April 04, 2007


I love my Social Security number.

It's too bad that due to security reasons I can't post it here,1 because it truly is a great number. It is especially great when visually displayed on Scantron forms.2

Unfortunately, the only time I use my Social Security number these days is to occasionally confirm my identity by reciting the last four digits. But those are the least interesting digits. I wish protocol called instead for giving out the first six digits.

Hey, I'm not the only one who likes the number. When I was in high school, one of my evil classmates stole my Social Security number and gave it to his employer so that I would have to pay the income tax.

My dad reported the incident to the IRS but told me later: "It would be an exaggeration to say that they were very interested."

1How ironic.
2True, I don't fill out many Scantron forms these days. But in high school, I took the ACT, PSAT, SAT (twice) and three SAT Achievement Tests, so there was a stretch of time when I found myself looking at my cool Social Security number on Scantron forms almost weekly.


yerfatma said...

Unfortunately, given the first three digits identify where you live, using the beginning, rather than the end, would make it too easy to guess. This also means many of your neighbors have an SSN at least half as cool as yours.

yerfatma said...

Argh: where you were born, not where you live. Tougher proposition.

dl004d said...

Perhaps I simply have a great hometown, then.

Mike B. said...

You were right the first time, yerfatma.

"Since 1973, social security numbers have been issued by our central office. The first three (3) digits of a person's social security number are determined by the ZIP Code of the mailing address shown on the application for a social security number. Prior to 1973, social security numbers were assigned by our field offices. The number merely established that his/her card was issued by one of our offices in that State."

WFY said...

How is the middle number determined?

Mike B. said...


"Within each area, the group number (middle two (2) digits) range from 01 to 99 but are not assigned in consecutive order. For administrative reasons, group numbers issued first consist of the ODD numbers from 01 through 09 and then EVEN numbers from 10 through 98, within each area number allocated to a State. After all numbers in group 98 of a particular area have been issued, the EVEN Groups 02 through 08 are used, followed by ODD Groups 11 through 99."