Lost Birth Certificate – Need Answer Fast

So the missus goes to the bank to retrieve her birth certificate so she can apply for a passport, and, somewhere between the safe deposit box booth and the post office she winds up missing the birth certificate. :rolleyes: She does this a lot, unfortunately. She generally finds what ever she has “lost forever” after a short period of angst, but she’s pretty sure this one is gone. She’s retracing her steps now.

I can see that replacing it is a fairly simple matter, but the question is: How dangerous is this situation. There is no social security number or local address attached to it. Just the name of a baby born in Cleveland in 1949 who does not have the same name anymore. I suppose someone could try to establish an identity with it, but that surely wouldn’t be connected to us in any way - or could it.

So what is the drill here, exactly?

And, as always. Thanks in advance. You guys are the best.

I don’t know where you’re located, but in our state we can go to the Dept. of Vital recordsand get another copy. If it’s a birth from before 1912 it takes a bit longer. Usually they can print you one right there.
If you’re not in the capital city they will mail it to you.

Wait, maybe I misunderstood your question. Are you asking, is a lost birth certificate an identity theft liability?

I had a co-worker need to do this. He lost his Driver’s License and couldn’t fly and needed a birth certificate. Call up the county where she was born. It cost my co-worker $75.00 for fast overnight service but they did it in one day. It was Wayne County in Michigan.

Reqeusting a birth certificate isn’t that difficult. In your case give the information such as mother maiden name, date of birth and as much information. It used to be anyone could get a birth certificate on anyone, most places are like that but some counties now require you provide proof of why you need it or who you are.

The less information you have the harder it’d be and the county may charge you per search. For instance if the name was Jane Smith born on 1/1/70 and there were six such people, you may need to pay for all people to find the one you want. But usually if you have the mother’s maiden name or hospital they can narrow it down easily

At a very minimum I would report the loss to the police.

If someone does use the document as validation for a fraudulent application, and your wife is ultimately questioned on the matter, it will be far easier for her to disassociate herself from any dishonesty if she can point to an incident report number obtained from the police.

Yeah, That’s the question. Without a corresponding SSN, i can’t see there being a real problem, but I’m trying make sure I’m not missing something. Thanks

Replacing my birth certificate was a headache because my driver’s license had expired.

In order to request the birth certificate, I had to fax them a copy of my unexpired driver’s license. To get a new driver’s license, I had to show them a copy of my certified birth certificate . . .

The only 2 other people who they would allow to request the copy of my birth certificate were my father (deceased) or my mother (on vacation and unavailable for 2 weeks).

Heaven help me if they had both been dead!

As it was, when I finally received the birth certificate in the mail - they had misspelled my name and my father’s name. The DMV told me that I would either have to get a new copy of the birth certificate, or get a driver’s license with my name misspelled.

It gets worse - but I won’t bore you. Just learn from me - don’t ever let your driver’s license expire.

That can’t be right, what if you don’t have a drivers license?

What state is that?

In New York, you get a new birth certificate by writing the town, city, or village hall of the municipality where you were born. There are various forms of ID, but a utility bill showing your address is allowed in addition to the usual.

I was afraid to ask . . .but trust me - it was right. I was on the phone for over an hour trying to figure it out.

I was living in SC, trying to get my birth certificate from NH. My other option would have been to go in person to NH and try to appeal to them.

D’oh! :smack: Pardon my stupidity.

I take solace that apparently I wasn’t the only one who made the same mistake.

I’m afraid I don’t have a good answer, although I think Chez makes a good point. I think that it could be used fradulently if found; and a good detective could find out that it was your wife’s birth certificate, although I think it’d be pretty obvious that she was not in on the crime. I don’t think that the thief could use it to steal your wife’s identity. However I don’t know for sure, those are WAGs. Sorry.

Were the two names misspelled on the original birth certificate? Because I don’t think they type up a new one every time you request a copy… :confused:

But yeah- we found out that the non-English speaking person who typed up my BIL’s original birth certificate on Kiribati Island spelled his first name incorrectly, and it played hell with his other “official” documents, which had all been granted without the birth certificate, apparently…

First of all: For all you folks who didn’t read the entire OP. Give yourselves a big :smack: and pay attention! The man is not asking how to replace a birth certificate. He’s concerned about the possibility of someone finding it and causing serious problems.

Secondly: To address the question. It is unlikely that anyone will steal her identity, but there is a chance that the birth certificate can be used to set up a completely new identity. In Illinois you can get a driver’s license by presenting a valid BC and passing the written and road test. From there you are a whole new person. How much of a danger this poses to you and the Mrs. I can’t say, but I’m sure you’ll both sleep a lot easier if she finds the damn thing.

PS - just so you don’t feel so all alone, I’m married to “one of those” too. ** (Did you lock your keys in the car again? With the engine running?! Ai, ai, ai! )**

In a few states (admittedly very few) birth certificates are a matter of public record and you can get an unofficial copy of anybody’s. I can pull them up on Ancestry.com for some states. The reason I mention this is that the information on them isn’t that important.

The state seal, however, is, since that makes it an official I.D., so I’d definitely report it stolen as somebody would only have to be your wife’s general age and race to use it to get other forms of I.D., so you may wish to let vital statistics and, if you can find anybody who has any sense, Social Security know (this in case someone writes to them to get the SSN for that b.c.). OTOH, I wouldn’t worry that much as it’s extremely unlikely any ill will come of it. Most people who come across it will either just toss it in the trash or pass it by, while on the very off chance that somebody who would use it for illicit or illegal purposes would have other means of getting them (forgery, lying to the registrar, whatever) and SSNs/credit card numbers/etc. are what they’re really after anyway.

NH has provisions for getting a birth certificate without a valid driver’s license. Documents include utility bills, car registrations, pay stubs, voter registration cards, a personal check with your address written on it, and several others.