How to Find Lost ID (Passport, Driver’s License, Social Security Card, Etc.)

You’re on your way out of the house either for work or a trip when a sudden realization stops you in your tracks: you don’t have your ID with you. You search in your bag and come up with nothing. You scour your entire bedroom and still, there’s nothing. Your heart starts to beat a bit faster, and little beads of sweat start to stream down your face. What do you do in such a situation?

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We all misplace things sometimes, but when it’s something as important as our personal identification, it can be panic-inducing. So what do we do in such a situation? Let the following tips help you out:

How to Look for Your Lost ID

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1. First you should take several slow, deep breaths to calm yourself. You can’t think clearly about the next step if you’re all nervous and panicking.  All that oxygen flowing into your body will help to calm you down and tone down that “fight or flight” response that people usually have in stressful situations.

2. Next, clear your mind so you can focus on thinking about an action plan. Short of actually sitting down for a literal meditation session, try to think of a blank, white space that’s clear of any markings. This technique tricks your mind into forgetting the rest of the world and even your present problem, even for just a moment, enough to get your mind under control.

3. Look back through your memories and recall your recent action in relation to the ID you had lost. When did you last see it? When were you last holding it? Whom were you with at the time? The answers to these questions can clue you in as to where your ID could be. For instance, you might have been holding it when you were with a friend and you handed it to your friend for temporary safekeeping. Or you might have used it at an establishment and left it there. In this instance, you should immediately go back to that establishment and claim your ID ASAP. Time is of the essence here as you don’t want your ID to get into the wrong hands.

4. If you think your ID is just at home, then it is time to look over your entire home carefully. First, look in places where you think the object should be. These are the places where you’d usually put your ID in, such as your wallet, a side pocket in your bag, and your drawer. Next, look over the places where the object shouldn’t be but could be just in case. There might have been a time when you were distracted and left the object near an unconventional spot.

5. Ask help from the people you live with. They might know something about where your ID could, or it could even be with them. Even if it isn’t, you can still ask for their assistance in looking for it. When searching for an important item such as an ID, more pairs of eyes are better than one.

How to Replace Lost ID

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Sometimes the worst can happen, and we end up completely losing our ID. In this case, it’s wise to act quickly and inform the authorities that you’ve lost your ID. This way, especially if it was stolen by another person, you can prevent that person from using your ID for their own gain. 

The next step is to get your ID replaced. The procedures are different depending on which ID you lost. 

If you lose your birth certificate . . .

Your birth certificate is one of the most important types of identification there are because you will need it to get other types of ID. You can get a copy of your birth certificate by visiting or getting in touch with the records office of the state you were born in. Take note that there are fees involved when you request to obtain a copy of your birth certificate, and the amount depends on the particular state.

If you lose your Social Security card . . .

As long as you’re 18 years old or older, you can easily request to have your lost Social Security card replaced online. This is also under the conditions that you are a US citizen and have US mailing address. You will also be required to provide a driver’s license or state ID. If you have any of these documents, you can go online and create or log into your “my Social Security” account and request a replacement. 

If you don’t have any of these documents or you prefer doing your business in person, you can opt to visit your local Social Security office, but make sure you bring proofs of identification such as a passport, an employee ID card, or a health insurance card.

If you lose your driver’s license . . .

You can get your driver’s license easily replaced via three options: online, by mail, or by visiting the local agency in your area that issues licenses. You just need to provide other proofs of your identity, and you will have to pay a fee. But do note that all three options may not be available in all states; some states might only have the last two options available. 

How to Prevent Loss

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As the adage goes, prevention is better than cure. You don’t want to wait for the time when you’ve actually lost your ID before you start being careful. A little mindfulness goes a long way, especially with regard to your important belongings. Also, it helps a lot to invest in tracking systems that will help you monitor where your things are. For instance, you can keep all your IDs together in a single pouch and install or put a GPS tracker in the pouch. This way, even if you end up losing your IDs or they get stolen from you, you’ll have a way to track where they are so you can easily and quickly recover them.

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