Three different types of Social Security cards are issued. The most common type contains the cardholder's name and number. Such cards are issued to U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents.

There are also two restricted types of Social Security cards:

One reads "not valid for employment." Such cards cannot be used as proof of work authorization, and are not acceptable as a List C document on the I-9 form.

The other reads "valid for work only with DHS authorization", or the older, "valid for work only with INS authorization." These cards are issued to people who have temporary work authorization in the U.S. They can satisfy the I-9 requirement, if they are accompanied by a work authorization card.