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, extension.umn.edu/disaster-preparation-and-recovery/financial-recovery. 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, 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