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Question #90313 posted on 09/06/2017 8:08 p.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Say I lived in the Houston area and all of my important papers, cards, and identification was washed away and all I had were the clothes on my back. After the waters receded, please draw me an acyclic dependency graph, starting with the thing(s) you don't need to present anything to get a new copy of and flowing up, using the things after you've gotten them to get back the things that do have requirement of presentation of documents to get for the following:

birth certificate
social security card
driver's license
bank card
credit card
insurance card
passport
vehicle title
deed to house

-glad it's hypothetical

A:

Dear friend,

Sorry to hear that you experienced so much damage from the hurricane! Hope your loved ones are okay and that you're able to regain some normalcy soon. Glad that you're safe, though dealing with the aftermath must be awful. Here is a list on how to get the information you requested, sorted by which you'll need to get first:

1) Credit card: A new credit card should be easiest to get. It varies depending on banks but most just require notification that your old one has been lost and a request (online or by phone) to receive a replacement. From there, it'll usually take five to seven business days to turn up in the mail. You'll follow the same process, in most cases, to receive a new bank card.

2) Deed to house: It depends on local laws. Some states allow you to conduct deed searches online and print a copy for free or a minimal fee. Others require you to obtain one from the court. In Texas, the procedure is relatively simple. Visit the Texas Land Records and Deeds Directory to find your property.From there, you can find the contact information of the clerk in charge of your county. Talk to the clerk in-person or request the records by phone or email. Because deeds are accessible to the public, it sounds like you won't need to show ID (though I could be wrong).

3) Insurance card: Again, this depends on your insurance company. In most cases, however, you'll just need to request a replacement online or on the phone. Then, like with the new credit card, wait the allotted 5-7 days. No link provided because every insurance company has a different procedure.

4) Birth certificate: For a new birth certificate, you will need to contact the vital records office of the state you were born in. Every state has its own process but in most cases, you'll need to know your social security number but not a copy of the card.

5) Social security card: For a new social security card, you'll need a birth certificate and a proof of identification. Proofs of ID can be the standard driver's license or government-issued ID but if these are unavailable, you can use an employee ID, school ID, health insurance ID, or U.S. Military ID.

6) Driver's license: This varies based on the state. Assuming that you received your driver's license in Texas, you can do one of several things. The standard way is to provide one government-issued ID (military ID, passport, etc.) along with two secondary forms of ID (birth certificate, social security card, etc.). Alternatively, you can provide one secondary form of ID and two supporting documents (social security card, voter registration card, 1099, etc.). Check the state you received your license in for specific guidelines.

7) Passport: To receive a new passport, you will need to complete two forms (a lost passport form and a new passport application) and provide proof of citizenship and identity (a driver's license or other government-issued ID).

8) Vehicle title: As with many government procedures, it depends on your state. In most cases, you'll need to complete an application and bring it to the DMV along with your driver's license (or a photocopy if sent by mail).

Special thanks to our webmaster Django Fett for helping gather information for this. Hope this helps and that you're able to obtain all the documents you need.

-Van Goff