ocultar mi visita

Disaster Manual: Section 12 - Replacing Lost Documents

×

Status message

Actualmente, este contenido solo está disponible en inglés. Estamos trabajando en traducirlo, así que vuelva pronto para ver si ya esté disponible en español. Si necesita ayuda antes de que se traduzca, consulte nuestra Buscador de Ayuda Legal para encontrar una organización que pueda ayudarle.

This is the twelfth section of the Disaster Manual. This section is on replacing lost documents. This resource is meant for volunteer lawyers. 

This outline provides information on how to go about replacing documents lost, destroyed, or damaged during a disaster.

Download the full manual.

 

Disaster Manual Table of Contents

Click each title to go to that section of the manual. - Index Page

  1. Introduction
  2. FEMA Assistance
  3. Falling Trees, Flying Limbs & Loud Neighbors
  4. Landlord/Tenant Issues
  5. Real and Personal Property
  6. Employer/Employee Issues
  7. Social Security, Banking, and Financial Issues
  8. Consumer Protection Issues
  9. Insurance Issues
  10. Health Care Issues
  11. Personal Bankruptcy Issues
  12. Replacing Lost Documents
  13. Family Law Issues
  14. Education
  15. Immigration Issues
  16. Community Organizations/Small Businesses
  17. Wills and Estates Planning
  18. Disability Rights in Disasters
  19. Resource & Referral Guide

Bonus Resource -- Contractor Fraud Manual

 

12.1 U.S. Mail Service

Call 800-ASK-USPS (275-8777) for general assistance. If you suspect you have been targeted by mail fraud, identity theft involving the U.S. mail system, or theft or destruction of your mail, you can call 1-877-876-2455 or file a complaint online at https://www.uspis.gov/report/.

TDD/TTY Relay: Call 1-800-877-8339. Ask for 1-800-275-8777 for customer service or 1-877-876-2455 for mail-related crimes.

12.2 Bank and Investments Accounts

Many lost records or bankcards can be replaced by visiting your local bank branch. If your bank has been destroyed or no local branches are in operation, contact your bank’s customer service department. Some customer service numbers for frequently used banks are listed below. If your bank is not listed below, the FDIC maintains a directory of contact information for FDIC-insured banks, available at https://research2.fdic.gov/bankfind/. To file a complaint against or your bank or for additional information, visit http://www.fdic.gov.

JP Morgan Chase 1 (800) 935-9935
Bank of America 1 (800) 432-1000
USAA Federal Savings Bank 1 (800) 531-8722
Comerica Bank 1 (800) 925-2160
Wells Fargo Bank 1 (800) 869-3557
BBVA Compass Bank 1 (844) 228-2872
Frost Bank 1 (800) 513-7678
Texas Capital Bank 1 (877) 839-2265
Prosperity Bank 1 (800) 531-1401
Capital One 1 (877) 383-4802
Citibank 1 (888) 248-4226

12.3 Benefits Programs - Lone Star Card, Food Stamps/SNAP, WIC, and TANF Benefits

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Texas Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF), and the Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) are administered in Texas by the Health and Human Services Commission through the Lone Star Card. If your Lone Star Card is lost or stolen, contact HHSC as soon as possible at 800-777-7328 so that your existing card will be canceled and your benefits will be preserved. If you would like to know more about the SNAP, TANF or WIC programs or if you are not currently enrolled but you need assistance due to an emergency situation, you can learn more about how to apply at https://www.yourtexasbenefits.com/Learn/Home or by calling 1-877-541-7905.
Information on Texas benefit programs affected by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found at https://hhs.texas.gov/services/health/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-information-people-receiving-services.

Additionally, the USDA can authorize the issuance of emergency SNAP benefits when there is a presidentially declared emergency or when grocery stores or other regular commercial food supply channels have been restored following a disaster. The D-SNAP (Disaster SNAP) system operates under a different set of eligibility and benefit delivery requirements than the regular SNAP. People who might not ordinarily qualify for SNAP benefits may be eligible under the disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program if they have had disaster damage to their homes, or expenses related to protecting their homes, or if they have lost income as a result of the disaster, or do not have access to bank accounts or other resources. For information on the emergency SNAP benefits in Texas, visit https://hhs.texas.gov/services/financial/disaster-assistance/disaster-snap.

12.4 Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce Records

For births that occurred in the State of Texas within the past 75 years and deaths that occurred in the State of Texas within the past 25 years, only the person themselves or the immediate family members (child, parent, sibling, grandparent, or spouse) of the person whose name is on the birth certificate or death certificate are eligible to request a copy. Those with any other relationship must provide legal documentation, such as a court order establishing guardianship. You can obtain birth or death certificates from the Vital Statistics Office at https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/ovra/index.htm.

If you were born or adopted out of state, contact the local county records office where you were born or adopted for instructions of how to obtain a copy of your birth certificate.

Marriage certificates and divorce decrees must be ordered from the county clerk in which the marriage or divorce was granted. Contact information for the largest Texas counties’ clerks are listed below:

Bexar County (210) 335-2216
https://www.bexar.org/2946/County-Clerk

Dallas County (214) 653-7099
https://www.dallascounty.org/government/county-clerk/

Collin County 972-548-4185
https://www.collincountytx.gov/county_clerk/Pages/default.aspx

El Paso County (915) 546-2071
https://www.epcounty.com/clerk/

Harris County (713) 274-8600
https://www.cclerk.hctx.net/

Hidalgo County (956) 318-2100
https://www.hidalgocounty.us/161/County-Clerks-Office

Tarrant County (817) 884-1195
https://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/county-clerk.html

Travis County (512) 854-9188
https://countyclerk.traviscountytx.gov/

12.5 Credit Cards

If you find that your credit cards were lost or left behind, your best option is to call the bank that issued the card and get a new one as soon as possible. If you expect to have any issues with missed or late payments or spending limits, you should address them with your credit card issuer as promptly as possible.

The issuer may have programs or policies in place to ease the burden on customers facing emergency situations.

When personal documents and credit cards are unsecured, you should be on guard against identity theft. One step you can take is to place a fraud alert on your credit report, which will make it harder for criminals to open accounts in your name. To do this, you should contact one of the three major credit bureaus, each listed below. Each bureau is required to notify the other two when a fraud alert is listed. The fraud alert is free and lasts for one year. You can find more information at https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert.

TransUnion 800-680-7289
https://www.transunion.com/fraud-victim-resource/place-fraud-alert

Experian 888-397-3742
https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html

Equifax 800-525-6285
https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-fraud-alerts/

12.6 Children’s Texas Immunization Records

The statewide immunization registry, known as ImmTrac2, will keep an electronic immunization record for those children that have registered. Information contained in the registry includes the child’s name, date of birth, address, the name of the parent or guardian, information on the shots given, and who gave them. Optional information stored in ImmTrac2 is the child’s Social Security number and mother’s maiden name. This optional information helps prevent duplicate records from being created.

Immunization information is available only to persons authorized by law to see it. Only doctors, schools, childcare centers, and public health providers with ImmTrac2-issued identification numbers and passwords may view the information. More information can be found at:

Texas Department of State Health Services
DSHS Immunization Unit
1100 West 49th Street
Austin, Texas 78756
Phone: 800.252.9152
http://www.dshs.texas.gov/immunize/immtrac

Additional information for patients and parents is available at https://www.dshs.texas.gov/immunize/parents.shtm and information for healthcare providers is available at http://www.dshs.texas.gov/immunize/immtrac/FAQs.shtm.

 

12.7 Deeds and Mortgages

These records are maintained by the clerk of court for the county where the property is located. If the deed or mortgage was filed for record, a copy can be obtained from the county clerk. Many records can be obtained online from the county clerk website. Contact information for the largest Texas counties’ clerks are listed below:

Bexar County (210) 335-2216
https://www.bexar.org/2946/County-Clerk

Dallas County (214) 653-7099
https://www.dallascounty.org/government/county-clerk/

Collin County 972-548-4185
https://www.collincountytx.gov/county_clerk/Pages/default.aspx

El Paso County (915) 546-2071
https://www.epcounty.com/clerk/

Harris County (713) 274-8600
https://www.cclerk.hctx.net/

Hidalgo County (956) 318-2100
https://www.hidalgocounty.us/161/County-Clerks-Office

Tarrant County (817) 884-1195
https://www.tarrantcounty.com/en/county-clerk.html

Travis County (512) 854-9188
https://countyclerk.traviscountytx.gov/

12.8 Driver License or Identity Card

If you wish to replace a lost or stolen Texas driver’s license or identity card or change the address listed on your card, you can do so online at https://txapps.texas.gov/tolapp/txdl/. Alternatively, you can visit any Texas Driver License office and submit a completed Application for Renewal/Replacement/Change (Form DL-14A, available at https://www.dps.texas.gov/internetforms/Forms/DL-14A.pdf) along with proof of citizenship or legal residency and two forms of ID (ID requirements available at http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/identificationrequirements.htm). In either case, the fee for a replacement card is $11. An additional fee of $1.75 may be charged if you do not have access to the audit number listed on your driver license or ID card. Additional information on replacing your Texas driver license or identity card can be found on the following website: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/.

12.9 Immigration and Citizenship Documents

If you are a permanent resident who needs to replace your Green Card, or a conditional resident who needs to replace your two-year card, you may apply for a replacement card by filing a USCIS Form I-90 (form and instructions available at https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-90.pdf, online filing available at https://www.uscis.gov/i-90). For further assistance, visit https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/replace-green-card.

If you need to replace a Naturalization Certificate, Certificate of Citizenship, or Repatriation Certificate, you may apply for a replacement at https://my.uscis.gov/exploremyoptions/lost_stolen_certificate. If you wish to apply by mail, you will need to complete and submit Form N-565 Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document (form and instructions available here: https://www.uscis.gov/n-565) and pay a $345 filing fee. You will also need to provide two passport-style photos and submit additional documents as specified on Form N-565.

12.10 Insurance Documents

To replace lost or destroyed insurance documents, contact your insurance agency. For information regarding flood insurance issued by the National Flood Insurance Program, see https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program. If you are having problems with your insurance agency or to file a complaint, contact the Texas Department of Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-252-3439 or by visiting https://www.tdi.texas.gov/.

12.11 Medicare/Medicaid Cards

To replace a Medicare card, visit the Social Security Administration office or request a replacement through your online "my Social Security" portal by logging in or creating an account at https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.action. Additional information available at https://www.hhs.gov/answers/medicare-and-medicaid/how-do-i-replace-my-medicare-card/index.html and https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01735. You may also call the National Social Security Hotline at 1-800-772-1213.

To replace a Texas Medicaid card, call toll-free 1-800-252-8263 or visit YourTexasBenefits.com (log into your account and click on”Manage”, then click “Medicaid & CHIP Services” in the Quick Links section, then click “View Services and Available Health Information”, then click on the “Cards” tab). Additional information available at https://hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/services/quick-answers/Sample-Card-Image.pdf.

12.12 Passports

If your passport is lost, you should report it lost by going online to the U.S. State Department website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/after/lost-stolen.html and submitting a DS-64 form. You may also send a completed and signed DS-64 form by mail to the address on the form or call 1-877-487-2778 (TTY 1-888-874-7793) to report it lost.

You cannot replace a lost passport by mail or online but must fill out a DS-11 form and make an appointment to apply in person at a passport agency or center. You must bring original documentation of proof of citizenship, such as an original birth certificate and a government-issued photo ID. To obtain more information regarding replacement of a lost passport, go to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/apply-in-person.html.

12.13 Social Security Cards and Payments

To replace a lost, stolen, or destroyed Social Security Card, visit https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/replacement-card.html or call toll-free 1-800-772-1213 (TTD/TTY number: 1-800-325-0778). You can also visit your nearest Social Security Administration office to request a replacement card. Find the nearest location at https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.

If you suspect that your Social Security Number is being used to commit fraud, or if you receive a suspicious call from someone purporting to be the Social Security Administration, contact the Office of the Inspector General’s fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271 or submit a report online at https://oig.ssa.gov/.

If you have a problem with your Social Security payment, go to the nearest office of the Social Security Administration, call 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778), or visit https://www.ssa.gov/. Most issues can be handled through your my Social Security portal online (log in or create an account at https://secure.ssa.gov/RIL/SiView.action). If you do not receive your regularly scheduled payment from Social Security as a result of severe weather or other emergencies, you can obtain emergency payments if necessary. For more information, log onto www.socialsecurity.gov/emergency. Social Security checks can also be direct deposited or put on a SSA-issued credit card (the US DirectExpress card). To replace your DirectExpress card, call 1 (888) 741-1115 or visit https://www.usdirectexpress.com/.

12.14 Tax Documents

You can order a copy of your past tax returns online using the “Get Transcript” tool at http://www.IRS.gov. Just click the “Get Transcript by Mail” button to have a paper copy sent to your address of record. You can also order by phone at 800-908-9946 or by mail by completing and mailing either Form 4506-T or Form 4506T-EZ. Form 4506-T can also be used to request other tax records, such as tax account transcripts, records of account, wage and income and verification of non-filing. For more information or to download the appropriate forms, visit https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/how-to-get-a-copy-of-your-prior-years-tax-information.

If you have lost your W-2, 1099, or K-1, you should first contact your employer for a replacement. If you are unable to obtain a replacement from your employer, you can contact the IRS at 800-829-1040. You’ll need the following when you call:

1. Your name, address, Social Security number and phone number;
2. Your employer’s name, address and phone number;
3. The dates you worked for the employer; and
4. An estimate of the amount of wages you were paid and federal income tax withheld, if any. If possible, you can use your final pay stub to figure these amounts.
 

12.15 Wills or Other Estate Planning Documents

In Texas, if you have lost your original will, you should execute a new will. This is true even if you have a copy of the original will, because Texas law imposes many burdens on those trying to probate a lost original will. If there are no originals or copies, then a new will must be executed. As a practical matter, even if you have your original will, it may be necessary to draft a new will due to the dramatic change in property value/ownership due to a disaster. Certain gifts in the will may fail if property has been destroyed, or the prior will also may not adequately deal with insurance proceeds as a replacement for specific gifts.

If you do not have the original will for a recently deceased person but do have a copy, the copy can be submitted to probate. To probate a lost will, three things must be proved:

1. due execution (for example, a witness who can testify that the deceased appropriately executed the original will),

2. reason why the original will cannot be produced (for example, a witness who can testify that the will was last seen in a house that was destroyed by fire or flood), and

3. the contents of the will, either with a copy or by a witness who is familiar with the contents.

Under Texas law, if a person dies and his/her will cannot be proved, the person is considered to have died intestate and their estate will be distributed according to state law.