If your wallet or your purse is stolen, you now have a laundry list of things to replace and phone calls to make. What you’ll first want to do is to confirm whether you simply lost or misplaced your wallet, because it could very well be that you put it somewhere unusual and then completely forgot. Once you are absolutely sure that your wallet or purse is gone, you’ll need to act fast to report your missing items. Your first instinct is likely to call your bank or your credit card company to disable your debit and credit cards. This is a good instinct, but do not forget to deal with the loss of your driver’s license. It may seem secondary to the threat of your bank account being emptied, but it is an equally important loss.
Why Reporting Lost Driver Credentials Is Necessary
The first step to take when realizing driving credentials are missing is to file a police report. This will start a paper trail that can help ward off identity theft. You need to call in your stolen driver’s license, because just this one form of identification can lead to fraudulent action in your name. Someone who steals a driver’s license could use it when presented with traffic violations or other similar tickets. Your name will still appear to have these violations, and obviously, the thief won’t be showing up in court or paying the ticket, which now means that you, specifically, may have an outstanding bench warrant. This could even lead to your arrest. Not reporting a lost or stolen driver’s license will absolutely come back to bite you, so you should always make sure it is a top priority once you realize the license is gone.
Report Stolen Driving Documents to Avoid Identity Theft
Identity theft is a looming possibility after the theft of credit cards or forms of identification like your driver’s license. A key step to take in defending against identity theft is to file a police report of the stolen driving document and your other stolen information. Before filing a police report, make sure to assess everything that is missing, and confirm what was in your wallet. Make a list of everything stolen: driver’s license, debit card, credit card, any other forms of ID, your Social Security card (which you should not keep in your wallet), checks and anything else. Knowing ahead of time what is gone means you can file a comprehensive report from the start.
Next step is to call your local police department. Unless you were specifically mugged, or your house or your car was broken into and then robbed, you should not call 9-1-1. Find the regular call number for the local department and ask about the best method to report a theft. Depending on the specific circumstances, it might be fastest to do it right then over the phone, by going in person, or by submitting a report online. A key thing you might forget if you do need to go file the report in person is not to drive yourself to the station! You may be on your way to report your missing license, but driving without a license is illegal, and if you are pulled over during the drive, no matter how short it is, you could wind up in even more trouble. Be sure to ask for a ride if you need to drive to the police station.
Tips on Filing a Police Report for Stolen Drivers Licenses
While filing your report with the police, you need to give as much detail as possible, no matter how small. This is especially crucial if you were mugged or robbed because any small piece of information could help to catch the culprit. But, even if your license disappeared, whether you lost it or it was lifted from your purse or your pocket, seemingly insignificant details can help to narrow down what happened. After the report is filled, request a copy for yourself. Keeping a copy for records will be important in case your identity does get stolen or your license is used in any violations.
After you file the police report, you should file a separate report with the Department of Motor Vehicles for your lost or stolen license. This will create a second record of your license to ag any unusual activity, and can begin the process to replace your license. When reapplying for your license, you may need several of the documents that may have been stolen along with your wallet. If this is the case, bring along your police report when you talk to the DMV to sort through any outstanding identification issues.