Your driver’s license is an extremely valuable piece of plastic. It is your main form of photo identification and it’s what allows you to legally drive a vehicle. However, your driver’s license is equally important due to the fact that it houses much of your personal information. Your address, birthdate, height, eye color and even your signature are all listed on the front. If your driver’s license goes missing, you could be giving a criminal the fast track to stealing your identity. Below, we will tell you what to do if your driver’s license is lost or stolen.
Steps to Take Following a Lost or Stolen Driver’s License
Other than your Social Security number, your driver’s license number is the last number you’d want to fall into the hands of a thief. Your driver’s license is linked to your insurance, vehicle registration, place of employment and even your medical records. When your driver’s license number goes missing, you need to act fast.
- If your license was stolen, contact the police and file a police report. This will give you physical documentation of the incident. If your entire wallet was stolen, ensure that you list your driver’s license as one of the items that was stolen.
- Report your stolen or lost license to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). You’ll receive information on how to replace your license and how to legally drive while awaiting your new license.
- If you know your license was stolen, consider placing a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit report. You only need two pieces of personal information in order to steal someone’s identity and your driver’s license carries much more than that.
- Review your accounts periodically in order to spot any fraudulent activity. You are permitted one free credit report per year via each of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). This will allow you to check for unauthorized activity every 4 months. You also will want to request a copy of your driving record as well as run a background check on yourself. Doing this allows you to see if the thief has used your information to cover up any of their crimes or violations.
How to Protect Yourself Prior To Losing Your License
Even if you never lose your physical license, your driver’s license number could be leaked in a data breach. You should always safeguard yourself as much as possible.
The easiest way to give yourself piece of mind is by subscribing to an identity theft restoration service. Should your identity get stolen, these companies will do all of the legwork to restore your identity to 100% of its pre-theft status. This coverage can save you thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours and a whole lot of stress.
We hope you now know what to do if your driver’s license is lost or stolen. The faster you detect the issue and notify the necessary people, the better.