Replace Lost or Stolen Identification (ID) Cards
Identification (ID) cards help you prove who you are, where you live or work, and what benefits you’re entitled to.

Tip: To get any type of replacement ID card, you may need to show or mail in other official documents (like a birth certificate) to prove who you are. Check the agency’s website to find out what documents you’ll need to bring or mail. Find out if they can be copies or if they need to be original documents.

Tip: Depending on where you live, you may have the option to apply online for replacement cards. Some states and some types of cards may require you to get replacement cards in person or by mail.

Vital Records Issued in the United States
Vital records consist of birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates. State government vital records offices issue these documents. To get a copy of a vital record, contact the vital records office in the state where the event occurred.

How to Replace Your Lost or Destroyed Vital Records After a Disaster
Replacing all important documents that were lost or destroyed in a flood, fire, or other disaster can be overwhelming. Although the process varies from state to state, these general steps can help you get started.

Get a Copy of Your Birth Certificate
As a U.S. citizen, your birth certificate may be your most important document. It proves your identity and age. You'll need it to:

Apply for a passport or government benefits
Enroll in school
Join the military
Claim pension or insurance benefits
If you need a copy, where you were born will determine how to get it.

Request a Replacement Marriage Certificate
People often confuse a marriage license with a marriage certificate. It's usually the certificate, which proves two people are married, that you’ll need.

You may need to provide a copy of the death certificate of a spouse or other family member for a variety of legal reasons.

Divorce Decrees and Certificates
A divorce decree is an official document from the court that grants the termination of a marriage. It includes specific details of the divorce.

A divorce certificate is issued by a state vital records office. It shows that a divorce occurred but does not state all the same information as a divorce decree. You can save time and money by determining which document you need before requesting a copy.

How to Find Adoption Records
Once an adoption is finalized, the state seals all records to protect the privacy of everyone involved. To obtain adoption records (PDF, Download Adobe Reader), adopted people must make arrangements through state agencies. Find out what records are available and how to get them.

Contact a State Agency to Obtain Adoption Records
You may be able to get identifying or non-identifying information about your adoption. What information you can obtain will depend on state statutes. Some states have age restrictions or require court proceedings to get information about an adoptee’s birth.

Non-identifying information includes:

The adoptee’s birth date and place of birth
The birth parents’:
Physical descriptions
Medical history
Siblings’ gender, age, and other non-identifying information depending on the state
The reason why the child was put up for adoption
Identifying information includes:

Current or past names
Employment history
By searching the Child Welfare Information Gateway, you can find out which state agency to contact to get adoption records.