A stolen driver's license is more than just a headache; if it falls into the wrong hands, you face the possibility of identity theft. It's important to contact the authorities immediately after you realise your license was stolen and file a police report. In addition, you should contact the three credit reporting agencies (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) to notify them of your loss.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Copies of police report
- New driver's license information
- Certified mail postage
- Return-receipt postcards
Call the credit reporting agencies via their toll-free numbers. Speak to the customer service representatives and advise them about your stolen driver's license. Ask that they place a fraud alert or freeze on your reports. This alert will keep the thief from opening an account with your stolen driver's license number because it notifies the account issuer that the information was stolen.
Advise the customer service representatives that you will send a copy of the police report and a copy of your new license to them. This will give the agencies your new driver's license number so they can change it on your credit report.
Send the photocopies of the police report and new driver's license to each of the credit reporting agencies via certified mail, return-receipt requested. This will give you proof that your letters were delivered to the credit reporting agencies. Also, be sure to include a letter that explains why you are sending them this information and ask them to confirm receipt of the letter within a reasonable time period (for example, one month).
Follow-up. If you don't hear from the credit reporting agencies after a reasonable amount of time, contact them to confirm receipt. Send another certified letter with the same information. Continue this until you receive confirmation that your new information was received and changed on your credit report.
Continue to monitor your credit reports for fraudulent accounts. You never know; something might slip through the cracks and the thief could find a way to open an account in your name. Early detection is the key to preventing further stress and headaches due to identity theft.
Tips and warnings
- Consistency is the key when dealing with credit reporting agencies. It may take time to have new information reflected on your report, so it's your responsibility to continually check to see if the information has been changed.
- An initial fraud alert on a credit report remains for three months. However, it's important to monitor your reports for several months afterward to make sure no fraudulent accounts appear.
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