How to report a lost driving license

There are probably few items more needed in our lives than driver's licenses. We need them to drive, use them for ID and they are required for many loan and credit card approvals. But what do you do when you lose this important document? A lost or stolen license can be used to steal your identity, and it is illegal to drive without one. Although procedures vary in each state, there are some basics you need to know to report that you no longer have your driver's license.

Contact the local police department where you lost the license. This is essential to help prevent identity theft. It also provides a record in case someone tries to use your license to apply for credit. It may provide some protection for you to avoid charges and a lower credit rating.

Report the loss or theft to the police department in your jurisdiction. It's important to cover all of your bases even if the license was lost in another jurisdiction. You may be required to fill out a police report.

Renew your license as soon as possible. It is illegal in all states to drive without a license, and you could get a ticket and be fined as well. Also, the quicker you replace the license, the less likely your old one can be used for identity theft. You can replace the license at your local Department of Motor Vehicles and, in some states, you can fill out the paperwork online.

Be prepared to pay a fee for the replacement. In many states, the fee will be less than for an original and your old photo can be used.

Check you credit report. If your identity has been stolen, you may not know for quite awhile unless you take action as soon as possible. It's important that you check all three national reporting agencies--Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion--because sometimes the information will vary. The Federal Trade Commission offers free annual credit reports without an obligation to subscribe to a service.


As of 2005, no states issue driver's licenses with Social Security numbers on them. If you have lost a license issued before that date and your Social Security number is on the license, it is imperative to get it reported and replaced as soon as possible.

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About the Author

Catherine Rayburn-Trobaugh has been a writer and college writing professor since 1992. She has written for international companies, published numerous feature articles in the "Wilmington News-Journal," and won writing contests for her poetry and fiction. Rayburn-Trobaugh earned a Master of Arts in English from Wright State University.

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