General Question

kpako's avatar

Lost my birth certificate in NYC!

Asked by kpako (19points) November 5th, 2014

Today I lost my birth certificate in NYC (it fell out of my folder). What should I do from this point? I am afraid I may be victim of identity theft in the future. Should I report this to the police? Should I freeze my credit? What should I do?!! How dangerous is it for my birth certificate to be out in the wild in one of the largest cities in the world? Please help me out. Thanks.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

4 Answers

janbb's avatar

It isn’t a credit card or a Social Security number so I doubt that anyone could do much with it. I would report it to the police though. Contact the town where you were born to get a new copy.

JLeslie's avatar

If you need a new one you might be able to order it online from the city, county, or state you were born in. I don’t remember at what level of government that sort of thing is kept.

I wouldn’t bother reporting it. The police aren’t going to do anything about it I don’t think.

It’s not a bad idea to lock up your credit no matter what. I was just thinking about doing it. You can just do a fraud alert instead of a freeze.

The chance someone found your birth certificate and is also a bad person who wants to steal identity is slim. It’s more likely it just wound up as trash. There is a slim chance someone might try to look up your phone number and return it. It’s not likely since it’s hard to get a person’s phone number now with cell phones.

Pachy's avatar

Sorry you lost it. I do agree with both the always-wise @janbb and @JLeslie.

(“Lost My Birth Certificate in NYC” sounds like a C&W song.)

CWOTUS's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

As the others before me have suggested, your only real problem here is that you don’t have a copy of your BC if you need it for some reason. And the jurisdiction (in the US) that normally handles this is the County where you were born, so an online check for your County Clerk’s office will probably have an online application form for you to fill out, pay a nominal fee, and get a certified copy of your BC.

But there really isn’t much need for you to be carrying around a paper copy of that. Many experienced travelers these days maintain scanned copies of birth certificate, driver’s license, applicable identity pages of a current passport and visa/s (if you have those), applicable medical records, current photographs and other vital documentation (including credit card numbers, security numbers on the cards, contact numbers for lost or stolen cards, etc.), and keep that on a thumbnail drive or micro SD card that can be read on nearly any Windows-based computer (or tablet or phone, these days) and carry that in a safe place. That way, when the paper goes missing, you still have some record that you had the document in the first place. (In fact, it’s probably time to move away from physical media, and just store that stuff in a secure location in “the cloud” – if you know of a location that you’d trust. I like LastPass, myself, but there are others. I think that EverNote would probably be a good place, too.)

If you’re going to use physical media, then it’s a good idea to store that in a location other than the computer, the computer bag or your car or wallet (since those are already targets for potential thieves, after all) where you also won’t forget and leave it behind. (Obviously, those files should be protected with some kind of encryption, too, so that if you DO lose the storage media, then

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther