If you lost all your identifying documents, don’t panic! While it may be a hassle and some work, you can go about replacing all of your certified vital records and documents to restore your identity, protect yourself in case of a problem, and get back to your normal life. In most cases, you can start out by ordering a birth certificate replacement, which will allow you to verify your identity to restore your remaining vital records and IDs.
Important: Call 311 to learn more about how to file a police report in your area. The sooner you report your documentation missing or destroyed, the less likely you will pay penalties for not having it or that someone can commit identity theft with your documents.
It’s also important to note that your process of replacing your IDs will differ depending on whether your documents were lost or stolen or destroyed in a natural disaster or accident.
How to Replace Your Birth Certificate After Losing Your IDs
Your birth certificate is one of the most important documents in proving your identity. If you’ve lost all your Ids, you will likely need the assistance of your parent or a legal guardian to order a replacement birth certificate online.
- Find the vital records office in your state of birth or visit vitalrecordsonline.com to begin the process there
- Some states allow you to apply for a replacement birth certificate without identification. Others will require your parent or legal guardian (whose name is on your birth certificate), to submit a notarized letter of request with a copy of their photo ID. Refer to our support page to see which persons can request a birth certificate replacement for you in your state.
- If you have changed your name or married, request a copy of your marriage license or court order of name change first. You can typically request this without photo ID either at your local vital records office or on VitalRecordsOnline
- If your parents are deceased or unable to submit a request for you, attempt to get your driver’s license first.
If you were born abroad or on a U.S. military base abroad, you should contact the Department of State for your Consular Report of Birth Abroad. You will have to have your parents or legal guardians make this request on your behalf.
VitalRecordsOnline is the top vital records assistant service provider, and with years of experience, we can help you in even the most difficult of solutions. However, if you don’t have any qualifying family members who can request a copy of your birth certificate, you may have to take drastic measures and request a court assign you a legal guardian who has that power.
Importantly, anyone filling out a request for a birth certificate on your behalf will need a copy of their own photo identification to access your records.
How to Replace Your Driver’s License After Losing Your Identification
In some states, you can easily replace your driver’s license without the original copy or other identifying documents. However, the process will be significantly easier if you already have a copy of your birth certificate or have your driver’s license number.
The process varies quite a bit from state to state and you may have to visit your local DMV in person to complete the application. However, you can check your state requirements here:
Social Security Cards
If your social security card is lost or stolen, you should immediately contact the Social Security Administration. Replacing it will depend on whether you have already acquired identifying documents and whether or not you’ve memorized your social security number.
Unfortunately, you will typically require a great deal of documentation to replace your social security card:
- Birth Certificate
- Photo ID such as state issued ID, Driver’s License, or Passport
Requesting a Replacement Marriage License
You can easily submit an application to your local vital records office in the state where you were married using VitalRecordsOnline.
You will need:
- Full name of both spouses at time of marriage (maiden name)
- Place and Date (day, month, and year)
- Purpose the certificate is needed for
- Relationship to the married couple
- Phone number
You may be requested to provide a copy of your own ID.
Request a Certified Copy of a Death Certificate
Losing a copy of a death certificate can be a huge blow, especially if you need it for legal reasons. However, you can typically request a certified death certificate from the state or area in which the death occurred. Fees and processes vary by area and state.
You will need:
- Full name of the deceased
- The deceased’s sex
- Parent’s names including maiden name of the mother
- Day, Month, and year of death
- Place of death
- Reason the death certificate is needed
- Relationship to the deceased
- Your phone number
Some vital records offices will also require you to submit a copy of your photo ID.
Requesting Copies of Other Vital Records
If you need a copy of other records such as divorce decrees or certificates or similar certified vital records, you can typically do so by contacting your local county clerk office in the county or city in which it was originally granted.
You can sometimes acquire these documents with no proof of identity as some offices hold them as public record. If you no longer live in the same area, you can use VitalRecordsOnline to request certified copies of your birth certificate online to save time, which will act as a proof of identity when requesting most replacement Ids.
In most cases, once you have your driver’s license or state-issued ID, you can easily apply for and receive your other forms of identification. You can visit the relevant government pages to request replacement vital records for the following documents:
Importantly, most government agencies will mail you replacement copies of your birth certificate and other vital records. If your home has been destroyed in a disaster, this may not be possible. If this applies to you, contact your local post office for a temporary mailing address before requesting replacement identification.