I'm not a portland squatter...
June 21, 2007 12:47 AM   Subscribe

I lost my birth certificate in downtown Portland, Oregon. I live in Oakland, CA. My credit is shot, so I don't think I have to worry about that, but what should I worry about, and what can I do about it?
posted by gally99 to Law & Government (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd DEFINITELY call the credit agencies and let them know; I don't have personal experience with this, but I imagine that if there's a fraud alert on your account for this reason, it might be easier to track any out-of-whack purchases someone might try to make.

I'd also be concerned about someone using your birth certificate to cross the border to Mexico or Canada (which is still possible with a birth certificate and ID overland) and doing some illegal stuff there, which could lead to trouble if you've got a record there and the mounties/federales pick you up the next time you're there.

Here's a link to a longish report from the Department of Health and Human Services about birth certificate fraud, which might point you in the right direction.

Lastly, can you talk to the Portland Police and see if they think you should file a report, just to get the details of it on the record should problems arise later?
posted by mdonley at 1:04 AM on June 21, 2007

You should also begin the process of getting a new Birth Certificate from the state/province/nation you were born in. It can take several weeks to get one (in my experience).
posted by Rock Steady at 5:32 AM on June 21, 2007

If you don't have a passport right now, getting one might be a problem in the future.

I had a similar experience in that I lost my naturalization certificate about 12 years ago. At the time it made absolutely zero difference in my life so I did nothing about it. About four years ago my wife and I decided to go to Paris, but without the certificate i couldn't get a passport. What followed was a year long odyssey in which I tried to convince the government that I am, in fact, a citizen, so that they would issue me a passport. (It all worked out it then. Paris is a hundred times lovelier than people say it is.)

The moral of the story is this. It may not matter now, but you can't predict the future. Getting a replacement, even if you don't really need it now, might save you quite a lot of trouble later on down the line.
posted by oddman at 6:53 AM on June 21, 2007

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