Can I laminate my
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The United States first issued Social Security numbers to individuals in December 1935. By December 1936, post offices typed up and shipped out Social Security cards. A Social Security number became necessary to access Social Security benefits decades ago. Millions of these numbers were issued within months of being made available to citizens. Nonetheless, most Americans didn’t think twice about SSNs until recently.

What Is The Purpose Of
A Social Security Card?

Social Security Numbers and Cards Become Commonplace After 1986

Until 1986, the average American didn’t obtain their SSN before turning 14 years-old. SSNs weren’t required for issuance until an individual started to earn wages. A change in tax law required parents to obtain SSNs for dependents over five years of age. Further changes dropped that age all the way down to one year of age. These days, most parents apply for a newborn’s SSN while applying for that newborn’s birth certificate.

A Social Security card helps prove an individual’s Social Security number. The Social Security Administration issues a card soon after the number is issued. In most cases, American citizens often keep the cards tucked away someplace at home. Some people opt to hold onto the cards day to day, but that’s not necessarily a good idea. Most parents hold onto their children’s cards until they become adults.

Everyone Understands What A Social Security Card Is Nowadays

Social Security cards are straightforward and simple to understand. Not too many questions tend to arise related to these cards. Still, one question comes up more than any other question, and it doesn’t have anything to do about the card’s function. This particular question actually pertains to storing the card and protecting it from harm. Everyone wants to know, “Can I laminate my Social Security card?”

Lamination Isn’t Illegal, But It May Invalidate A Social Security Card

In simple terms, the Social Security Administration advises against laminating this card. A frequently asked question on the administration’s website specifically says to avoid lamination. One reason cited mentions that laminating the card makes certain security features impossible to verify or detect. If a given requester can’t identify the validity of the card, then an individual might find themselves in a bind.

How Lamination Affects and Interferes
With These Security Features ?

Unsurprisingly, lamination makes intaglio printing useless. A plastic covering that cannot be removed makes it impossible to verify this particular security feature. That layer of lamination also makes it difficult to see other security features, especially those requiring a specific viewing angle. Without a doubt, it’s not difficult to see how lamination makes it difficult to verify the validity of a social security card.

Fraud and Related Crimes Quite Common With SSNs and Cards

Fraud is rampant when it comes to Social Security Numbers and cards these days. Much of this fraud occurs online with the SSN rather than the card itself. Nonetheless, people attempt to counterfeit and use doctored cards on a regular basis. Doing so may land someone an employment position they’re not legally authorized to take. Another individual might receive federal or state benefits they’re not actually eligible for today.

The Social Security Administration continues to implement more and more security features in Social Security cards. However, this is an ongoing effort that requires constant changes and adaptations. Rising identity theft rates make these actions necessary, and lamination only increases the difficulty of verifying a card’s validity. Nobody should feel surprised that the SSA recommends against laminating a card for security purposes.

So, Can I Laminate My Social Security Card?

While nobody will get thrown in prison, laminating a Social Security Card is a bad idea. An employer or government agency could outright reject a laminated card, even one that’s valid. To avoid these problems, Americans should store their cards in a protective housing that can be removed within seconds. No permanent enclosure should be used for a Social Security card. Replacement Social Security cards are always available to card holders.