Social Security Card History

In 1935 the Social Security Act (P.L. 74-271) was enacted. It did not expressly mention the use of SSNs, but it authorized the creation of some type of record keeping scheme. Treasury Decision 4704, a Treasury regulation in 1936, required the issuance of an account number to each employee covered by the Social Security program. The Social Security Board considered various numbering systems and ways (such as metal tags, etc.) by which employees could indicate they had been issued a number before deciding on the method to be used. Approximately 30 million applications for SSNs were processed between November 1936 and June 30, 1937. In 1943, Executive Order 9397 required all Federal components to use the SSN "exclusively" whenever the component found it advisable to set up a new identification system for individuals and for the Social Security Board to cooperate with Federal uses of the number by issuing and verifying numbers for other Federal agencies. The Social Security Card system as we know it today was born.

To learn more about your Social Security Number or the history of the issuance of Social Security Numbers, go to the Social Security Office web site:

Today the Social Security Number System is the most effective method utilized by all aspects of life in this country to identify individuals. Universities, Banks, Creditors, and Employers are a few examples of entities that utilize your Social Security Number to identify you. It is necessary for you to take steps in guarding your Social Security Number against Identity Theft, however it will always be necessary for you to give out your Social Security Number for such things as banking, lending, employment, and education. Be cautious about handing out your Social Security Number for marketing exploitation and other unnecessary reasons. To learn more about your Social Security Number, USAFact urges you to visit the link provided above to the Social Security office. If you have been a victim of Identity Theft, click on this link to find out what to do.