Replacing documents

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​Replacing documents after a disaster 

Once you meet your immediate needs for food, shelter, and other essentials after a natural disaster, it is critically important to replace any important documents that were lost or damaged during the disaster. 

If you have family or close friends that have copies of your documents, contact them first. Your birth certificate, driver's license, and Social Security card are the most important documents to replace. 

Next, check with your employer to see if these documents have been maintained in your employee file. If you have children enrolled in school, ask the school about for copies of your children's documents. 

Contact your power company and request a copy of your most recent bill. A copy of a utility bill – like your light bill – and bank statement can help prove your residency. Contact your doctor's office for copies of medical records and health insurance cards. Health records can help you prove your identity. If an accountant or tax preparation service prepares your annual tax return, ask them for copies of your returns. Some government agencies will use your tax returns to help prove your identity. 

Drivers License 

If you have a North Carolina drivers license or a current state-issued ID card, you can order a duplicate online at www.ncdot.gov. You can also replace it by visiting your local DMV office. Bring documents with you that provide your full name and date of birth. In addition to birth certificates, original Social Security cards, passports, and US military IDs, you can prove your identity to DMV with tax records or school transcripts signed by a school official. 

Additionally, documents obtained at your local courthouse, like a certified marriage certificate obtained from the Register of Deeds office, can help you verify your identity at the DMV. 

Birth Certificates 

If you have a photo ID, you can order a copy of your birth certificate online or at the Register of Deeds office in the North Carolina county in which you were born. 

If you do not have a photo ID, you can order a copy of your birth certificate online with two alternate documents that show your current address. Examples of these documents include: 

  • A current utility bill 

  • Car registration 

  • Bank statement 

  • Pay stub 

  • Income tax return or W-2 

  • A letter from a government agency 

For more information, visit North Carolina's vital records website at www.vitalrecords.nc.gov. If you were born in another state, contact that state's vital records division.

Social Security 

To order a replacement Social Security card, contact the Social Security Administration and report a lost or damaged card. The Social Security Administration requires documentation to prove citizenship and age. If you are unable to provide a driver's license, state-issued ID card or a passport, the Social Security Administration can also accept current employee, school or military ID cards, preferably with photos, as well as health insurance cards.