5 Types of Important Physical Documents and the Steps You Need to Take If They’re Misplaced or Damaged

5 Types of Important Physical Documents and the Steps You Need to Take If They're Misplaced or Damaged

There are a number of documents that are so important to you that you really don’t want to contemplate the consequences and hassles you can face when trying to replace something that valuable.

For example, losing your passport or social security documents could present you with a number of immediate problems, and it’s the same if you are applying for a job, for instance, and you can’t produce evidence of your qualifications because your diploma has been either lost, damaged, or stolen.

Here is a look at the sort of documentation that you need to take care of and some pointers on what to do if they go missing or have been damaged.

Proving your educational qualifications

There are going to be times when you will be asked to show physical evidence of your educational qualifications, often when you are applying for a new job or someone is completing a background check against you.

You might want to learn more about what to do to replace your diploma and some of the issues you might face getting another copy, depending on which educational institution you are trying to get the details from.

High school diplomas are often the easiest to obtain again and all it will often take is a bit of time to find and verify your details.

College and university diplomas can be more troublesome to obtain and there may be a fee involved for supplying the information.

When your passport goes missing

There should be a real sense of urgency when it comes to losing your passport or having it stolen and you should report this loss immediately.

One of the main reasons why you should report your passport as lost or stolen is due to the fact that your personal details could be compromised and you potentially leave yourself exposed to the prospect of becoming a victim of identity theft.

It would be a good idea to securely store a digital image of your passport and consider carrying it with you when you travel so that you can recall the identification number when required to.

Don’t expect the task of obtaining a new copy of your passport to be an easy or quick process and you will have to fill in forms such as the DS-11 passport and DS-64 as well as paying an application fee at the time of submitting your new application.

Losing your state ID

If you are unable to find your state-issued identification details in the form of a drivers license or state ID card your first action should be to make contact with your state motor vehicle agency.

As you might expect, there are numerous hoops that you will have to jump through before you can take possession of your replacement identification card.

It will be up to you to prove your identity to the authorities as part of the application process and the sort of ID the agency will require will be some form of ID that contains your photo and verifies your full name and date of birth.

It would be a good idea to contact the relevant agency before you turn up to make an application for a replacement ID card so that you can confirm what documents they require and what forms of ID will be accepted in support of your application.

Social security card

It cannot be emphasized enough how important your social security card and it is this valuable piece of identification that you will normally need to be able to get a job or collect and social security or other government benefits.

Your social security details contain a unique nine-digit number and it would be a good idea to securely make a note of this, as it may help speed up the process of getting a replacement card.

In order to obtain a copy of your social security card, you will be required to present your birth certificate, and any person over the age of 12 years who is requesting an original social security number has to appear in person.

If you don’t have your birth certificate it is possible that the agency will accept your passport or hospital record of your birth as proof of your identity.

Replacing your birth certificate

Another vital document that you really don’t want to lose or replace if you can help it is your birth certificate.

There are plenty of valid reasons why you may need to obtain a copy of the original and many people lose vital documents like these when they suffer a house fire, water damage, or find themselves displaced from their home.

Irrespective of whether you have misplaced these important documents or they have been lost or stolen, the same procedures apply to get them replaced.

Unique identification documents such as birth certificates and marriage certificates are classed as vital documents and the government your state will have a vital records office that you can contact in the first instance to get the application process underway.

If you find that you no longer have any of your vital documents for whatever reason it is often possible to obtain replacements, but it can be a lot of hassle and expensive to get verified copies issued to you, plus it will not often be a quick process either.

You might want to consider fitting a home safe in your property so that your documents are securely stored and will be unlikely to be destroyed if you suffer damage to your property, such as a fire.

Make a list of all your vital documents and the relevant numbers and details that you might want to refer to in an emergency, by don’t disclose this information to anyone else.

The aim should be to treat these documents as important and be mindful of their value to you and your identity so that you take as good care of these as possible, especially when you consider what’s involved to get these forms of ID back.

 

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