Storing Your Social Security Card – Why You Should Never Laminate It

Social Security Cards for identification and retirement USA.
eric1513 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

It might seem like a good idea to protect your Social Security card by laminating it, but there’s a reason why it’s made out of fragile banknote paper. 

Learn: How To Boost Your Social Security Benefit by $800
7 Surprisingly Easy Ways To Reach Your Retirement Goals

While they were originally made from cardboard, the Social Security Administration switched to banknote paper in 1983 to implement several security features, according to AS USA. 

Not only do paper Social Security cards lessen the chances that someone will find an intact card on the street, but the SSA noted that other security features are more appropriate to a paper card format, such as:

  • A blue tint marbleized random pattern. Attempts to erase or remove data are easily detectable. 
  • Yellow, pink and blue planchettes are randomly placed on the paper stock. 
  • Intaglio printing on the card provides a “raised effect” that can be felt when examined by touch. This technology is difficult to replicate.
  • Additional security features are not visible to the naked eye.

Laminating your Social Security card prevents the detection of these features, potentially causing problems when you need to use the card for identification purposes.

If you’re worried that you may lose or damage your card, SSA noted that you may cover the card with plastic or other removable material if it does not damage the card. 

See: How To Find Your Social Security Benefit Amount Online
Find: New Study Shows How Logging on to the My Social Security Site Will Benefit You

Retire Comfortably

You can get a new Social Security card by logging into your “my Social Security account” and applying online. You can also call 1-800-772-1213 or visit your Social Security office when it reopens.

More From GOBankingRates

Share This Article:

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
linkedin sharing button
email sharing button
Retire Comfortably

About the Author

Josephine Nesbit is a freelance writer specializing in real estate and personal finance. She grew up in New England but is now based out of Ohio where she attended The Ohio State University and lives with her two toddlers and fiancé. Her work has appeared in print and online publications such as Fox Business and Scotsman Guide.
Learn More


See Today's Best
Banking Offers