DoD to Drop Social Security Numbers From ID Cards


Better Late Than Never, or What Took so Long?  In any event, this is common sense and I’m happy to see that the DoD will halt the practice of printing social security numbers on ID cards beginning June 1st.

Beginning June 1, Social Security numbers on military identification cards will begin to disappear, said Air Force Maj. Monica M. Matoush, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

The effort is part of a larger plan to protect service members and other DOD identification card holders from identity theft, officials said.

Criminals use Social Security numbers to steal identities, allowing them to pillage resources, establish credit or to hijack credit cards, bank accounts or debit cards.

Currently, the Social Security number is printed on the back of common access cards, and on the front of cards issued to dependents and retirees. Beginning in June, when current cards expire, they will be replaced with new cards having a DOD identification number replacing the Social Security number, officials said. The DOD identification number is a unique 10-digit number that is assigned to every person with a direct relationship with the department. The new number also will be the service member’s Geneva Convention identification number.

An 11-digit DOD benefits number also will appear on the cards of those people eligible for DOD benefits. The first nine digits are common to a sponsor, the official said, and the last two digits will identify a specific person within the sponsor’s family.

Social Security numbers embedded in the bar codes on the back of identification cards will remain there for the time being, and will be phased out beginning in 2012.

The department will replace identification cards as they expire.

“Because cards will be replaced upon expiration, it will be approximately four years until all cards are replaced with the DOD ID number,” Matoush said.

The identity protection program began in 2008, when DOD started removing Social Security numbers from family member identification cards.

You don’t think this is an April Fools joke, do you? Heh…

About the Author


Andi is married to an active-duty soldier and is the founder and former editor of SpouseBUZZ.

She is the founder of the Annual MilBlog Conference. The MilBlog Conference is the premiere event of the year for military bloggers. President George W. Bush, U.S. Representative Adam Smith, GEN David Petraeus, LTG Mike Oates, LTG William Caldwell, RADM Mark Fox, MG Kevin Bergner, MG David Hogg and The Honorable Pete Geren have addressed previous conferences.

While living in Washington, DC, Andi was the Ambassador to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for Sew Much Comfort, a non-profit organization which makes and delivers, free of charge, special adaptive clothing for wounded service members. Andi has worked with several non-profits to help our wounded heroes and their families. She finds that work to be the most rewarding and meaningful of all.

Andi strives to find humor in the good, bad and ugly of life and is a firm believer that laughter has the ability to cure most ills.

  • KateKashman

    This is fantastic news, and I definitely believe that this falls under “What took so long?”

    I do have a lot of questions though. Is this new DOD identification number going to be used on everything, or just IDs? Medical, DEERS, housing, etc? Is the military really capable of making this change across all their records? (Yes, I know they should be, but I am skeptical. The military’s medical records system thinks I have 8 or 9 children. Seriously.)

    I do know that the military used to use only Service Numbers, and transitioned to Social Security Numbers between 1969 and 1974. It seems if Service Numbers could be used before, they could be universally used again.

    Baby steps, baby steps.

  • Sarah

    The last time I got my ID card renewed, the lady made a big deal of pointing out to me that my SSN was no longer on the card, thereby protecting my identity. No concern for my husband’s SSN, printed boldly on the following line! :)

  • Desiree Sanchez

    I had my purse stolen and I wish this was in effect earlier (January 28-30, 2011)… my husband deployed on a Friday and that following sunday, my purse was stolen. Imagine telling your spouse the day they arrive in afghanistan that thier idenity has been compromised. Great idea.

  • Carla

    Great news!! I’ve been a victim of Id Theft for the past 7 years, its the worst thing that can ever happen to anyone!! the last thing I want is my husband having to go thru it too. That’s the best thing they could do to protect the interest of our soldiers.

  • Casz

    Does this mean I’m 2763019 again?

  • Beth

    What about the retirees… they do not have to have their card replaced until they are 65 for soc sec ages, that is what we were told when it was issued in 2005 upon retiring. Are all of the Retirees going to get a notice to come in with their families and get the new ids? our son just got his first id in 2009 and our daughter is due to get her first id in 2011.

  • Barbara

    Can Anyone tell me if this card replaces a drivers License in the U.S.

  • Catharine

    To whom do I report a stolen ID card (spouse, retired) to be sure that I’m protected against identity theft. I am in Richmond, VA, and it will be more than a week before I am able to get the appointment to have my ID replaced at the local base.