Replacing a Lost License in New Hampshire
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Replacing a lost license must be done quickly because New Hampshire law requires you to carry your driver's license with you whenever operating a vehicle. If you are stopped, most police officers will be able to verify that you do have a valid license by accessing the database from their patrol car. However, they might issue you a traffic violation for not carrying your driver's license with you.
Whether your driver's license is lost or damaged beyond recognition, trying to prove your age or identification without it is difficult. Don't be aggravated or inconvenienced; just take a little time to get a replacement as soon as possible.
Fortunately, there are 18 DMV offices or substations across the state that issue replacement driver's licenses. Every location does not issue licenses every weekday so you will want to check the schedule for the DMV office or substation you plan to visit. New Hampshire is a fairly small state and in an emergency, like replacing a lost driver's license, you may want to travel to the nearest substation issuing licenses on that day.
If you are out of the state or out of the country, you can apply for a replacement only through the mail. Print off the Application for Driver's License using the free Adobe Reader, indicate that you need a replacement, include the $10 fee, and mail it all to:
- NH Department of Safety
- Division of Motor Vehicles
- 23 Hazen Drive
- Concord, NH 03305
Be sure to include your mailing address so the DMV can mail the replacement directly to you. Remember, until you receive your duplicate driver's license, you could be in violation of the law if you drive.
If you're out of country and are in a hurry to receive a temporary license, consider splurging on overnight mail service. Once you return to New Hampshire, you will need to reapply for a permanent license.
New Hampshire has streamlined the licensing process by using the same Driver's License Application Form for renewals, replacements, duplicates, non-driver identification and new licenses. When you visit the DMV office or substation you can complete the form and pay $10 for a replacement.
There is a special exception to this rule; holders of Visa Cards and Employment Authorization Documents must visit the Concord DMV Headquarters for a replacement. All renewals are done in Concord for these two categories of people and replacements are handled like renewals―except there is no eye exam or vision test.
There are options on the application for organ donation and privacy. Be sure to make your own choices regarding these options because it will affect the actual license you carry. For example, you may want to exclude your street address from the license so that, should you lose your replacement license, someone finding your lost license can't drive straight to your home. Consider using your mailing address if it is different than your street address.
The licensing officer will want to see proof of your identity and proof of your New Hampshire residency. You might remember from your first driver's license application or from your last renewal that proof of identification must include your birth certificate (with legal proof if your name has since changed). You will also be asked to provide one of the following:
- Social Security Card
- School ID
- Military ID
Proving your residency can be a little harder to do. However, you must bring one of the following documents, unless of course you know the licensing officer personally:
- Valid NH vehicle registration
- Town clerk residency letter
- Utility bill postmarked and addressed to you
The DMV office or substation will take your picture and issue you a replacement license. How will you know it is a replacement? Because there will be a blue bar on the face of the license with the printed word duplicate.
Because you can't drive without having a valid driver's license with you when operating a vehicle, it is important to get a replacement as soon as possible. Under the DMV Point System, being convicted of not producing a driver's license when asked by a police officer will earn you two demerit points on your license.
There may be other items you lost at the same time, like credit cards or bank cards, that should be reported missing. Protecting your identity is important to you and the state of New Hampshire.
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.