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Proving Your Identity After a Disaster

Produced by Massachusetts Justice Project
Reviewed September, 2021

I lost my driver's license and other photo ID. How can I prove who I am?

  • Many agencies will accept your word when you apply for disaster relief.
  • Others will help you get the proof you need.
  • You should also take steps to get a replacement driver's license.

How can I get a replacement driver's license or ID card in Massachusetts?

  • You can get a replacement Driver License or State Identification Card by filing an application form.
  • You can pick up a form at any Registry of Motor Vehicles office.  See the DMV's website for more locations and hours  or call 800-858-3926
  • Forms are also online.

How much do I have to pay for my replacement license or ID?

The Registry of Motor Vehicles may replace your licenses for free becuase of the disaster. 

If not, the fee is $25.00. 

What should I do if I lost my Social Security card?

  • Visit a Social Security office or complete  Form SS-5 Application for a Social Security Card. The online form is available in English and Spanish.
  • Social Security will want evidence of your identity.
  • If you were born outside of the United States, you must show proof of your U.S. Citizenship or current lawful immigration status.

How can I provide "evidence of identity"?

You can show one of the following:

  • U.S. driver's license
  • U.S. State-issued non-driver identity card; or
  • U.S. Passport

If you do not have one of these documents and cannot get a replacement within 10 work days, Social Security may accept other documents that show your legal name and information about you, such as:

  • a Military ID card
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Employee identity card
  • Certified copy of medical record (clinic, doctor or hospital)
  • Health insurance card
  • Medicaid card
  • School identity card or record

For young children, Social Security may accept medical records from a medical provider. Social Security may also accept a final adoption decree, school identity card or other school records.

If you are not a U.S. citizen, Social Security must see your current U.S. immigration document(s) and your foreign passport with biographical information or photograph.

How can I locate a Social Security office?

Use Social Security Administration Online Office Locator or call 1-800-772-1213.

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