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Replacing Lost Documents

Other Court Basics

This article tells you how to replace important documents, such as birth certificates, property titles, marriage licenses, and more.

Note: Although this article is written with disasters in mind, it contains information on replacing lost documents, which may be useful anytime. 

Will I have to pay to replace lost, important documents?

Note about replacement fees and late payments: Some entities will waive fees for replacing lost documents or cards if the loss or damage was due to a disaster. Some creditors will waive late fees, extend payment deadlines, and make other payment accommodations if the reason for the delayed payment is disaster. If you need a fee waiver or more time to pay bills, just ask.

Marriage License or Divorce Decree

County Clerk (Marriage) or District Clerk (Divorce) in the county or district in which it was obtained.

To locate a Texas County or District Clerk: County and District Clerks, Local Registrars, and Remote Access Issuance Listings


  • Copies are often priced by the page, and copy costs may vary by county.
  • Certified copies typically cost at least $1 a page.

Marriage or Divorce Verification Letter

The Vital Statistics Unit of the Texas Department of State Health Services can issue a letter verifying whether a Texas marriage or divorce was recorded, based on information reported to Vital Statistics by the county or district clerk. 

Depending on your needs, verification letters might not be adequate substitutes for marriage licenses or divorce decrees. Check in advance to see if a verification letter will satisfy your intended use. Visit Vital Records Application to learn how to request these verification letters. 

Texas Driver's License or Identity Card

Texas Department of Public Safety

  • Notes
    • You must be ready to confirm personal information (date of birth, social security number, or documents verifying social security number).
      • Bring these documents with you.
    • But, verification of your social security number is not required for identification cards.
    1. Apply in person at any driver license office.
    2. Bring completed application (form DL-43) (also available at any driver license office)
    3. Pay the required fee.
    4. Provide documents to verify identity (for example, unexpired passports, marriage licenses, birth certificates, etc.).
    5. Provide lawful presence documents (non-U.S. citizens).
  • See also:



Green Card (Proof of Lawful Permanent Resident Status)

Social Security Card

Medicaid / Texas Benefits Card

Medicare Replacement Card

Income Tax Returns - Copies

  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Form 4506
  • Other Information
    • Exact Copies - For Disaster Victims
      • The IRS will waive fees and expedite the request for taxpayers in a federally declared disaster area.
      • For an exact copy with attachments (including Form W-2) complete IRS Request for Copy of Tax Return, Form 4506.
    • If not in federally declared disaster area, requires $50 fee for each return requested and can take up to 75 business days to process.
      • On jointly filed tax returns, both spouses may request a copy and only one signature is required.

Transcript of Tax Returns

  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Other Information
    • ​​A transcript of your tax return will satisfy most requests, and it’s free.
    • IRS can generate different kinds of transcripts depending on what you need it for.​
      • By phone: call (800) 908-9946 and follow the prompts.​
      • Online: Go to Get Transcript on​
      • Forms are available on or by calling (800) TAX-FORM (800-908-9946). ​

Savings Bonds

  • United States Treasury
  • Other Information
    • Replacement bonds are no longer issued in paper form; they come in electronic format only. You can either accept payment for lost bonds or order electronic replacements.
    • You will need to provide the bond serial number. If you don’t have the serial number, provide:
      • Specific month and year of purchase;
      • Social security number;
      • Names (include middle names or initials;
      • Mailing address. 
    • Complete Form 1048 (download or order).
      • Take completed form to your financial institution to sign and certify your signature.
        • Mail the completed form to: Treasury Retail Securities Site, PO Box 214, Minneapolis, MN 55480-0214.

Military Service Records

Credit Cards

  • Contact the issuer of the card.
  • Obtain list of your accounts.
  • Other Information
    • ​​Federal law allows you to get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting Company (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian). See
      • Useful for gathering account and creditor information in order to report the loss, ensure that the information on your credit reports is correct, and protect against identity theft. Order free report online at

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