In the United States, your social security number is essential – there’s no doubt about it. It’s your identification for government purposes. One question many people have is, “can you laminate a social security card?” And if not, what’s the best way to protect your important papers and documents? We have the answer to that question and several more to help you save all your vital documents. So if protecting your social security card and the ID it holds is your plan, read on!
Why Does The Social Security Administration Say Not To Laminate Your Card?
Why does the Social Security Administration advise against laminating your Social Security card? The answer; it can prevent security features from working. Also, if you’re in a situation where you need to authenticate your number, a laminated card may be suspect. It might prevent you from proving who you are and that your Social Security card is genuine. Those are the only (totally valid) reasons.
What Can You Do Instead of Lamination?
Can you laminate a social security card? The answer is probably not. There are alternatives to laminating your Social Security card. Most of them are easy and affordable. Below are several other methods to protect your Social Security.
- Instead of laminating your social security card, use a protective plastic sleeve.
- Try to keep it in a wallet with a plastic viewing window.
- Use a slim card case that’s normally used for business cards.
How To Protect Other Valuable Documents
If you’re like most American adults, you have quite a few essential documents you need to protect. That includes documents like your birth certificate, home loans, car titles, and more. Protected from what? Well, for example, things like:
- Rain and other forms of water
- Vermin and bugs
- Identity thieves and scammers
- A house fire
That’s a lot of different things that can destroy documents. Depending on where you live in the United States, you might have to deal with most of these events. Therefore, if you want to protect your paperwork and documents from all that, here are a few different methods:
- Use a safety deposit box at the bank for your documents.
- Keep your documents in large, durable plastic boxes that are watertight.
- Try using a waterproof, fireproof safe at home for your documents.
- Store your documents in a climate-controlled storage unit.
How To Store Important Files
Now that you know if you can laminate a social security card, how do you store it the right way? Let’s say that you own your own business and have hundreds or even thousands of files. If you’re lucky, your business will have plenty of storage space. If not, however, your best solution is to rent a self-storage unit and store it there. There are several excellent reasons to store your files in a storage unit, including:
- It protects your documents from rain and other types of water damage.
- Storage units will protect your documents from severe weather.
- Thieves, scammers, and criminals can’t get to your documents in a storage unit.
- Climate-controlled storage units protect your document from extreme heat and cold.
- They also save storage space at your office or your home office.
The fact is, if you have a lot of files to store, a storage unit is an affordable, safe, and very secure option. Read more about why and how to store essential documents in a storage unit.
How To Replace Your Social Security Card
If you lose or damage your Social Security card, you should replace it as soon as possible. The cost is minimal, and it’s essential to have one in your possession. Visit the IRS website for a step-by-step how-to on replacing your social security card. When you do go to replace your social security card, you’re going to need several different documents to prove who you are, including:
- A United States passport
- A state-issued driver’s license
- Your birth certificate
- Your original social security card (if possible)
In most states, you’ll need at least two, if not three, of these identification documents. If you’re not sure and need help, your local Social Security Administration can help.
So, Can You Laminate A Social Security Card?
The answer is no. It’s not a good idea. Yes, you technically can laminate it, but you shouldn’t. You won’t get arrested; however, it will cause problems if you need your card for identification. As for storing your other documents, we hope that the tips we gave above have helped. (Please use them as you see fit!) Protecting your valuable documents is vitally important, especially these days. We wish you the very best of luck in protecting all your documents.