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Public Record Update Newsletter © September 2010

Public Record Update
September, 2010

Ability to Verify SSN Number Will Change as of June 2011

The Social Security Administration currently provides a table, updated monthly, which shows the assigned states and issuance range for the first five digits of the SSN. These numbers are known as the High Group List. Effective on or about June 25, 2011, the High Group List will no longer be updated. On that date all SSNs will be assigned on a purely random basis. While the High Group List will remain online, after that date the potential exists for any possible SSN to be assigned at any location across the country. This randomization will also affect the Enumeration and Entry applicants and the Railroad Retirement Board - all applicants will receive a number at random from the entire range of SSNs.

For more information go to

The reasons given for this discontinuation of the High Group List are to fight ID theft and because the SSA is running out of numbers. In this author's eyes, this is unfortunate because the verification of the validity of the first five digits of an assigned SSN is an extremely useful tool to those professions and entities who are fighting fraud and false IDs. Also, the validation of a SSN prior to an offer of employment (opposed to after the hire) has been an integral part in today's employment screening process.

The SSA will still provide opportunities for direct name based SSN verification. Internet based verification services include the SSA's Social Security Number Verification Service for employers, eVerify, and the SSA's Consent-Based SSN Verification Service. There are stipulations. For example, the cost for this latter service is $5,000 to sign-up and $5.00 per verification.

Federal and State Agencies will continue to have several SSN verification systems available to them such as those outlined at

New York Expands Taxation of Information Services


Effective September 1, 2010, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance expanded the definition of taxable "information services" to make certain previously exempt services now taxable. Some of the categories of informational services affected are public record documents sold by private entities, abstracts of title, and risk management analysis reports. Also, the tax can be imposed on documents coming into the state from out of state as long as they are delivered/being used in NY. 
This decision by this Department to make previously exempt services taxable came without a corresponding change in the law and without the formal rulemaking process that accompanies the promulgation of tax regulations. Thus, to date the New York State Legislature has not enacted any new legislation that supports this broader taxation decision.