Replacing Lost Documents
Authored By: Iowa Legal Aid
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Information on How to Replace Lost Documents After a Disaster
A disaster often hits without warning. Important documents can be lost during a disaster. This can make it difficult to prove who you are or to obtain benefits. Here are some ways that you can get new copies of these documents.
LOST DRIVER’S LICENSE
- If you need to replace an Iowa driver’s license, you can go to any Department of Transportation (DOT) office in Iowa.
- This link will help you find an office near you:
- There is a $10 fee to replace your driver’s license.
- You will need to bring papers that prove who you are.
- This website explains what forms are needed to show who you are:
- If you lost these forms of identification, you can call the Iowa DOT at (515) 244-8725
- If you lost your Iowa driver’s license while living outside the state of Iowa, this website will help you apply for a temporary replacement:
LOST BIRTH CERTIFICATES
- If you lost your birth certificate you can apply for a copy from the Iowa Bureau of Health Statistics. Here is a link to that site:
- To order a birth certificate in person, find the Bureau of Health Statistics on the first floor of the Lucas office building at: 321 E 12th St, Des Moines, IA 50319.
- They are open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Bring a photo identification (like a driver’s license) to prove who you are.
- There is a $20 fee you can pay by check or money order.
- They can mail it to you within a week.
- You might be able to pick it up the next day.
- To order a birth certificate by telephone call 1-866-809-0290
- This line is open from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- You need a credit card to pay over the phone.
- There is an extra $13 fee to run the credit card and to prove who you are over the phone.
- The birth certificate will arrive in the mail in two weeks.
To order a birth certificate by mail:
- First you need to complete the application in front of a notary.
- You can look for a notary at your local bank.
- Then you need to copy your photo identification and place that with the application.
- Last, you need to include the $20 payment in the envelope and send it to:
Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Health Statistics Lucas State Office Building First Floor, 321 E. 12th Street Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0075
- The birth certificate will arrive in the mail in about a month.
LOST SOCIAL SECURITY CARDS
- If you lost your Social Security card you can apply for a new one.
- The application is on this site:
- You need a photo identification to prove who you are (like a driver’s license or passport).
- If you do not have these call your local Social Security office.
- You can bring the application with your identification to your local Social Security office.
- Or, you can mail both forms to your local office.
- This website helps you find the Social Security office near you:
- There is no fee to replace your Social Security card.
- A Social Security card can only be replaced 3 times per year.
- A person cannot replace their Social Security card more than 10 times total.
LOST MEDICARE CARD
- If you lost your Medicare card you can order a replacement.
- To order a replacement online, click on this link to sign into your “My Social Security” account:
- To order a replacement by phone: call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778)
- This line is open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- To order a replacement in person: go to your local Social Security office. Use this website to find the Social Security office near you:
- It will take about a month to receive your new card in the mail.
LOST IMMIGRATION DOCUMENTS
- If you lost your Permanent Resident Card or “Green Card” you can get a replacement.
- This website has the I-90 form to replace your “Green Card”:
- If you need to replace other government documents visit:
· Iowa Legal Aid provides help to low-income Iowans.
· To apply for help from Iowa Legal Aid:
o call 800-532-1275
o Iowans age 60 and over, call 800-992-8161
o apply online at iowalegalaid.org
· If Iowa Legal Aid cannot help, you can look for an attorney on “Find A Lawyer” on the Iowa State Bar Association website – iowabar.org. A private attorney there can talk with you for a fee of $25 for 30 minutes of legal advice.