My Birth Certificate Was Stolen, What Should I Do?

Birth certificates are important documents that people can use to prove their identity and citizenship. You may have to show a certified copy of your birth certificate when you apply for other identification documents, get married, or even open a new bank account. 

So, it’s a good idea to keep a copy on hand and available for when you need it. However, birth certificates also contain a lot of personal, sensitive information. So, if a scammer or identity thief gains access to your certified birth certificate copy, they can do a lot of damage. For example, they may be able to open credit cards loans in your name and hurt your credit score. 

That’s why it’s important to keep your birth certificate copies in a safe and secure location. If your birth certificate was stolen, there are some steps you need to take to protect yourself. 

Report that Your Birth Certificate Was Stolen

First, you should file a report with the police, letting them know that your birth certificate was stolen. While there is likely not much they can do about it, you’ll have a paper trail and official record of the theft. This will be helpful if the thief does commit identity theft or fraud.

Second, you can contact the vital records office in your birth state. They may ask you to fill out a report or form confirming that your birth certificate was stolen. Again, they cannot help you recover it, but you will have proof of the theft if you need to fight fraudulent credit items.

Finally, you should report the theft at This is an official, government website that helps protect citizens from identity theft and fraud. 

Protect Your Credit

Next, you’ll need to take some additional steps to monitor and protect your credit. You can start by requesting a credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus. By law, you can access a free report from each one, once per calendar year. 

So, you can request one immediately, then wait a few months and get one from a different bureau. This will allow you to check your credit throughout the year. If there is a line of credit that you don’t recognize, contact the credit bureaus right away.

You should also contact all three credit bureaus to place a three months fraud alert on your credit. In addition, you can freeze your credit so no one can access it. If you need to open a credit card or take out a loan yourself, you can temporarily lift the freeze, then put it back in place after your loan has been processed. 

For more protection, you can sign up for a credit monitoring service. The service will watch your credit report and immediately inform you if there are any new or suspicious lines of credit opened in your name. While this is usually a paid service, many credit card companies and banks offer credit monitoring to their customers at a free or reduced price. 

Replace the Stolen Birth Certificate 

If your birth certificate was stolen, it will be more important than ever to have official documents to prove your identity. So, you should apply right away for a certified replacement copy of your birth certificate. You can apply in-person at any vital records office in your birth state. 

However, if that is inconvenient or not an option, you can also apply online here. When you get your new birth certificate copy, make sure you keep it in a locked safe or another secure location.