Requirements to Replace a Lost License

By: Staff Writer June 6, 2012
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So, you lost your driver's license. Ouch, huh? Take heart for you're not alone. It happens. A lot. Need proof? Check any Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website and you'll find an entire page devoted to retrieving lost, destroyed or stolen licenses.

This is good news if your drivers license has gone missing. How? Easy. It means DMV offices are trained and experienced in helping you apply for a duplicate license or what some states also refer to as a replacement license.

Requirements for Replacing a Lost Driver's License

Requirements for replacing a lost license, stolen license, or destroyed license vary by state. Generally, you must meet all or some of the following requirements:

  • Provide proof of identity. This is important. If you need to apply in person the last thing you want is to have your application rejected for not having proper identification. Confirm accepted documents with your DMV. Keep in mind that documents must be certified or originals. DMV offices do not accept photocopies.
  • Notarization. Pennsylvania, for example, requires some duplicate license applications to be notarized.
  • Parental signatures, if applicable. Many states require drivers younger than 18, sometimes 19, to have a parent or guardian sign their duplicate license application.
  • Proper payment to cover your state's replacement license fee.

In most instances, after applying in person, you'll receive a temporary license to be used until your permanent one arrives in the mail.

Notify the Police?

Though not a replace license requirement, all motor vehicle agencies strongly suggest reporting your lost or stolen license to the police.

Some DMV offices even provide financial incentive. In New York, for example, applicants whose licenses were stolen or destroyed as a result of a crime may have their duplicate license fees waived if they present a letter or completed form from a police agency.

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