Maybe you left it in the cab. Maybe it fell out of your purse at the gym. Or maybe you were pick-pocketed. Regardless of the circumstances, when your driver’s license goes missing, you should act fast.
Who You Gonna Call?
If you think there is a chance that someone stole your license, you should file a report with local law enforcement right away. They may not be able to help you find your stolen license, but you will at least have a paper trail to show exactly when your license was stolen. This step will prove vitally important if you are a victim of identity theft.
Additionally, you may want to notify your bank and credit card carriers to have a fraud alert placed on your account. This may be a crucial step to avoid paying for charges that you did not make.
Replacing Your Lost License
In most states, you cannot replace a lost license online. You must go to your driver’s license office or department of motor vehicles in person because you are required to present at least one form of identification, such as a birth certificate or Social Security card. Some states will accept other forms of official photo ID, such as a school or employee identification card.
If your lost license was close to its expiration date, see if you can start the renew license process rather than simply requesting a duplicate. While obtaining a duplicate usually does not require anything more than proving your identity, the license renewal process can be more complex and may require you to pass a vision test and road sign test.
On the upside, you may get to retake your license photo (which can be a blessing or a curse, depending on the results).
Military and Out-of-the-Country Exceptions
If you lose your license while traveling or serving abroad, you should still report it. Most states offer special forms to address these types of extenuating circumstances, so it is not a bad idea to check your state’s replace license laws before leaving for your trip or your deployment.
It is also a good idea to have photocopies of your drivers license filed somewhere safe just in case.