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Replacing Lost Documents

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

Introduction and Disclaimer

This list is not exhaustive.

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

Marriage or Divorce Verification Letter

Agency or Department

  • 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 https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/ovra/index.htm to learn how to request these verification letters. 

 

Texas Driver's License or Identity Card

  • Agency or Department
    • Texas Department of Public Safety
      • Replace Your Driver License or ID Card
        • 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)
      • 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.

Important Hurricane Harvey - UPDATE

DPS Announces Temporary Storm-related Changes

AUSTIN – At the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will implement cost-saving measures for residents who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The changes will affect driver license (DL) duplicates and Driver Responsibility Program (DRP) surcharges for residents who live in one of the counties that have received a gubernatorial disaster declaration.

DPS will provide a no-cost replacement DL or ID card for residents in the impacted counties, provided they had previously been issued a Texas DL or ID card. Customers living in the affected counties are encouraged to bring whatever identity and residency documentation they have in their possession. (Replacement identification would normally cost $11.)

Eligible cardholders will need to visit a driver license office in person to obtain a free Texas DL or ID replacement.  To find a driver license office near you, please visit http://www.dps.texas.gov/administration/driver_licensing_control/rolodex/search.asp. Since DPS driver license offices have been impacted by flooding as well, please check the website prior to coming to an office to ensure it is open.

In addition, residents in these same counties with outstanding DRP surcharges will not be required to make payments for 60 days, effective immediately. No action is required by the customer; DPS will implement the change internally. For additional information about the DRP program, please visit http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/drp.htm.

 

 

Passports

Green Card (Proof of Lawful Permanent Resident Status)

Social Security Card

 

Medicaid / Texas Benefits Card

Medicare Replacement Card

  • Agency or Department
    • ​​Social Security Administration
  • Link
  • Other Information

    • ​​Online:  Login or set up an account at https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.do. Select "Replacement Documents" tab, then “Mail my replacement Medicare Card.” Medicare card will arrive by mail in about 30 days at the address on file with Social Security.

    • By phone: Call 1-800-772-1213, TTY 1-800-325-0778 weekdays 7 am-7 pm.

    • In person:  Contact your local Social Security office.​

Income Tax Returns - Copies

  • Agency or Department
    • Internal Revenue Service
  • Link
  • Form
  • 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 Form 4506  Request for Copy of Tax Return.
    • 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

  • Agency or Department
    • Internal Revenue Service
  • Link
  • 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.​

Savings Bonds

  • Agency or Department
    • United States Treasury
  • Link
  • Form
  • Other Information
    • Replacement Bonds no longer issued in paper form; electronic format only. You can either accept payment for lost bonds or order electronic replacements.
    • You will need Provide Bond serial number. If you don’t have serial number, provide:
      • Specific month and year of purchase; SSN; Names (incl. 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

  • Agency or Department
    • Contact the issuer of the card.
    • Obtain list of accounts
  • Link
  • 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).
    • 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 www.annualcreditreport.com.​