How to Replace 7 Vital Documents


How to replace 7 vital documents.

We all know there are certain personal documents that are considered vital. They are that important.

What are they?
How do they define you or prove what you own?
In other words, what would you do if you lost them? Are they irreplaceable?

The good news is “NO”. You can rebuild your personal documentation. Here are a few guidelines to follow.

Birth Certificate. Contact the vital statistics office in the state of birth.

Social Security Card. Visit your local Social Security office.

Passport. Appear in person at your local passport processing facility.

Collage Diploma or Transcripts. Contact your school’s student services department.

Old Tax Returns. Try your accountant or tax preparer. Contact the IRS for federal returns.

Car Title. Visit your states Department of Motor Vehicles.

Property Deed. Check with the lawyer who handled the closing or call your county clerk’s office.


Therefore, please consider getting these 7 vital documents in order before you need them. After that, you may need to hear from a higher authority. So you can get more information on vital documents from the USA Government. You can get information on:

“An ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure.”

– Ben Franklin

In conclusion, check out these additional blog posts:

5 Must-Have Documents

To Keep or To Toss?

Organizing for Tax Time

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. Julie Stobbe on July 20, 2020 at 8:31 am

    It is never a nice situation when you realize you have lost a vital document. This article relieves the stress and tension for applying to get them replaced. Once you know the steps the task is less daunting. Thanks for the information.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 20, 2020 at 6:06 pm

      Yes, this information is a keeper, just in case.

  2. Seana Turner on July 20, 2020 at 8:46 am

    The very thought of needing to replace these documents sort of gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Sometimes these documents either get lost or damaged, so it is very helpful to have some idea of where to begin to get them replaced. It can be particularly hard when you are trying to produce a document for an older person, or even someone who is deceased. I think the word of the day on this subject is “tenacity.” It usually is possible, but it might take a long time and quite a bit of effort. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 20, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      You are welcome Seana. Yes, this is a big hassle but doable.

  3. Sabrina Quairoli on July 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Knowing where to go to get all these documents is super important! I recently found out that the “birth city” my parents used was not correct, and I had to change my Social Security birth city on my card and get a new Social security card issued. It was pretty quick because the online websites had the paperwork to fill out! I was super grateful and when to the office right away and made the change. The most it took was a few hours of my time after I got the paperwork together.

    • Janet Schiesl on July 20, 2020 at 6:09 pm

      That’s great news Sabrina, that you could make those changes so quickly.

  4. Melanie on July 20, 2020 at 1:04 pm

    I’ve had to replace 3 of the 7 on this list. Not fun… I wish I had read this post beforehand, hahaha. Thank you for this!!!!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 21, 2020 at 8:00 am

      So sorry you had to do through this. Yes a guide would have helped.

  5. Julie Bestry on July 20, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    I love that you created a one-stop shop for people who need the vital information about their own vital information. So many people dither or stress about replacing documents and don’t accomplish important tasks (like getting their REAL IDs) because they need their other documents in place. Thank you for sharing!

    • Janet Schiesl on July 20, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      You are welcome Julie. Yes, it’s important to get these things done, but of course many people don’t do it in a timely fashion.

  6. Amy on July 30, 2020 at 9:31 am

    I have an Important Documents folder in our fire safe which will only be good up to a certain temperature. And sometimes, items are removed and don’t get put back where they belong. This is a great list for those emergency moments.

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