By N. Porter and L. Kubin*(9/13)
During a disaster important papers may be destroyed, lost, or damaged. In this fact sheet, you will find information and sources to help you replace your important papers.
All contact information was verified in September, 2013. However, this information is subject to change, so always confirm its accuracy on your own.
The information in this section was originally compiled by Jeanette A. Tucker, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Family Economics, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (April, 2006).
Birth and Death Certificates
To replace a birth or death certificate for U.S. citizens who were born or died in the United States, visit the National Center for Health Statistics at: www.cdc.gov/nchs/howto/w2w/w2welcom.htm to learn where to write to obtain or replace vital records.
In Colorado contact:
Vital Records Office
Colorado Department of Health
4300 Cherry Creek Dr. South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
(303) 692-2224 General
(303) 756-4464 Information
Fax: (800) 423-1108
For birth records of U.S. citizens born abroad, visit http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_825.htm or request a copy of Form FS-240 Consular Report of Birth Abroad from:
U.S. Department of State
Vital Records Section
1111 19th Street, NW, Room 510
Washington DC 20036-3603
This address is also used to obtain a Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad form for U.S. citizens who died abroad.
Citizenship and Naturalization Papers
For papers related to citizenship, immigration, permanent residency (green card), re-entry permit, employment authorization, etc., visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at www.uscis.gov or call 1-800-375-5283. Complete Form N-565. You may also contact your county court house.
Contact your credit card companies regarding lost or destroyed cards.
American Express: 1-800-528-4800
Discover: 1-800-347-2683 (TDD/TTY–1-800-347-7449)
Master Card: Contact issuing financial institution or 1-800-622-7747.
Visa: Contact issuing financial institution or 1-800-847-2911
Drivers Licenses or State ID Cards
The quickest way to obtain a duplicate driver’s license may be to apply in person at any Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles location. Visit www.4dmv.com/ and select Colorado from the dropdown list. Click on Driver’s License and ID; select Replace Lost License or ID Cards. You may be required to present original documents that prove your identity.
Federal Tax ID (EIN) Number
If you have previously applied for and received an EIN for your business, estate, or trust but have lost it, try any or all of the actions listed at this site to locate the number: www.irs.gov/Businesses/Small-Businesses-&-Self-Employed/Lost-or-Misplaced-Your-EIN
Income Tax Returns
Call the nearest IRS office, Department of Treasury Office, or 1-800-829-3676 and request Form 4506 (Request for Copy of Tax Return). Request a form for each year’s return you are requesting. To find your local IRS office in Colorado, go to: https://apps.irs.gov/app/office-locator/.
Contact the agent or company providing coverage. You may be required to complete a form, pay a fee for duplicate copies, or both. Having the policy number will expedite your request.
Marriage Certificates and Divorce Records
Copies of certificates of marriage are available from the county that issued the marriage license. Divorce decrees are available from the county that granted the divorce. For ordering and fee information, please contact the local registrar in the county where the marriage certificate was issued or the divorce granted.
To learn where to write to obtain vital records, including marriage certificates and divorce degrees, contact the National Center for Health Statistics at: www.cdc.gov/nchs/howto/w2w/w2welcom.htm.
Medicare Card Replacement
Visit https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-01735 for information on how to request a replacement card online. If you prefer, or if you are unable to make your request online to obtain a replacement Medicare card, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can also visit a local office. To find your local Social Security Administration office, go to https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp.
Contact your lending institution (mortgage holder).
If your passport is lost or stolen in the United States, report the loss or theft immediately to the Department of State or the nearest Passport Agency. The theft of a passport should also be reported to the local police.
If your passport is lost or stolen while you are abroad, it should be reported immediately to the nearest United States embassy or consular office. A passport is a traveler’s principal means of identification abroad and its loss is very serious.
To replace a lost or stolen passport, call Passport Services at 1-877-487-2778 or 1-888-874-7793 (TTY). Complete form DS-64 Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport from http://travel.state.gov/passport/lost/lost_848.html.
Mail it to:
U.S. Department of State
Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 500
Washington DC 2003
If pet records are lost, it can be difficult to replace them. Start with your local veterinarian to determine if they have a back up file that they can print and provide you. New pet licenses would have to be provided by the municipality that initially provided them. Check with your local animal control or city officials to determine their process for providing a new license.
You may be concerned if the deed to your home or other property is destroyed or lost in a disaster. The deed you receive is just a certification to you that your transaction has been established as a public record. The true declaration of your ownership is held at the county courthouse where the property is located. You can obtain a certified copy of your deed by contacting the County Clerk and Recorder.
If the deed is held by a bank or mortgage company, check to be sure that it is being held safely. If damage has occurred, work with the lending/mortgage organization to find out how the deed can be replaced.
Visit www.treasurydirect.gov/forms/sav1048.pdf and complete Form PDF 1048E Claim for Lost, Stolen or Destroyed U.S. Savings Bonds or call 304-480-7711.
To replace Series HH/H Bonds, mail the completed form to:
Bureau of the Public Debt
P.O. Box 2186
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2186
To replace Series EE/E Bonds, mail the completed form to:
Bureau of the Public Debt
P.O. Box 7012
Parkersburg, WV 26106-7012.
Social Security Card
Visit https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp to find the location of your local Social Security Administration office. To replace a lost Social Security Card, obtain Form SS-5 Application for Social Security Card from this office or download it from: www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/ss5.htm. Follow the instructions to complete the form.
For additional help, contact the Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov) at 1-800-772-1213, or write:
Office of Public Inquiries
Social Security Administration
Windsor Park Building
6401 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21235-0001
Visit www.4dmv.com/ and select Colorado from the list. Click on Registration & Titling; select Titles and Replace Lost Title.
Veterans and Military Discharge Papers
Request Standard Form 180 (SF-180) from any office of the Veterans Administration, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Red Cross, a veteran’s association, or military recruiter. Download the form from: www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/standard-form-180.html.
Send the completed forms as indicated in the address list on page 2 of the SF-180.
To find out if you are eligible for veteran’s benefits, how to apply, and what it will cost, call the VA Health Resource Center at 1-877-222-8387. You may be able to complete an application form online.
Wills and Advance Directives
Contact the attorney who prepared your will and advanced directives. If circumstances have changed, you may need to write a new will and create new advance directive documents.
*N. Porter, Colorado State University Extension specialist, financial resource management; L. Kubin, Colorado State University Extension county director, Larimer. 9/13. Revised 2/14.
Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Colorado counties cooperating. CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. No endorsement of products mentioned is intended nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned.
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