Reporting lost/stolen birth certificates of minors.
August 13, 2009 1:45 PM   Subscribe

What should I do to report a lost or stolen birth certificate of a minor?

Here's what happened:

I've had some health issues of late and was scheduled for a MRI followed immediately by a doctor's appointment on the day my son was to be registered for school. I asked my nineteen-year-old daughter to take my son and do the registration for me. I gave her a manila folder with my son's certified birth certificate, a utility bill in my boyfriend's name, a notarized letter from my boyfriend which says that we live with him and a letter explaining my present medical condition and why I was requesting them to allow my daughter to do this.

All went well at school, but when my daughter got home, the folder was gone. It never made it back inside the house. This means she lost it before she made it out of the parking lot at the school, since the windows were rolled up.

I tried calling the school, but they have not found it or rather, no one has turned it in. My daughter spent all afternoon searching the school grounds, plus the cafeteria where the registration took place.

My son is fairly certain that the folder was in her hand as she left the cafeteria. Our best guess is she set it on the roof while unlocking the car and drove off. However, within 15 minutes she was back looking for it only to find that her space had already been taken and no papers were anywhere to be found.

So... all of that is to say, what should I do? Besides the obvious on ordering a new one, what other steps should I take? He doesn't have a driver's license nor a checking/credit account.
posted by magnoliasouth to Law & Government (7 answers total)
What do you hope to obtain by reporting the loss? I'm not sure anything can really be done about a lost birth certificate, other than you (and later, your son) keeping an eye out for any evidence of identity theft. Unfortunately, it's not like a credit card where the number can be canceled and card reissued. If his Social Security number was not among the lost materials, your worry is probably less, since it would be harder to obtain credit in his name.
posted by dcjd at 1:51 PM on August 13, 2009

Contact the hospital where your daughter was born and see what they can do about that.

And make lots of certified copies.
posted by kldickson at 2:02 PM on August 13, 2009

As always, remain clam. The odds are great that nothing will happen at all. Birth certificates aren't exactly difficult to obtain, and he's a minor which makes it even more unlikely anyone would want to use his identity. This is a simple case of some lost papers and won't cause any lasting harm. I'm sure your daughter feels guilty enough about it already too.

To be absolutely safe, try to pull his credit report from the free central source in a couple months. Credit bureaus aren't supposed to maintain files on minors at all, so if anything comes up, it's a pretty clear sign something fishy has gone on. You can contact the bureaus, provide documentation of his age, and they will remove any records immediately. I very much doubt you'll find anything though: the document in question, by definition, clearly states his date of birth and shows that he is underage.
posted by zachlipton at 2:13 PM on August 13, 2009

If there's no SS# attached, the birth certificate is kind of useless to anyone who finds it - unless they use it to apply for a new SS#, but if your son already has one issued, they'll have to provide a daeth certificate to get the old number marked as "deceased".

(When I was 15, my passport application was rejected because my referenced SS# said I was dead - because I had been. One of the times I had died as a baby (long, sad, sick baby story), a death cert was actually processed, unbeknownst to my family. Rather than modify the deceased status of the social security#, they issued me a new number, and my mother only showed my birth certificate.)

And, yes.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:49 PM on August 13, 2009 [2 favorites]

IANAL A birth certificate is public record. Everything on it is public. Just get a replacement.
posted by theora55 at 7:37 PM on August 13, 2009

Yay! Thanks all. I thought that maybe the birth certificate alone was useless, but I wanted to be sure. My biggest fear was that someone would try and get a driver's license with it or something, even though he's seventeen. I'm glad to hear that I'm good here. :)
posted by magnoliasouth at 9:28 AM on August 14, 2009

I've good news! Though I called the school and they denied finding it, I got it in the mail today in the high school's envelope letterhead envelope. So... now worries at all because it's been found!!!

Again, many thanks to all.
posted by magnoliasouth at 1:38 PM on August 14, 2009

« Older Recommend a good dive bar in South Bend, Indiana?   |   Looking for data on how parents are helped in... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.