You can verify up to 250,000 names/SSNs with a correctly formatted SSNVS file. Social Security will not be able to process a file that is not in the correct format. To create the file you will need one column that is at least 130 characters long. This column will hold all data for each record. To get specifications for the record layout, select "Submission File Format" from the SSNVS Handbook.


If you are using Excel, to ensure that your electronic file submission is processed successfully, the file must not be in the "*.xls" format.

To save an Excel file for processing:

  1. Select Save As on the File Menu.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, select the drop down box Save As type.
  3. Select Formatted Text (space delimited) (*.prn).
  4. Type the filename and click Save.

Developer Tips

In order to sort the return file to your specifications, we recommend using the User Control Data field to create a unique identifier for each record. This unique identifier would be placed in positions 90-103 in your submission file and return to you in positions 84-97 in the return file.

Once you have saved your file, check your file against the Submission File Format to ensure the record length is 130 characters and all fields are properly placed in their respective position. The Multiple Request Indicator field in positions 128 -130 must be populated with "000" and may not be left blank.