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The word “paperwork” has become an anachronism; most legal and business documents today are created, signed and stored digitally. But a few actual pieces of paper remain vitally important to keep.
Many of these documents may be decades old. So if they get lost, how do you replace them? We break it down for you here:
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To avoid becoming a victim of identity theft, be sure to report it lost or stolen. Call 877-487-2778 toll-free or submit a Form DS-64 online at travel.state.gov. Or you can print the form from that website and mail it to the U.S. State Department. To get a replacement passport, submit a Form DS-11 in person at a passport office. If this happens when you are traveling abroad, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
Contact the vital records office in the state where you were born to order a replacement. If you were born overseas to American parents and they registered your birth with that country’s U.S. embassy or consulate, you can access a Consular Report of Birth Abroad copy from the State Department. If you were born on a military base abroad, you’ll need to contact the hospital where you were born.
Contact your state’s vital records office, which will direct you to the clerk of the county where the license was issued, or to an equivalent local office. They will inform you of the necessary documents to provide, the cost and whether the copy can be issued online, by mail or in person. Married abroad? Contact the embassy or consulate of the country where your marriage took place, and the staff will assist you in receiving a certified copy of the foreign marriage document. If you were married abroad before Nov. 9, 1989, and the wedding was witnessed by a U.S. consular officer, the State Department should also have documents on file confirming your marriage.