Replacing Personal Documents

 – October 19, 2018
Replacing Personal Documents

Driver's License

If your driver’s license has been lost, report this to the nearest police station. To replace the license, visit any regional service center or Motor Vehicle Commission Agency to obtain a duplicate. To ensure that someone else does not secure a license in your name, you must show proof of identity at the agency, such as a certified copy of your birth certificate, U.S. Passport or any other document issued by the U.S. that establishes your proof of identity and date of birth and verifies that your presence in the U.S. is authorized under federal law.

For additional information, visit the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s website at state.nj.us/mvc or call 609-292-6500.

Social Security Card

One form of identification and a completed application are required to obtain a replacement Social Security Card. Acceptable forms of identity include driver's license, passport, marriage or divorce record, adoption record, health insurance card (not a Medicare card), military records, life insurance policy and a school ID card. The Social Security Administration requires that you provide a document in the name you want shown on the card. Fill out the form at ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf, then take or mail it with your form of identification to your local Social Security office. Social Security does NOT accept uncertified or notarized photocopies of identification forms since it cannot verify the authenticity. Only an original document is accepted. It will, however return your original document. If you are applying for a card on behalf of someone else, you must provide proof of identity both for yourself and the person for whom the card will be issued.

For Social Security office addresses and phone numbers, access their website at ssa.gov or call 1-800-772-1213. 

Credit and ATM Cards

The Federal Trade Commission advises all individuals whose ATM and/or credit cards have been lost or stolen to report the situation as quickly as possible. Many banks and credit card companies have toll-free numbers and 24-hour service to deal with emergencies.

It’s important to also check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it covers liability for card thefts. 

  • Credit Card Loss: If a lost credit card is reported before it has been used, the Fair Credit Billing Act says that the card issuer cannot hold the cardholder responsible for any unauthorized charges. If the card is used before the loss is reported, $50 is the most that the cardholder will be responsible for.
  • ATM Card Loss: If a lost ATM card is reported before it has been used, the Electronic Fund Transfer Act says that the card issuer cannot hold the cardholder responsible for any unauthorized withdrawals. If the unauthorized use occurs before the card is reported lost, the amount the cardholder is responsible for depends on how quickly the loss was reported. If the loss is reported within two business days, the cardholder will not be responsible for more than $50 for unauthorized use. If an unauthorized withdrawal is not reported within two business days of its occurrence, the cardholder may be held responsible for loses of up to $500. An unlimited loss also is possible if the lost card is not reported within 60 days after a bank statement is mailed. For more information, visit the Federal ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre04.shtm.

Insurance Policies and Cards

For lost or damaged insurance policies and cards, call each of your insurance companies. You probably have a few policies covering such things as auto, home, life, flood and disability. For business owners, remember professional liability and business interruption policies. The following list provides the website addresses and/or phone numbers for several major insurance providers in the metropolitan area.

Birth Certificate

The Office of Vital Statistics and Registry issues certified copies of birth certificates for births that occurred within New Jersey. You may only order your own certificate or one for an immediate family member. New Jersey participates in the VitalCheck network, which means you may order a certificate on an expedited basis online at vitalchek.com. You may also order a record by mail or in person.

Payments may be made by checks, money orders, MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover Card. New Jersey also requires authentication of your identity and requires as proof a valid state-issued photo ID with address. If you do not have a valid state-issued photo ID with address, you must provide two alternate forms of ID with address. Alternate acceptable IDs are a non-photo, state-issued drivers license; vehicle registration; insurance card; voter registration; passport; green card; county ID; school ID; or two utility bills. Proof of identification can be faxed whether the duplicate is being requested online, by telephone or fax.

The following information also is needed for the certificate:

  • Full name on the birth certificate
  • Date of birth
  • County of birth
  • Gender
  • City where the birth occurred
  • Father's full name
  • Mother's full maiden name
  • Reason for the request
  • Your relationship to the person named on the certificate
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Whether you desire delivery by regular mail or overnight carrier
  • Street address where the certificate should be sent
  • Number of copies needed

For more information on obtaining a birth certificate, contact the Office of Vital Statistics and Registry at 866-649-8726 or visit their website at nj.gov/health/vital.

Passport

To reapply for a passport, you must go to any regional passport agency or designated post office. To find the office nearest you, look for Passport Services in the County Clerk listing in the County Government section of the blue pages, or visit the U.S. Department of State's website at travel.state.gov/content/travel/en.html. To obtain a replacement passport you need to:

  1. Complete application form DS-11, which can be obtained from any passport agency (during their posted hours of passport application acceptance), or online. Many travel agents also stock application forms.
  2. Present proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a certified birth certificate.
  3. Present proof of identity such as a valid driver's license or a current work ID.
  4. Pay the applicable fee. If paying in cash, all passport agencies, along with some acceptance facilities, require exact cash. County courts are not required to accept cash. Checks and money orders are accepted. Passport agencies accept major credit cards and debit cards. Passport acceptance facilities, however, are not required to accept these forms of payment. Contact a passport agency if travel is required within 14 days.
  5. Two passport pictures.

Marriage Certificate

New Jersey issues certified copies of marriage certificates for individuals married within New Jersey. Certificates are issued only to the parties to the marriage. New Jersey participates in the VitalCheck, network, which means you may order a certificate on an expedited basis online at vitalchek.com. You may also order a record by mail or in person.

To order a marriage certificate online or in person, you must have a valid MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover Card. The following information is needed:

  • Name of the groom
  • Name of the bride
  • Date of marriage
  • Place where the marriage took place
  • Daytime telephone number
  • Whether you desire delivery by regular mail or overnight carrier
  • Street address where the certificate should be sent

If you desire further information on applying in person, by mail or online, visit vitalchek.com/marriage-records.

Auto Loans or Mortgage Payment Books

To replace auto loans or mortgage payment books, call the bank or mortgage company that holds the loan to obtain new payment books.

Automobile Titles

To replace a lost or stolen title when there is no lien on the vehicle, visit your local Motor Vehicle Commission Agency and complete an application for duplicate title, or mail the application with check or money order. You will need to provide your current registration or insurance identification card.

To replace a lost or stolen title for a financed vehicle, you also will need to present a statement from the current or past lien holder. The statement must be typed on company letterhead and include the following:

  • Owner's name
  • Vehicle information (make, year, vehicle identification number)
  • Statement that the lien holder does not have the original title in his or her possession.

For more information, contact the Motor Vehicle Commission at 609-292-6500 (Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.), or visit its website at state.nj.us/mvc




This Disaster Recovery Guide has been compiled from a variety of sources. It is intended as a source book and guide only. It is not a substitute for professional judgment or for research into authoritative professional literature. Although this manual is not authoritative, it will help guide you to authoritative sources.

Material contained within this guide should be augmented by, and used in accordance with, a certified public accountant's professional judgment. Your CPA can properly apply the tax laws and regulations to the facts and circumstances of your particular situation. For help with locating a CPA, visit findacpa.org.

The New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants is not responsible for any claims arising as a result of this information or its usage.

This guide was updated in October 2018. Future users of this material are cautioned that some portions, particularly tax-related information, may become outdated.