If your birth certificate is stolen, you will need to promptly protect yourself from identity theft or fraud.
The first thing you need to do as soon as you suspect that your birth certificate might have been taken by an unauthorized third person, is to report the theft with government officials.
The next step would be to get a replacement for your birth certificate as soon as possible. Obtaining a certified copy of your birth certificate is quick and straightforward. You can easily receive a new birth certificate that is legitimate, embossed, impressed, and sealed by the issuing authority.
How to Respond to a Stolen Birth Certificate
Even if you are unsure whether your birth certificate is lost, has been misplaced, or was stolen, the best is to go ahead and file the reports explained below anyway. In the event that you cannot find your birth certificate, and it is found by someone of dubious integrity, they may still misuse it, so make sure to protect your identity and credit with these simple steps.
How to Report a Stolen Birth Certificate
Your birth certificate is one of your most important vital records. A stolen birth certificate could potentially be used by identity thieves hence the importance of reporting the theft immediately.
- It states your citizenship
- It serves as proof that you are indeed who you say you are
- It doesn’t feature a picture
- It is a requirement when having any other identity document issued, such as a passport, social security card, etc.
Where Do I Need to Report a Stolen Birth Certificate?
Once you report that a birth certificate, whether it is yours or that of a relative, has been stolen the official records will state the date from which you no longer had the document in your power. This will serve as proof in case someone attempts identity fraud using your birth certificate. Go to all 3 of the following to report your stolen birth certificate
- A police station
- State Vital Records Office
- Identity Theft Government website
First, report the theft of your birth certificate at your local police station. That can be done in the state in which you currently reside.
Next, contact the state Vital Records office. Note that you will need to call the Vital Records office located in the state in which the birth took place, in the event that you have moved. The Vital Records office will give you specific instructions on how to officially file a report stating that your birth certificate has been stolen. This may vary from state to state.
Make sure you also report the theft of the stolen birth certificate to Identity Theft. This is not a physical office, but a website set up by both the U.S. Government and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Identitytheft.gov is a free online service that allows United States citizens to fill an online form in order to report stolen identification documents such as birth certificates, passports, or social security cards.
How to Protect Yourself Against Identity Fraud and Theft
Identity theft and credit fraud are genuine concerns whenever a birth certificate is stolen or lost. In fact, other identification documents such as your passport, or social security card, also pose a risk when stolen, however, a potentially lower one, since the last 2 are photo IDs.
As explained above, your birth certificate may be used to have other forms of identification issued. Although replacing your birth certificate is critical, reporting its theft must be done first.
Some victims resort to identity monitoring and protection services. These companies constantly monitor updated databases such as those kept by credit bureaus and vital statistics offices. That way, they are able to promptly detect and inform you whether someone has requested a new ID, or opened a new credit account using your stolen birth certificate.
How to Protect Yourself Against Credit Fraud
- Request free copies of your credit reports online
- Examine your reports for any unusual activity
- Make sure there were no credit accounts opened in your name that you did not apply for yourself
- Contact the credit bureaus and the company that opened the fraudulent account if you see any suspicious activity
- Place a fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting credit reporting agencies. \ This alert will remain active for up to 90 days, making opening new credit accounts more difficult
- Alternatively, place a credit freeze on your credit reports. This will stop unauthorized access of your credit reports until you choose to lift the freeze and can be canceled any time should you wish to apply for a credit yourself
How to get a copy of a Birth Certificate
Obtaining a certified copy of your birth certificate is as easy as completing an online form with the individual’s personal details. It takes but a few minutes and is completely secure.
This straightforward procedure will allow you to get a birth certificate replacement delivered to your doorstep —while avoiding long queues in government offices— in just a few simple steps.
- Apply for your birth certificate by completing a simple online form that will take you no longer than 5 minutes
- Quickly receive your professionally reviewed application along with the documents you will need to mail in order to get your birth certificate
- Receive your birth certificate at home after submitting your application