Social Security Number (SSN) Prefix | Find Your Prefix By State

American Social Security Card Prefix

Have you ever taken a look at your Social Security number and wondered exactly how the Social Security Administration assigns numbers? There is a method to that nine-digit number madness, and it is not as mysterious as it might seem. The prefix, or first three digits, of your number is assigned based on the location in which you were born or lived at the time your number was issued. So, contrary to what some people might believe, they are not simply assigned in numerical order. If you want to learn more about how the prefixes are assigned, then keep reading.

Finding Your Social Security Number (SSN) Prefix By State

Up until 1972, Social Security numbers were issued by the local field offices of the SSA. The prefix used in the number could be used to identify which local SSA office issued the number. Today, numbers are issued by the Social Security Administration central office. The Social Security number prefix still holds some value though. It identifies the state in which the person was born or lived at the time the number was issued, so sorting Social Security numbers by state is easy. Most Social Security numbers are requested upon the birth of a child in the United States, so your prefix identifies the state in which you were born. If you are an immigrant or requested an SSN later in life, the prefix shows which state you resided in at the time of your SSN issuance.

As you will see in the table below, some states have multiple prefixes associated with their location. In addition, some prefixes are reserved for future use and are not currently associated with any state. Likewise, a valid SSN will never begin with the prefix 000, but will contain one of the area numbers in the chart below. In addition to states, U.S. territories like Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Philippine Islands all have their own unique identifying prefixes.

Below is the full table of prefix information by State:

Number Prefix State Issued
001-003 New Hampshire
004-007 Maine
008-009 Vermont
010-034 Massachusetts
035-039 Rhode Island
040-049 Connecticut
050-134 New York
135-158 New Jersey
159-211 Pennsylvania
212-220 Maryland
221-222 Delaware
223-231 & 691-699 Virginia
232 West Virginia – North Carolina
233-236 West Virginia
237-246 & 681-690 North Carolina
247-251 & 654-658 South Carolina
252-260 & 667-675 Georgia
261-267 & 589-595 & 765-772 Florida
268-302 Ohio
303-317 Indiana
318-361 Illinois
362-386 Michigan
387-399 Wisconsin
400-407 Kentucky
408-415 & 756-763 Tennessee
416-424 Alabama
425-428 & 587-588 & 752-755 Mississippi
429-432 & 676-679 Arkansas
700-728 Railroad
729-733 Enumeration of Entry
433-439 & 659-665 Louisiana
440-448 Oklahoma
449-467 & 627-647 Texas
468-477 Minnesota
478-485 Iowa
486-500 Missouri
501-502 North Dakota
503-504 South Dakota
505-508 Nebraska
508-515 Kansas
516-517 Montana
518-519 Idaho
520 Wyoming
521-524 & 650-653 Colorado
525 & 585 & 648-649 New Mexico
526-527 & 600-601 & 764-765 Arizona
528-529 Utah
530 & 680 Nevada
531-539 Washington
540-544 Oregon
545-573 & 602-626 California
574 Alaska
575-576 & 750-751 Hawaii
577-579 District of Columbia
580 Virgin Islands
586 Guam, American Samoa & Philippines
596-599 Puerto Rico

What Do The Last Two Sets Of Social Security Numbers Mean?


Social Security Card showing example numbers

Social Security numbers are made up of 3 sets of numbers. The first set, as described above, is 3 numbers, called the Area Number, and denotes the state the social security card was issued. For the majority of people, this will be the state you were born in.

Following the Area Number, the next two digits form the Group Number. This portion of the SSN was initially used for administrative purposes, such as processing applications and organizing records. The Group Number was not directly tied to any specific information about the SSN holder.

The final four digits of the SSN comprise the Serial Number. These numbers were assigned sequentially within each Area Number and Group Number combination. In the past, SSNs were issued in a predictable pattern, with lower serial numbers being assigned earlier than higher ones. However, due to changes in the issuance process and an increased population, the sequential assignment is no longer strictly maintained.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I determine someone’s current location based on their SSN prefix?

No, the SSN prefix only indicates the issuing state or territory and does not provide information about the current residence of the SSN holder.

Can I determine the year of issuance based on the SSN prefix?

The SSN prefix does not directly indicate the year of issuance. However, certain patterns existed in the past, such as lower numbers being assigned earlier, which can give a rough idea of the time period.

What is the purpose of a Social Security number?

A Social Security number is probably the single most used piece of identifying information in the United States, and there are several places you can find your SSN. It is used for identification in everything from banking and financial transactions to applying for retirement or disability benefits. You use your SSN to file tax returns, apply for loans or credit cards, and track your employment history. Without a valid SSN, you would have a difficult time living in today’s world. Your employer will also need your Social Security number to track your work credits and pay your Medicare and Social Security taxes.

How old does a person have to be to get a Social Security card?

There is no age requirement for obtaining a Social Security card. In fact, most parents request their child’s Social Security number and card upon the child’s birth. Many hospitals will help walk new parents through this process, and the Social Security card usually arrives in a few weeks. If you were not born in the United States, a number and card may be requested depending on your immigration status. However, there are still no age requirements for obtaining a card and number. Some other criteria may need to be met though such as immigration status and identity verification. If you have lost your Social Security card, you can always request a new one from the Social Security office.