Stolen Driver’s License: Here’s What You Should Do
Table of Contents
- By Emmett
- Jul 22, 2022
Having your wallet stolen can be frightening; losing your credit and debit card can be devastating financially, and thieves may clean out your accounts before you can freeze them. But worse, these criminals now have your driver's license. The consequences of a stolen driver's license can be dire, with many victims falling prey to identity theft and other forms of fraud. Fortunately, you can mitigate the damage by dealing with the situation quickly and correctly.
What to Do If Your Driver’s License is Stolen in 4 Steps
Step #1: Contact Your Local DMV
Reporting a lost or stolen driver's license to the DMV will help you get a replacement easier and establish a record in the event the thief tries to use your license. A criminal can use an unreported ID to commit several fraudulent activities, including redirecting your mail to an unauthorized mailing address.
Contacting the DMV can also help you later when you want to replace your ID. Ask about the procedures they have in place to get a driver's license replacement, taking note of the documents you need and any fees you'll have to pay.
Step #2: Alert the Authorities
Shortly after, you'll want to contact the police and file a report about your stolen license. This is just as important as alerting the DMV. If a criminal tries to use your ID during the perpetration of any crimes, this report will help prove that thieves took your license from you. Reporting the crime can also help prevent others from becoming victims. If the information you provide leads to an arrest, that's one less scammer on the streets.
Step #3: Consider Freezing Your Credit
If you are confident your license was stolen, you'll want to freeze your credit to avoid fraudulent charges. Criminals will often use an ID in tandem with other pieces of information to steal your identity, allowing them to use existing lines of credit or open new ones. This can cost you thousands in damages, and while you may be able to recover your losses, the process will be long and arduous.
Step #4: Run an Identity Threat Scan
An excellent way to get peace of mind after having your driver's license stolen is by running an identity threat scan. This free tool can help you determine whether someone stole your information and what someone may do with it. An identity threat scan can also help you see if anyone compromised more of your other data and help prepare you to take the necessary steps to protect your identity.
Replacing a Lost or Stolen Driver’s License
Learning how to replace a lost driver's license can help you move past the event and is necessary if you want to continue driving legally. To replace your license, you'll need your:
- Proof of Residence
- Social Security Card or Number
- Driver’s License Number (In Some States)
- Birth Certificate
- Eye Exam Paperwork (In Some States)
Once you have all of your documents gathered, there are a few simple steps to getting your license replaced.
File a Police Report
Many states require you to file a police report if someone steals your license to make it easier to update its status. You'll also need to do this if your license is lost. But even if your state doesn't require it, you should always report a stolen license. Having a police report on file can help clear your name in case a criminal uses your ID to perpetrate acts of fraud or other crimes.
Check Your State’s Requirements
Visit your local DMV, either in person or online, to check the exact requirements for license replacement. Some states allow you to replace a license online, while others may need you to visit a physical DMV location in person. There are also different required documents for some states, and checking the DMV website can help save you time in pulling together the correct paperwork.
Fill Out the Correct Forms
Most states will have you fill out a replacement request form online or in person. These documents are usually simple to complete, asking for specific items of personal information to verify your identity. The DMV will then match this information with the driving records they have on file to help expedite the replacement process.
Turn in Forms and Pay Fees
If your state allows the online submission of documents and payment of fees, you can take care of this step from the comfort of your home. If not, you'll need to head to your local DMV to pay your license replacement fees and turn in any relevant paperwork. The costs associated with this process usually range between $5 and $35, and once completed, you'll receive a temporary license. You can use this license to legally drive while you wait for your permanent replacement to arrive by mail.
Wait For Your Replacement License
Replacement licenses can take a bit to arrive, with some drivers waiting up to four weeks for their official license replacement. Your temporary license should function perfectly well until your replacement comes in the mail, at least for driving. You may run into issues using your temporary ID as a form of identification for anything but operating your vehicle. Paper licenses are easy to fake, and many establishments like bars and liquor stores may refuse to take them as an official form of identification.
Having Your Driver’s License Stolen Isn’t the End of the World, But Act Fast
It can be challenging to keep a level head when you've discovered someone stole your driver's license, but it's crucial to remain focused. By taking the time to report the incident to both the DMV and the police, you can help protect yourself from significant consequences. The process to replace the license is also simple, and once completed, you'll only need to wait a few short weeks for your new license to arrive.