Storing social security card why never laminate

A frequent question asked by many is why should we not laminate our social security cards. Many documents like the Driver’s License, school Id cards, and job identification cards have no issues with being laminated. So why should the social security card be any different? In this article, we shall be divulging into this matter to let you know why this card must not be laminated, and what you can do to safeguard it. In this article we shall see Storing social security card why never laminate.

Storing social security card why never laminate

A Social Security card has specific security features whose reliability can be hampered if lamination obstructs its surface. An example of these features includes a property, Anti Identity Theft. A Social Security card is made using a very specific paper. This paper is what causes the main issue if you get it laminated as certain features may refuse to work. This can be a serious issue in urgent situations when the government wants to check your identification in a hurry and your card declines to show them what they need to see.

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Is Laminating your social security card illegal?

This is a very frequently asked question whose answer is No! The official website of the Us Federal government advises residents to abstain from laminating their Social Security Card, there is no written law against doing so. However, it could save you a lot of time and stress.

Laminating in general

There are multiple disadvantages of laminating your vital documents. Listed below are some of the most serious ones.

  • It Compresses and flattens down security seals.

Oftentimes, security documents have a seal on them that is elevated from the paper. Laminating such a document could cause these seals to be compressed under high pressure and pushed back into the paper. This could cause issues when trying to prove the authenticity of your document.

  • Making photocopies can be detrimental.

Lamination has a very reflective polythene texture. This means that it could cause problems if you are trying to photocopy a laminated document. Some common issues with laminated photocopies are blurry colors and Distorted lines 

  • It can get destroyed from overheating.

Laminating itself is a dangerous process. If not handled by professionals, there is a chance your document could be permanently damaged while going through the lamination process, as lamination requires high temperatures to melt the polythene. Such high temperatures could damage the paper of the document.

Why do people laminate Social Security cards?

Most frequently, people laminate their Social Security cards to safeguard them from wear and tear. However, keeping such an important card with you in your day-to-day life is far from ideal. The Social Security card is important. It can also be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. This card can be used by scammers to do several devious acts which include taking loans in your name, purchasing and using your credit cards, and many other types of financial mischief. Experts in identity thieves have suggested keeping the Social Security card in a very safe place. The high risk of related scams has even enabled the government to stop writing your social security number on your driving license. Even though laminating is not legally banned, it is unwise to carry the card in your pocket.

How to undo the Lamination of your card?

If you have already laminated your Social Security card and want to remove the lamination, you can do it in a few steps. Start by carefully cutting out the edges of the lamination with a sharp knife. Make sure you do not accidentally cut the card. Next, put a cloth of medium thickness on top of the card and heat it gently with a blow dryer for about thirty seconds. If it gets too hot, close the blow-drier immediately, otherwise, the paper could burn. If you have done these steps properly the plastic should start peeling off. If it doesn’t, you can try using a sharp blade to help the plastic ease off.

How to safeguard your Social Security Card?

If you are not allowed to laminate your S.S card, you must be thinking of other ways to protect it from physical damage. Encapsulation is a method that could help you achieve this.


Encapsulation is a process by which important documents are protected by sandwiching them between two layers of plastic. Unlike lamination, Encapsulation is done with uncoated polyester plastic, which is sealed without the use of adhesives. It can easily be undone, without causing any damage to the documents. Encapsulation works using electrostatic charge. This is what keeps the plastic together and prevents it from falling apart.

Hopefully, this article has helped you find the reason why Lamination is discouraged and how you can safeguard your Social Security card without it.


Q)How is lamination performed?

  1. Lamination is usually done by sandwiching the document between two pieces of polyester plastic and heating them together.

Q)Is Encapsulation expensive?

  1. Encapsulation has a very reasonable price. It can be done from many stationary shops. It is also much safer than Lamination.
Storing social security card why never laminate

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