Your driver’s license is an important document. Not only does it prove that you have the right to drive a vehicle, but it also serves as your primary form of identification.
Sometimes we may misplace or lose our license, and this can cause us to panic. Instead of fretting over your lost license, you need to do the following.
File a police report.
This may seem a bit ridiculous, but filing a police report for a lost license is extremely important. The police are not going to go out and hunt for your lost license, but it will provide you with proof that your license was lost in case someone starts using your license to steal your identity. Identity theft is extremely damaging, but if you have a police report that says your license is missing, it can help you get your life back in order in case the unfortunate happens.
Contact the credit bureaus.
You should also contact the three credit bureaus and place a temporary freeze on your accounts. This way, if a credit bureau notices that a credit card or loan is trying to be opened in your name, they can deny it from going through. This again will help protect you from having your identity stolen. These temporary freezes tend to only last for about 90 days, but you can always freeze it again if you feel it’s necessary.
Visit the DMV website.
Once you’ve taken the necessary precautions to protect your identity, you’ll want to replace your lost license. If you visit the DMV website, you can find all the information you will need in order to replace your license. Some states will allow you to receive a new one online while others still require you to physically go to the DMV. This website will not only let you know your state’s policy, but it will also tell you where to go (if necessary), what documents you’ll need to prove your identity, and even provide you with necessary forms that you may have to fill out.
Get a new license.
If your state allows you to replace your license online, you’ll be able to do so by choosing yoru state from the DMV website. You’ll be able to order and pay for your ID online. If not, you will need to make sure that you locate the necessary documentation, fill out the right forms and head out to your local DMV in order to replace your license. Most DMVs are understaffed, so if you need to physically go to a DMV, make sure that are prepared to deal with a long wait and large crowds.
Keep an eye out on your credit report.
For the first few months after your license is missing, you may want to invest in a credit monitoring system to keep a watch on your credit activity. Even with a freeze on your account, some scam artists can beat the system and open a credit card or loan in your name. All three credit bureaus offer a credit monitoring system, or you can opt for a third party option, like Identity Guard.
Losing a license can be a time consuming process to correct, but you will need your license to prove your identity, so it’s best that you use these tips to not only replace your lost license, but to also protect your identity in case your lost ID ends up in the hands of a criminal.
Garrett Payne is a father of two and works for Nissan auto in the sales department. He enjoys writing in his free time and recently wrote about driving safety.