University of Missouri Extension

EMW1024, New March 2012

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

Cost

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

Cost

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

Access online

What you need to know to obtain a copy

Cost

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:

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

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

Cost

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

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:

Cost

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

Cost

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

Cost

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

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

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

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

Cost

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

Cost

Savings bonds/notes

Call 304-480-7527 or visit

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

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

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

Cost

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

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:

EMW1024, new March 2012

EMW1024 Replacing Important Papers | University of Missouri Extension

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