INVALID OR IMPOSSIBLE SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS

Social Security Numbers or SSNs as they are more commonly called, are neither random nor are they a useless string of meaningless numbers. Each SSN as three elements. The first three digits are termed the “Area”. The next two digits are the “Group” and the last four are the “Serial”. Each element has a purpose and reveal something the SSN’s owner. The first three digits, the Area reveals where the SSN was likely issued:

SSN State SSN State or Territory
001-003 New Hampshire 449-467
627-645
Texas
004-007 Maine 468-477 Minnesota
008-009 Vermont 478-485 Iowa
010-034 Massachusetts 486-500 Missouri
035-039 Rhode Island 501-502 North Dakota
040-049 Connecticut 503-504 South Dakota
050-134 New York 505-508 Nebraska
135-158 New Jersey 509-515 Kansas
159-211 Pennsylvania 516-517 Montana
212-220 Maryland 518-519 Idaho
221-222 Delaware 520 Wyoming
223-231
691-699
Virginia 521-524
650-653
Colorado
232-236 West Virginia 525, 585
648-649
New Mexico
232
237-246
681-690
North Carolina 526-527
600-601
764-765
Arizona
247-251
654-658
South Carolina 528-529
646-647
Utah
252-260
667-675
Georgia 530, 680 Nevada
261-267
589-595
766-772
Florida 531-539 Washington
268-302 Ohio 540-544 Oregon
303-317 Indiana 545-573
602-626
California
318-361 Illinois 574 Alaska
362-386 Michigan 575-576
750-751
Hawaii
387-399 Wisconsin 577-579 District of Columbia
400-407 Kentucky 580 Virgin Islands
408-415
756-763
Tennessee 580-584
596-599
Puerto Rico
416-424 Alabama 586 Guam
425-428
587-588
752-755
Mississippi 586 American Samoa
429-432
676-679
Arkansas 586 Philippine Islands
433-439
659-665
Louisiana 700-728 Railroad Board*
440-448 Oklahoma 729-733 Enumeration at Entry
237-246, 587-665, 667-679,
681-699, 750-772
Officially: Not Issued
734-749, 773-899 Unknown
000, 666, 900-999 Never valid numbers

 

This number scheme was abandoned on June 25, 2011 because of the lack of Group and Serial numbers remaining in several Areas. The first three digits of an SSNs issued today are randomized to the extent “Area” numbers remain available.

The following SSNs are invalid and do not exist:

  1. AREA, GROUP, or SERIAL composed of all zeroes (e.g, 000-45-6789, 123-00-6789, 123-45-0000)
  2. AREA number 666 (never have and never will be issued)
  3. AREA numbers 700 to 728 (Railroad workers through July 1, 1963, then discontinued)
  4. AREA numbers 900-999 (no longer valid SSNs, but were used briefly for program purposes when state aid to the aged, blind and disabled was converted to a federal program administered by SSA)

For administrative reasons, GROUP numbers are NOT assigned sequentially but rather follow this order:

ODD, 01 to 09 (01, 03, … 09)

EVEN, 10 to 98 (10, 12, … 98)

EVEN, 02 to 08 (02, 04, … 08)

ODD, 11 to 99 (11, 13, … 99)

Check the latest Social Security Number Monthly Issuance Table at the SSA’s Website for the highest group number assigned for each SSN Area. For example, if the highest group number assigned for area 999 is 72 (within the EVEN, 10 to 98 range), then we know that alleged number 999-04-1234 is an invalid number because group number in the EVEN, 02 to 08 range have not yet been assigned.

SSNs Used in Advertising

Specific SSNs have been used in advertising over the years, which has rendered those numbers invalid. The most famous instance is that of the E. H. Ferree Company in Lockport, New York, which in 1938 decided to promote its product by showing how a Social Security card would fit into its wallets. Unfortunately, that number belonged to Hilda Schrader Whitcher, a company secretary. Unbeknownst to Ms. Whitcher, a company vice president had decided to use her real SSN on the sample cards. Over time the number that appeared, 078-05-1120 was claimed by over 40,000 people as their own and Ms. Whitcher was issued a new number.

The Social Security Administration now recommends that people showing Social Security cards in advertisements use numbers in the range 987-65-4320 through 987-65-4329. According to one source the following SSNs have been used in ads:

002-28-1852        042-10-3580        062-36-0749        078-05-1120        095-07-3645

128-03-6045        135-01-6629        141-18-6941        165-16-7999        165-18-7999

165-20-7999        165-22-7999        165-24-7999        189-09-2294        212-09-7694

212-09-9999        306-30-2348        308-12-5070        468-28-8779        549-24-1889

 

In Case You Are Interested

  1. Since 1936, over 420 million different Social Security numbers have been issued.
  2. Over 5.5 million new numbers are assigned every year.
  3. Based upon the original SSN assignment scheme, one would naturally expect a Maine resident to have the lowest Social Security number ever issued. However, New Hampshire was ultimately given the 001 area number designator so that SSN 001-01-0001 could be assigned to then Social Security Board Chairman John G. Winant, who was a three-time governor of the state. Winant eventually declined the honor of having the lowest social security card number. As a result, it eventually assigned to Grace D. Owen of Concord, New Hampshire.
  4. Officially, the first social security number issued was 055-09-0001 and it was assigned to John David Sweeney. Sweeney died of a heart attack in 1974 at the age of 61; ironically, he never received a single penny of Social Security benefits.
  5. Even though issued SSNs aren’t reused, the Social Security Administration says the current numbering system is capable of providing enough new numbers for several generations into the future. That suggests that SSNs will still be available until 2030¾about 4 years before SSA’s combined trust funds runs dry.