Do you know where your birth certificate is?

Missing records can make it tough to obtain a passport or driver’s license, apply for Social Security or insurance benefits, or even get remarried. However, lost personal papers don’t have to be gone for good. Here’s how you can replace them:

* To replace vital records (birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates): Visit or write to the vital statistics office in the state or area where the event took place. Check the National Center for Health Statistics vital records directory online at cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm for state-specific addresses, costs, and record availability.

* To replace a Social Security card: Replace your card for free by filling out an application for a new card (Form SS-5, available online at ssa.gov). Then, use the Social Security Administration’s online tool at ssa.gov/ss5doc/ to find out which documents you’ll need to prove your identity and citizenship. Bring or mail your application and original documents or documents certified by the custodian of the original record to your local Social Security office. The Social Security office will return any documents submitted with your application.

* To replace military records: Military records for discharged service members are stored at the National Archives and Records Administration. Veterans and their next of kin can request free copies of their report of separation and other records in any of the following ways:

* Submit a request online at archives.gov through eVetRecs;
* Mail or fax a Standard Form SF-180, available online at archives.gov;
* Write a request letter (go to archives.gov and type “Write a Letter to Request Records” into the search box to find out what information you need to include);
* Check with your state or county veterans agency to see if copies of your records may be available there.

You can keep your personal documents safe and secure with a Hopewell Federal safe deposit box. Call 740-522-8311 or stop in today for more information.

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