “For Social Security Purposes--Not For Identification” across the bottom.

  • The back of card showed, “Federal Security Agency, Social Security Administration”.

1944

Sixth version of SSN card (07/1944 revision).

  • The same as the prior version, except the left edge was straight and the form number (“Form OA-702”), and

  • the revision date (07-44) appeared in the lower-left corner of the stub and the back of the card.

Fifth version of replacement SSN card (07/1944 revision).

The card was the same as the prior version. “Employer's name” was no longer preprinted on stub.

1943

Fifth version of SSN card (04/1943 revision).

  • The card looked the same as the prior version.

  • Instructions on the back of the card were expanded.

1942

Fourth version of replacement SSN card (12/1942 revision).

  • The revision date was printed on the back of the card.

  • The legend, “employer's name” was pre-printed on the stub.

  • Preprinted information on the card and stub was in blue ink.

  • Instructions (in black ink) included information about name changes.

1940

Fourth version of SSN card.

  • The preprinted “date of issue” was eliminated. “Employee's signature” changed to “worker's signature.”

  • The stub had the SSN preprinted in red. “Federal Security Agency” was printed on the back of the stub.

  • Instructions said to show card to employer.

Third version of replacement SSN card.

  • The card was the same as the prior version.

  • The stub had a box designated “worker's name and home address.”

1938 – 1940

Third version of SSN card.

  • The card itself was the same as the prior version, but there were some variations in the printings.

  • In some printings, the SSN was printed on the stub; in others, it had to be typed-on.

  • In some printings, the stub had preprinted spaces for the NH's name and address.

First version of replacement SSN card.

  • On the back of the card, the form number was shown as, “Form OA-702 DUP.”

  • The card format was the same as the original SSN card except it was light green and had “DUPLICATE” printed diagonally across the face in red letters (green letters for those used by RRB).

  • There was a Social Security Board seal in the middle of the card. The left margin was not perforated.

  • The back of the RRB version showed only “RR” in large letters.

  • The cards did not have a stub.

Second version of replacement SSN card.

  • The preprinted information was in blue ink.

  • “Duplicate” was not printed on the card.

  • On the back of the card was “Form OA-702.1.” The date of issue was omitted.

  • All printed information was in black ink.

  • The back of card had, “Federal Security Agency, Social Security Board”.

1937 – 1938

Second version of SSN card.

  • Same as the first version of the card.

  • The stub had a centered legend “For Office Use Only.”

1936

First version of SSN card.

  • No form number and no revision date.

  • The preprinted information on the card face was in blue ink with a Social Security Board seal (in a lighter shade of blue) in the center of the card.

  • The SSN was in red ink.

  • The date of issue was typed on the card.

  • The card had a “stub” to type-in the mailing address. (The stub was to be put away for safe-keeping.)

  • The left edge was perforated.

  • The card had a curved header showing “Social Security Act.”

  • Under the header was “account number.”

  • Preprinted legends “date of issue” and “employee's signature” appeared.

  • The instructions on the back were in black ink.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0110201055
RM 10201.055 - Social Security Number (SSN) Card History - 04/03/2014
Batch run: 04/03/2014
Rev:04/03/2014