Disaster Relief

How to Replace Lost Identification and Documents

Replacing documents and identification lost in a disaster can be a confusing and overwhelming task. It is important to replace any legal documents that have been damaged or lost as soon as possible.  

Documents or records you may need to replace include:

+ATM cards

If you have lost your ATM card, contact your bank and have them cancel the card and reissue a new card. If you have been displaced, remember to change your mailing address for your bank's records at the same time. Your liability on unauthorized use of your debit cards is based on when you report them missing. If you report the ATM or debit cards missing before any unauthorized charges are made, you will not be responsible for any transfers. If you report the cards missing within two business days after you discover the loss, you will be responsible for no more than $50 of unauthorized charges. If you do not report your cards as lost within the 2 business days you can be responsible for up to $500 in unauthorized use. You risk unlimited responsibility if you do not report the cards missing within 60 days after the bank statement showing the unauthorized use.

+Business records

Recreate business records by contacting your:  

  • bank to receive duplicates of past statements and checks. These records can be used to help create your expenses and income. 
  • credit card companies for duplicates of past statements. These can also be used to recreate your expenses. 
  • clients who may be able to provide you with copies of receipts and invoices. 
  • vendors and suppliers may also be able to provide a history of supplies ordered and payments made. 

Also remember the IRS and the state and local governments will have past records of your paid and filed taxes.  

+Credit cards

The maximum liability you must pay for unauthorized uses of your credit cards is $50. If you report the cards as missing before any charges are made, you will not be responsible for any charges. A copy of your credit report will help you locate the companies to contact concerning your credit cards.

+Financial records

Contact your bank and request copies of your past bank statements and cancelled checks. Contact your financial advisor or broker for copies of your past statements.

+Insurance cards and policies

Contact your insurance provider or agent as soon as possible.


Contact your landlord or financial company to receive a copy of your lease.

+Mortgages and other credit copies

These can be replaced through your lender or financial company. If you are uncertain of your creditors, a credit report is very helpful. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report every twelve months from each of the three national credit reporting companies. You can log on to www.annualcreditreport.com or call, toll-free 1-877-322-8228. If you have already received your free credit reports for the year, you may have to pay a minimal fee. 

+Recorded real estate documents

These can be recreated through the locality's courthouse. If the courthouse has been damaged or destroyed, your local disaster management team can help you determine where the relocated records are.

+Tax returns

Contact your local Jackson Hewitt office for help retrieving copies of your prior tax returns. IRS offices nationwide can also assist you in getting copies of your tax returns. 

+Wills, contracts, divorce decrees and other important legal documents

If the document has been registered at the local courthouse, check with them to receive another copy. If not, contact your attorney. If their records have also been destroyed, you may need to have the documentation, such as a will, prepared again.


+Social Security Card

Complete a replacement application at your local Social Security office or go to their website at www.ssa.gov.

+Driver’s License

Each state has their own rules and regulations; generally you must provide the DMV with personal identification and the vehicle identification number. To find out how/where to obtain replacements for your state, go to www.dmv.org.


You must report your lost passport immediately. To do so, call 202-955-0430. You must also complete the DS-11 form and reapply in person at a local office. For more information go to U.S. State Department 

+Military ID

You can replace your lost ID card at any DEERS location in the U.S.

+Non-Citizen Documents

If you are a resident alien in the U.S. and have lost your accepted documentation, contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Find an office  or call 800-375-5283.

Learn more  about reconstructing tax records, getting federal assistance, and insurance reimbursement.

Jackson Hewitt® wants to help you to get all the deductions and credits you deserve.