How to Report a Lost Driver's License

by Tina Amo

Driving without a license is illegal, so you must immediately apply for a replacement when you realize yours is missing. Different states have different rules on requirements for processing a replacement, although there are some similarities. To report a lost license and get a new one, contact the department of motor vehicles in your state. There is a limit on the number of times you can replace your license, though the specific limit varies from one state to the next.

Replacing Your License

The procedure for replacing a lost license varies by state. Some states require residents to apply for a new card in person. Others provide more options such as applying online, by telephone, in person and through the mail. You will typically receive a temporary license valid for 90 days in many states. The temporary license may or may not have a picture, depending on the state. The amount of time it takes to receive the permanent replacement license also depends on your state and could take anywhere from 10 days to two months.

Requirements and Fees

You must prove your identity when you apply for a replacement license. If you are applying online or by phone, your DMV will require information such as your name, date of birth and Social Security number. If you apply in person, take along documents like your birth certificate, valid passport, permanent residence card or certificate of naturalization. Fees vary by state. For instance, Georgia charges $5 for the service as of 2015, while Connecticut charges $30.

Alternative Option

When you replace your driver's license the expiration date remains the same. Some motor vehicle services departments, including the one in Tennessee, require that you renew your license instead of replacing it if it is within six months of expiration. You might be allowed to renew if you have more than six months left and your state allows residents to renew up to a year earlier than the expiration date. This way you can avoid paying for your license twice.

Filing a Police Report

Your lost license could fall into the wrong hands and leave you susceptible to identity theft. File a report with the police immediately to prevent anyone from fraudulently using your information. Some states require a police report before you can apply for a replacement, especially if you also want to change the number.

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