Official government identification documents are incredibly important things you need to have, but they can also be surprisingly easy to lose. When you lose one or more of your official forms of identification, such as a birth certificate, social security card, or state ID card, it can be a serious hassle, and it’s not always easy to know what to do next. If you need to order a new birth certificate, social security card, or state ID, here’s how to go about it.
Replacing a Birth Certificate
Having a copy of your birth certificate is incredibly helpful in certain situations, especially when it comes to obtaining other forms of identification. For official purposes, you will need to have a notarized original copy of your birth certificate. If you only have a (non-notarized) copy, you will not be able to use it in any official capacity. The good news is, you can obtain a new official, notarized copy of your birth certificate.
In order to get a new birth certificate, you will have to contact the records bureau of the state in which you were born. In most cases, you will need to write them a letter that includes your personal information and a copy of your driver’s license (or another form of officially issued photo ID). It can take up to 15 days for the new birth certificate to be shipped, and you will most likely have to pay a fee.
Replacing a Social Security Card
In order to replace a social security card, you will need two forms of official identification: proof of citizenship and proof of identity. In most cases, the best way to provide proof of citizenship is your notarized birth certificate (if you became naturalized as a citizen later in life, you will need to provide another type of proof of citizenship). Proof of identity can take the form of any officially issued state ID, such as a driver’s license. You are only allowed 10 social security card replacements during your lifetime and can request a maximum of 3 during a calendar year.
Replacing a State ID
State ID cards (such as driver’s licenses) are generally easier to replace than social security cards or birth certificates. On the other hand, losing a state ID can be much more annoying in the short term, as they are the most commonly used form of ID in day-to-day interactions. The rules for replacing state ID cards vary depending on the state, which means you’ll have to contact the relevant office in your particular state to find out the exact method for replacing your state ID. In most cases, that means contacting your local DMV.
ID Storage Tips
In order to protect your official documents, it’s important to keep them stored in a safe place. Do NOT keep your birth certificate and social security card in your wallet or purse. Instead, store them in a safe place in your home where you will be able to find them easily, but where they will not be lost if your state ID is ever stolen.
Find out more about ordering a copy of your birth certificate by calling us at 415-528-2585.