Recently I lost my driver’s license. It was stupid, but it happened. In my desire to avoid being weighed down at the gym, I just brought keys and the driver’s license. My driver’s license was placed in the front pocket on my sweatshirt. At some point, my driver’s license fell out of my pocket. After a couple of days of looking – at the gym and at my house – I accepted the inevitable.
My driver’s license is gone for good.
No More Driver’s License: Now What?
I am glad that I didn’t end up losing anything else. None of my credit cards were involved, and none of my other personal information (like what would be found on a health insurance card) is out there.
However, this is inconvenient enough. When you lose your driver’s license, you not only need to get a replacement, but you also need to keep an eye on your credit report.
Call your local DMV to find out what documentation you need to get a replacement license. In many cases, you will likely need “official” documentation like a Social Security card and a birth certificate. In most cases, if you have a passport, you can use that instead of needing multiple forms of ID. In any case, make sure you have what you need in order to get the replacement.
You will want a replacement as soon as possible, since you can be penalized for driving without a license if you are pulled over. If you are in an accident, or if you are caught speeding, and you don’t have a driver’s license, you could be further fined. This just adds to the costs associated with getting a ticket, and it can be very frustrating.
I was issued a temporary license. It’s paper, and I have it carefully stowed in my purse. In two or three weeks, my “regular” driver’s license should arrive by mail.
Keep an Eye on Your Credit Report
Next, you want to make sure that you keep an eye on your credit report. There were very few places that my driver’s license could have been lost, and I checked them all. That means that there is a good chance that someone has my license in their possession.
With the information on the driver’s license, it might be possible for someone to open a fraudulent account using my name. A quick search of my name on WhitePages.com, or in some public database related to home purchases, would yield my address. And, of course, they have my ID. It’s possible to use this information to apply for credit cards and other loans online.
I will need to check my credit reports regularly, and I might even decide to get a credit freeze for my account. There is a chance that, with the loss of my driver’s license, the chance of ID fraud has gone up. So I’ll need to be on top of the situation, checking my report with AnnualCreditReport.com, and perhaps even buying reports from major credit agencies until this appears resolved.
It’s never fun to lose something as important as your driver’s license, but I am glad that it’s not an even bigger mess — like losing my entire wallet.
Miranda is freelance journalist. She specializes in topics related to money, especially personal finance, small business, and investing. You can read more of my writing at Planting Money Seeds.