How to prove I lived at an address 30 years ago...

I need to prove my identity in order to take possession of some stock.

[Long, dull, completely unnecessary story deleted]

I don’t have ANY papers going back that far, I have tried the IRS and they were unhelpful…[more descriptions that are dull and unnecessary deleted, just trying to get to the information…]

I have my birth certificate, my social security card, all kinds of other information. But I’ve been informed that I must prove that I am not just me, but the me that lived at a particular address at a particular time. The company that has the stock has told me that this is a requirement of the SEC and if I fail to prove who I am according to these rules, the stock will be turned over to the state as unclaimed property.

It seems grossly unfair, and if I am being misinformed, please enlighten me.

The reason I need an address, by the way, is for a NOTARY… the company will accept all the other docs as genuine and proof I am the correct person, if a notary signs off, and a notary won’t sign off without the address proof.

Again…seems grossly unfair. THIRTY years later???

So anyway… I wasn’t the person whose name was on the phone or utility bills, so that’s not helpful, and I no longer remember where I banked, nor do I have any paperwork connected with a banking institution, which I am sure I would need even if I remembered what bank I was with, and if I had that, I would not need to go to the bank.

The list of options I have left:

[li]The Franchise Tax Board (state payroll tax)[/li][li]MAYBE the Employment Development Department, but I don’t think any companies’ payroll tax returns include address information for employees.[/li]
(By the way, this isn’t really for ME, it’s for a friend…if it were actually for me, it wouldn’t ever have been an issue. First, because I would never simply lose touch with stock I owned, and B. Even if I did, I am a hoarder. I have notes I passed in class in 7th grade, and I’m turning 52 this year. I’m quite sure I could produce proof of every address I ever lived at since I’ve been old enough to receive mail.)

You could look at your (or whoever’s) credit report- they often list old addresses.

City directories, published by R.L. Polk and others, often listed all residents of a given address. If your friend lived in a city Polk did a directory for, he may well be listed there.

Also considering it’s a decennial year, how about the U.S. Census? I’m unsure of whether one can access raw data, as opposed to statistical summaries, but someone seeking proof of where he himself lived in 1980 ought to be able to recover that fact from them, or so it seems to me. (Paging RTFirefly.)


But, Polycarp’s suggestion of city directory is great. It should work. Most public libraries have city directories back that far. Tell friend to contact library, get copy of who lived where and when, then go from there.

If the bills were in someone else’s name, are you still in touch with that person? And if so, could they confirm that you lived there?

Were you registered as a voter at that address? And if so, do the voter registration records still exist?

Also, if anyone was married, divorced, or born those records would have the address.

Maybe the person should consult an attorney. Sometimes companies make up their own rules and inaccurately say they are required to do so by law. A letter from a lawyer asking them to cite chapter and verse might do the trick, or maybe the lawyer could look up chapter and verse and find out that your friend is covered under exception XXX, and therefore need not provide proof of a 30 year old address in order to get the stock.

Can you have two other people to sign a sworn, notarized statement that you were a resident at that address at that time?

Did you own the home? If so, there should be property tax records at the county appraisers office.

She doesn’t need an attorney, she has Stoid. :stuck_out_tongue:

How many notaries have you tried? If it’s anything like my state, the training course thing you have to go through to be a notary is very cursory in nature and so there is a huge difference in individual notaries’ interpretation of what they can and can’t do.

An old employer? They may have a record of their employees home addresses.
Marriage license?
Insurance agent
School records
Church records
You copy of old tax filings

I’m not sure the idea of a directory or a census listing will work. The notary wants proof that YOU lived at that address, not that Joe Smith lived at that address. Otherwise I could walk in, claim I was George W Bush, and I lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There are lots of records that Mr Bush lived there for a while.

The county property assessor should have records of who owned the home.

It’s going to be hard to give definitive answers, since a couple of basic facts were not given:

  • where this address was (city & state).
  • how old the person was at the time.

P.S. Wouldn’t be simpler to just find a more ‘flexible’ notary?

Thirty years ago I was in high school. How could I prove that and where I was living?

I’d have to go to the school and ask whether they give me copies of some record they had, like a report card or letter to my parents. Other than that… I wouldn’t have had most of the things an adult has. I didn’t have a driver’s license at the time, for example. Public library records? Would a letter to me at that address do? How close would the postmark have to be to the exact date?

It certainly raises a big red flag for me. Why would this stock be hers? If it belonged to a relative and she is the next of kin then what difference does it make if you can prove she lived there? So many questions.

City directories are good places to look and one that is thirty years old will be found at the library that specializes is local history, genealogy, and that kind of thing. If she was paying taxes to the city or county at the time then you might want to search the tax records. You might want to search probate records if anyone died and left you something. Census records are no good because the public can’t access them until 70 years have past.

She needs to ask them what specific rule they’re citing that says she has to prove she was in residence at X thirty years in the past. Seriously, it just sounds so darn fishy.


It’s customary to have to provide proof of address for the time period if you’re claiming unclaimed funds.

Agreed. I’m a Florida Notary and all I am attesting to is that it is you who is actually signing the document. You could be claiming that you are the King of Canada in the document for all I care. As long as I know you personally, or you show me a driver’s license, then it gets my stamp.

I’m a notary. I administer oaths and affirmations, and witness signatures with proper ID if I don’t personally know someone. It’s not my job to discern if someone is telling the truth in whatever they are swearing to or affirming. It’s not up to me to prove or disprove anything, other than being reasonably certain that Mr. X is indeed who he says he is.

Your friend is not telling you the truth.

Sure, to the state … but not to the notary who is witnessing your signature.

Lexis/Nexis sometimes has addresses going back that far. Do you have a friend who works for a bank,insurance co or similar?