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Twins cannot have sequential Social Security numbers

Q: I just had twins. Can I get sequential Social Security numbers to make them easier to remember?

A: This was possible several decades ago, but no longer. Even then, it was not recommended and Social Security had internal methods to prevent sequential Social Security numbers when multiple births were involved.

Now many new parents use the voluntary Enumeration at Birth (EAB) process to get their newborn(s) a Social Security number (SSN).

Enumeration at Birth starts while still at the hospital and is very popular across the country. Using it, the state agency that issues birth certificates sends the child's birth registration information to Social Security.

Without any additional paperwork, a SSN is randomly issued to the child and the card mailed to the parents.

Whether automatically issued through the Enumeration at Birth program, or by completing a Social Security number application and providing evidence to a local SSA office, new numbers are issued randomly.

Once the first three digits had a geographical significance and this is why Social Security numbers issued in the same area started the same way. Since June 2011, new SSN's are randomly assigned.

This practice protects the integrity of a person's SSN by making it more difficult to reconstruct using public information. A side benefit is to make the pool of available Social Security numbers last longer.

Social Security does not charge for SSN activity, whether a new number, changing your name, or replacing a lost card.

Instructions and a SSN application are at (see Make sure you are at the official Social Security website. Look for .gov (government).

Social Security annually provides the most popular baby names of the previous year near Mother's Day.

Look up the current listing, including a list for twins, at babynames/index.html.

Based in Grand Forks, Howard I. Kossover is the Social Security Public Affairs Specialist for North Dakota and western Minnesota. Send general interest questions to him at Read his online articles at