If your home has been involved in a fire, the results can be devastating. In addition to losing your belongings, most people lose a large number of vital records and identification, which can be difficult to replace. Depending on your situation, you may have lost important vital records such as your certified birth certificate and social security card or even all of your identification. No matter what the scenario, you can go about replacing your vital records, including birth record, social security, passport, and other IDs, even when you’ve lost everything.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best steps to take after losing your vital records, so you can get your identification back. Importantly, you will likely have to replace records such as your birth certificate before you can claim insurance on your home.
Reporting Lost Vital Records
While you might not think it’s important to report lost identification, you may want to. For example, if a situation comes up in which you need to present lost identification and vital records, having a filed report on hand will save you trouble and possibly fines. This is most important for your driver’s license but if you are planning to get a passport, travel internationally, or are claiming death benefits or insurance, you should file the report. Call 311 to learn more about filing a report in your area.
How to Get a Birth Certificate Replacement After a Fire
If you’re wondering how to get a replacement birth certificate after a fire, you can typically order replacement copies online. Most people keep the original copy of their birth certificate at home, where it’s safe. If there’s 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, so it should be the first document you replace. Find your local vital records office to get started
How to Order a Birth Certificate Online:
If you are over 21, fill out the birth certificate replacement form through VitalRecordsOnline. If it’s an emergency, you can typically get your birth certificate replacement next day or within 3 days at most.
If you have previously changed your name or have married, you will have to request copies of those documents before you can request your birth certificate. In most cases, marriage certificates are not public records, but you can request a copy of your original certified marriage certificate or court order providing you have your ID. If you don’t live in the county where you were married or changed your name or don’t have the time to go to the courthouse, use VitalRecordsOnline to submit your request.
If you’ve lost your other verifying IDs, have a parent or guardian submit a request 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, established by a birth certificate or photo ID to order a replacement birth certificate online.
I Was Born Abroad – 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! – If your home has been destroyed in a fire, it may be difficult to accept mail. Set up a mailbox at your address or pay for a temporary address at the post office before applying for a replacement birth certificate.
How do You Replace a Marriage Certificate?
Replacing a marriage certificate is typically easier than replacing other vital records like your 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 still a minor, you will 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 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
- Parent’s 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’ve lost all of your identification, check our article on what to do when you’ve lost all your IDs. This process is slightly longer and more complex than simply losing your vital records. However, the process is roughly the same, because you will likely need your certified birth certificate first.
Taking Precautions Against Losing Vital Records
It’s always inconvenient to lose valuable vital records. For this reason, most people are recommended to order two certified copies of important documents, which can then be stored in separate locations. For example, you can store your birth certificate at your bank so that you have a replacement copy should disaster strike again. While it’s unpleasant to think about, taking precautions will save you time and hassle in the future. Paying for an extra copy now is a lot easier than having to replace a lost birth certificate with no ID.
Have you lost all your identification? Check our complete guide for further guidance.