Randomization Is Here

The Social Security Administration has departed from its multi-decade-long method of assigning Social Security numbers as of June 25, 2011 and has started assigning them on a random basis. Therefore, the SSA has eliminated the geographical assignment of area numbers (the first three numbers). These three digits are no longer allocated for assignment to individuals in specific states. In like manner, the significance of the highest group number (the fourth and fifth digits) for validation purposes has also been eliminated. Thus, those area and group numbers assigned as of June 25, 2011, and after can no longer be used to check states of SSN assignment (and states of birth or residence) and probable dates of SSN assignment and birth.

The Good News
The National Association for Bank Security (NABS) has published Social Security Number Verification manual since 1986 up through the 2011 edition (January 1, 2010 – December 31, 2010). The final edition is now available for sale that covers the traditional assignment of SSNs up to June 25, 2011.

Knowing the characteristics of Social Security numbers and the numerical system utilized by the Social Security Administration in issuing SSNs, coupled with the ability to determine the year a particular SSN was issued, for many years has rendered the SSN one of the most valuable tools for detecting the use of false identification. The use of traditionally-issued SSNs (up to June 25, 2011) remains valid, and the over 50 years of information is available in the last edition of the manual from the National Association for Bank Security. The manual will include all SSNs and related crucial information up to June 25, 2011.

The manual also provides over 50 years of SSN charts which, for SSNs issued before June 25, 2011, and should help enable any banker to:

  • determine whether or not a particular SSN was issued by the Social Security Administration (as of 6/25/11);
  •  determine if a particular SSN is one that could not possibly exist legitimately (e.g., the 900-series SSNs);
  • determine the state in which a particular SSN was issued, or the state in which a person resided at the time the SSN was issued;
  •  determine the precise year (or, in some instances, an approximation within two years) a particular SSN was issued;
  • determine if a specific SSN could conceivably belong to a particular individual, based upon the apparent age of the person and the approximate year the SSN was issued;
  • determine the exact minimum age of the person who should be legitimately in possession of a specific SSN;
  • determine the probable age range of the person who should be legitimately in possession of a specific SSN;
  • determine if the alleged or apparent age of a person claiming to legitimately hold a specific SSN falls within either unlikely or highly questionable age ranges for that specific SSN.

This article is presented by NABS/Profit Protection.  Profit Protection, LLC is a bank security education and consulting firm.  For more information on purchasing the manual and other training products, visit their website at www.banksecurity.com.

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