thought of losing vital records like your passport, or child's birth
certificate, can induce a cold sweat on even the calmest folks. Don't worry. If you lose an important document,
you can replace it. Here's what you do if you lose a vital
record, according to USA.gov.
Birth, marriage, and death certificates
marriage, and death certificates are state records. To obtain a new copy of
these docs, contact the appropriate office in the state where the event
occurred. You can find contact information for state and territory offices at
the Center for Disease Control and
lose a passport, contact the State Department immediately at 877-487-2778.
Visit travel.state.gov for information about
reporting and replacing a lost or stolen passport. You will need to fill out
form DS-64 to report a lost passport. This can be done online or by mail.
You'll have to submit forms DS-11 in person at a passport
agency. If you report a passport lost or stolen and later find it, you won't be
able to use the recovered passport again.
Military service records
lose your military service records, this could prevent you from applying for
numerous governmental programs, such as healthcare or education benefits.
Luckily, the National
Archives , Washington, D.C., holds copies of all veterans'
service records. You can apply
online to receive a copy of yours, or of an immediate family
member if he or she is deceased. You can also submit your request on paper and
submit by mail or fax.
Social Security card
As long as
you've memorized your Social Security number, you may not need to replace your
Social Security card. With just your number, you still can collect benefits and
apply for governmental services. If you want a new card, you'll need to collect
documents proving your
identity and U.S. citizenship and fill out an application to mail or take to your
local Social Security office. You can also fill out
the application online by first creating a "My
Social Security" account.
If you've lost your U.S. permanent resident (green) card, you
can request a new one online. You also
may need to replace it if your biographical information has changed since it
was issued. If you lost your green card outside the U.S., contact the nearest
U.S. consulate or immigration office before applying online for a replacement.
Information for obtaining copies of other vital documents can
be found at USA.gov. After replacing these important
papers, store them safely in a fireproof security box.