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Replacing Important Papers

Recovery After Disaster: The Family Financial Toolkit is a comprehensive strategy and collection of tools that can help you toward financial recovery after a natural disaster. The toolkit, developed by University of Minnesota Extension and North Dakota Extension, is designed so that you, or people you work with, can use the individual units or the entire toolkit as the situation demands.

A non-state-specific version of the toolkit is available for professionals or volunteers to use at the University of Minnesota Extension website. If you want to personalize Unit 9 of this toolkit, you can use MU Extension publications:

After a disaster, important papers may be destroyed, lost or damaged. Following is information on how to replace your important papers.

Adoption papers

Contact the county juvenile office in the county where the adoption took place. It may be listed in the telephone book under the county Circuit Court.

What you need to know to obtain a copy

  • Make your request in writing in language authorizing the court to order a search.
  • Provide as much information as possible — birth date, names of adoptive parents and birth parents, if known.

Cost

  • There may be a charge.

Automobile title

Look under “Missouri, State of,” under a sub-listing of revenue department in the white pages of your telephone book. Also try “License Services” in the Yellow Pages.

Access online

What you need to know to obtain a copy

  • Fill out an application for a duplicate copy of the title in person at the license bureau. One of the owners must sign for a duplicate copy.
  • Bring some proof of ownership, such as registration form, pink slip, or insurance papers that show make, model and year of car. Knowing your license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) may also be helpful.

Cost

  • $8.50 plus a $2.50 processing fee at a branch office. The fee varies at fee offices.

To find the department of motor vehicles in other states

Birth certificate

If you were born in Missouri, contact any county health department and give them the name of the county where your birth took place. St. Louis City birth records are located in the Recorder of Deeds Office. Or write

  • Bureau of Vital Records
    Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
    P.O. Box 570
    Jefferson City, MO 65102

Access online

What you need to know to obtain a copy

  • You must be an immediate relative to obtain a copy. You may need to provide identification.
  • You can obtain a birth certificate from 1920 to the present.
  • Include: record being requested, name of person, birth date, city and county of birth, and parents’ names including mother’s maiden name.
  • Allow two to four weeks for delivery by mail.
  • For same-day service, go to any Missouri Health Department in person. The charge is the same as requesting by mail. If you can’t go in person, you can expedite your request by calling 877-817-7363, and charge the fee on a major credit card. There is an extra fee of $9.95 for the expedited service.

Cost

  • $15 check or money order payable to: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. (Cost may vary in other states.)

To replace a birth or death certificate for U.S. citizens who were born or died in the United States, visit http://www.vitalrec.com.

For birth records of U.S. citizens born abroad, visit: http://travel.state.gov/passport/get/first/first_825.html or request a copy of Form FS-240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad) from:

  • U.S. Department of State
    Passport Services
    Vital Records Section
    1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 510
    Washington, DC 20522-1705

This address is also used to obtain a “Report of the Death of an American Citizen Abroad” form for U.S. citizens who died abroad.

Death certificate

If the death was in Missouri from 1980 to present, contact any Missouri county health department. In St. Louis City, death records are located in the Recorder of Deeds Office. Otherwise, write

  • Bureau of Vital Records
    Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
    P.O. Box 570
    Jefferson City, MO 65102

Access online

To replace a birth or death certificate for U.S. citizens who were born or died in the United States, go to http://www.vitalrec.com.

What you need to know to obtain a copy

  • You must be an immediate relative to obtain a copy. You may need to provide identification.
  • You can obtain a birth certificate from 1920 to present.
  • Include: the record being requested, the legal name of the deceased, the date of death, the city and county where death occurred, and your relationship to the deceased.
  • Allow two to four weeks for delivery by mail.
  • For same-day service on a death certificate from 1980 to present, go to any Missouri Health Department in person. The charge is the same as requesting by mail. If you can’t go in person, you can expedite your request by calling 877-817-7363, and charge the fee on a major credit card. There is an extra fee of $9.95 for the expedited service.

Cost

  • $13 for first copy; $10 for each additional copy. $15 for fetal death record. Check or money order payable to: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. (Cost may vary in other states.)

Citizenship/naturalization papers

For papers related to citizenship, immigration, permanent residency (green card), re-entry permit, employment authorization, etc., visit

Complete Form N-565. You may also contact your county courthouse.

Credit cards

  • American Express
    800-528-4800
  • Discover:
    800-347-2683
    (TDD/TTY — 800-347-7449)
  • Master Card
    Contact issuing financial institution or 800-622-7747
  • Visa
    Contact issuing financial institution or 800-847-2911

Driver's licenses or state ID cards

See “Missouri, State of” in the white pages or in the government services section of the telephone directory. Look for a sub-listing of revenue department. It may also be found under “License Services” in the Yellow Pages.

What you need to know to obtain a copy:

  • Some Missouri counties use a new computerized system that allows you you go to a license bureau, provide the needed information, and receive your license while you are there.
  • Some counties still have an older system that is not computerized. You must have some form of identification such as your birth certificate, expired driver’s license, passport or military identification.
  • Under both systems, proof of your Social Security number is required. Your Social Security card is acceptable.
  • If you need a name change on a driver’s license, you must provide a certified copy of your marriage license, divorce papers, or a bank statement with your new name on it (not just a check). You will also need to turn in your old license.

Cost

  • $22.50 for a 3-year license, or $25 for a 6-year license at a branch office. The fee varies at fee offices.

Income tax returns

Call the nearest IRS office, or call 800-829-3676 and request Form 4506 (“Request for Copy of Tax Return”). To find your local IRS office in Missouri, go to

Insurance policies

Contact the agent or company providing coverage. You may be required to complete a form, pay a fee for duplicate copies, or both. The policy number will expedite this request.

Marriage license

Contact the county recorder of deeds office. It may be listed under the county Circuit Court, or it could be a separate listing under “___________, County of” in the county where the marriage took place.

What you need to know to obtain a copy

  • Provide your name, name of spouse, bride’s maiden name, and date of marriage.

Cost

  • Call the county to find out their charges because it varies from county to county. Certified copies cost more.

To learn where to obtain vital records, including marriage certificates and divorce degrees, contact the National Center for Health Statistics at

Divorce decree

Contact the county Circuit Court where the divorce took place.

What you need to know to obtain a copy

  • You may be able to request this over the phone.
  • Provide names of the parties involved, case number (if known), date of divorce.
  • You may need to provide identification.

Cost

  • No fee if you are one of the parties involved.

To learn where to obtain vital records, including marriage certificates and divorce degrees, contact the National Center for Health Statistics at

Military discharge papers

Find the county recorder of deeds office in the local phone book. It may be listed under the county Circuit Court, or it could be a separate listing under “___________, County of” in the county where the discharge papers were likely recorded.

Cost

  • Copy charges vary in each county.

Or you can Request Standard Form 180 (SF-180) from any office of the Veterans Administration, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Red Cross, a veterans’ association, or military recruiter. You may also download the form

Fax the completed form to 314-801-9195 or mail it to

  • National Personnel Records Center
    Military Personnel Records
    9700 Page Avenue
    St. Louis, MO 63132-5011

To find out if you are eligible for veterans’ benefits, how to apply, and what it will cost. Call the VA Health Benefits Service Center at 877-222-8387. You may be able to complete an application form online.

Mortgage papers

Contact your lending institution (mortgage holder).

Passports

Call Passport Services at 877-487-2778 or 888-874-7793 (TTY). Complete form DS-64 (Statement Regarding Lost or Stolen Passport) from

Mail the completed form to

  • U.S. Department of State
    Passport Services
    Consular Lost/Stolen Passport Section
    1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 500
    Washington, DC 20036

Personal property or real estate property tax receipts

See the county collector’s office where the taxes were paid.

What you need to know to obtain a copy

  • You will need to go to the county collector’s office.
  • Provide your name and address.

Cost

  • Copy charges vary in each county.

Property deeds

Contact the county recorder of deeds office in the county where the property is located. It may be listed in the telephone book under the county Circuit Court, or it could be a separate listing under “_______, County of” in the county where the deed was recorded.

What you need to know to obtain a copy

  • Go to the recorder of deeds office.
  • You may need to know the grantee’s and grantor’s names.
  • You will need to know the date when the property was purchased, or a close estimate.

Cost

  • There may be a copy charge.

Savings bonds/notes

Call 304-480-7527 or visit

To replace Series HH/H Bonds, mail the completed form to

  • Bureau of the Public Debt
    P.O. Box 7012
    Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

To replace Series EE/E Bonds, mail the completed form to

  • Bureau of the Public Debt
    P.O. Box 7012
    Parkersburg, WV 26106-7012

Social security card

You can find the “Social Security Administration” in the white pages (or under government listings) of your local telephone book.

What you need to know to obtain a copy

  • Obtain the application in person at your Social Security office, download an application from the Internet, or call and have the application mailed to you.
  • Sign the application and bring it and a source of identification with your name and Social Security Number on it to the local Social Security office. A birth certificate will not be accepted as identification.
  • If your name has changed, you must provide a certified copy of your marriage certificate, your divorce papers or some form of identification with your changed name.

Cost

  • No charge

Visit https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/FOLO/fo001.jsp to find your local Social Security Administration office. Obtain Form SS-5 (Application for Social Security Card) from this office or download it from: http://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/ss5.htm. Follow the instructions to complete the form.

For additional help, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213, or write

  • Office of Public Inquiries
    Social Security Administration
    Windsor Park Building
    6401 Security Blvd.
    Baltimore, MD 21235

Wills

Contact the attorney who prepared your will. If circumstances have changed, you may need to write a new will.

Additional information about this document

All contact information was verified at the time of last revision of this publication (February 29, 2012). However, this information is subject to change, so always confirm its accuracy on your own.  

The information in this section was originally compiled by Jeanette A. Tucker, PhD, Associate Professor, Family Economics, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (April 2006).

This is the Missouri-specific version of this tool. It was adapted, with permission from Jeanette Tucker, by:

  • Becky Hagen Jokela and Phyllis Onstad, Extension Educators in Family Resource Management, University of Minnesota Extension
  • University of Missouri Extension (publication EMW1024)

EMW1024, new March 2012


EMW1024 Replacing Important Papers | University of Missouri Extension