If your home has been involved in a fire, the results can be devastating. In addition to losing their belongings, most people lose vital records and identification. These can be difficult to replace. You may have lost your birth certificate or other important vital records. For example, your social security card or even all your identification documents. No matter what the scenario, you can go about replacing your vital records even when you’ve lost everything. Vital records include your lost birth certificate, social security, passport, and other IDs.
In this article, we’ll discuss what to do if you lose your birth certificate or other vital records. This information will help you get your identification back. Importantly, you will likely have to replace these records before you can claim the insurance on your home.
Reporting Lost Vital Records
While you might not think it is important to report lost identification, you may want to. Having a filed report on hand will save you trouble and possibly fines. For example, that will be useful if you need to present lost identification and vital records. This is most important for your driver’s license. If you are planning to get a passport, travel internationally, or claim death benefits or insurance, you should also file the report. Call 311 to learn more about filing a report in your area.
How to Replace a Lost Birth Certificate After a Fire
If you’re wondering what to do if you lose your birth certificate in a fire, you can order replacement copies online. Most people keep the original copy of their birth certificate at home, where it is safe. If there is a fire, you may lose this important vital record. You will need a certified copy of your birth certificate to apply for other vital records. Therefore, it should be the first document you replace. Find your local vital records office to start the process.
How to Order a Birth Certificate Online
If you are over 21, fill out the birth certificate replacement form through VitalRecordsOnline. In case of an emergency, you can typically get your birth certificate replacement on the next day or within three days at most.
If you have previously changed your name or have married, you need copies of those documents before requesting your birth certificate. In most cases, marriage certificates are not public records. However, you can request a copy of your original certified marriage certificate or court order providing you have your ID. If you do not live in the county where you were married or changed your name, use VitalRecordsOnline to send your request. You can also use the site if you don’t have the time to go to the courthouse.
If you have lost your other verifying IDs, a parent or guardian can ask for a birth certificate replacement in your place.
Who Can Request a Birth Certificate?
Only family can request a certified birth certificate. You must be a parent, sibling, or child, proved by a birth certificate or photo ID to order a replacement birth certificate online.
If you were born abroad, you will have a Consular Report of Birth Abroad rather than a birth certificate. Contact the Department of State for a replacement copy.
Tip to replace your lost birth certificate
If your home has been in a fire, it may be difficult to accept mail. Set up a mailbox at your address before applying to replace your lost birth certificate. You can also pay for a temporary address at the post office.
How Do You Replace a Marriage Certificate?
Replacing a marriage certificate is typically easier than replacing other vital records like your lost birth certificate. In most cases, all you need is your photo ID and a reasonable knowledge of the marriage to proceed.
However, you will have to apply for your marriage certificate in the county where you were married. If you cannot travel to the local vital records office, you can use VitalRecordsOnline to request your replacement marriage certificate.
Have your details ready including:
- A copy of your photo ID
- Full birth names of each spouse
- The reason you need the certificate
- Day, month, and year of the marriage
- Your relationship to the married couple
- Your phone number
How Do You Replace a Death Certificate?
There are many reasons you might need to replace certified vital records like death certificates. For example, if you are claiming death benefits, insurance, or simply need the death certificate for records. If a child of a deceased person is a minor, you also need a death certificate as proof of absence for the deceased parent.
In most cases, death certificates are public records. However, you will have to prove the relationship to get a certified copy of the death certificate. You can apply for a replacement death certificate at VitalRecordsOnline.
You will need the deceased’s:
- Full name
- Parents’ birth names
- Day, month, and year of death
- Place of death
- Reason the death certificate is needed
- Relationship to the deceased
- Your phone number
- Your photo ID
If you have lost all your identification, check our article on what to do when you have lost all your IDs. This process is slightly longer and more complex than simply losing your vital records. However, the process is the same because you will need your certified birth certificate first.
Taking Precautions Against Losing Vital Records
It is always inconvenient to lose valuable vital records. For this reason, it is a good idea for most people to order two certified copies of important documents. You can then store these in separate locations. For example, you can store your birth certificate at your bank. That way you will have a replacement copy should disaster strike again. While it is unpleasant to think about, taking precautions will save you time and hassle in the future. Paying for an extra copy now is easier than having to replace a lost birth certificate with no ID.