Identity theft and fraud protection for your finances, personal info, and devices.
Is Your Driver’s License Lost or Stolen?
People lose their driver’s license all the time, but they don't think anything bad can happen. Unfortunately, your identity can be stolen with just your ID. (But most people don't know that).
Like most types of identity theft, you will rarely experience the impact immediately.
It takes a while before you notice any serious warning signs of identity theft. And when it strikes, it's usually too late.
This guide will explain what to do if your driver's license or state ID card is lost or stolen.
What To Do if Your Driver’s License Is Lost or Stolen
- Contact the DMV
- File a police report
- Freeze your credit
- Alert the FTC for possible identity theft
- Get a background check
- Get a replacement driver's license before driving
- Run a free Dark Web scan
- Consider identity theft protection
If your driver’s license or government issued identification card goes missing, take the following steps right away.
1. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Go to your local DMV office and report your driver's license as lost or stolen. You can request a replacement driver's license at your DMV's customer service center. It may be possible to request a replacement online, but you'll need to confirm by visiting your local DMV's website.
Why is this important? Because you don't want an identity thief using any duplicate driver's licenses that may be floating around out there. They may try to use your driver's license to commit change of address fraud and redirect your physical mail to an unauthorized mailing address.
Or they may try to sell your information on the Dark Web. As an example, undocumented aliens seeking to present themselves as a U.S. citizen would find your ID card very valuable. Exchanges of stolen data happen every day on the Dark Web.
Try to place a “Verify ID” flag on your driver’s license number. This alerts law enforcement that criminals may be attempting to use your driver's license number.
It may also be a good idea to request a copy of your driving record, to ensure there aren't any tickets issued under your name, suspensions, traffic stops you were never present for, and other outstanding violations.
If your commercial driver's license (CDL) was stolen, you should also alert your employer right away. You don't want any criminals posing as you to commit crimes, as it could negatively impact your employment status.
On a final note, the department of homeland security has declared that by May 2025, all U.S. citizens must have a Real ID [*]. The Real ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production, and prohibits certain federal agencies from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.
2. File a police report
You'll need a record of your lost driver’s license or gov ID card as soon as possible, so file a police report at your local police station. Any negative remarks on your record after filing this report will be disputable in the event you need to clear your name of crimes you didn't commit.
3. Freeze your credit
Contact the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) to flag your credit report for possible fraud.
Criminals could try and combine your driver's license number with a fake social security number, fake date of birth, plus name change (or alteration) to create a fake proof of identity. This is referred to as synthetic identity theft.
Initiating a credit freeze will prevent criminals from opening unauthorized accounts in your name. If you need immediate assistance, Identity Guard can help you with credit monitoring and credit freezing.
🎯 Related: Was Your Car Registration Stolen? Here’s What To Do →
4. Alert the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
It's not a requirement to report a lost or stolen driver’s license to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The FTC has online services and resources available to submit a complaint regarding possible identity theft. You can also submit a complaint directly via identitytheft.gov.
5. Get a background check
A very common FAQ: should I perform a background check on myself if someone steals my driver's license?
Yes, out of an abundance of caution, getting a background check done is a good idea. This may help you proactively reveal any unauthorized charges, debts, violations or outstanding warrants on your record.
If you notice anything suspicious, you can take action to get it cleared up before your driver's license is suspended or revoked.
6. Don’t drive until you get a replacement driver's license
Get a new license as soon as possible, but never drive without one. Don't risk additional violations during this stressful time.
The good news is that you don't need to complete driver training or submit a brand new license application all over again. If your driver's license was stolen prior to the expiration date passing, you should be able to request a new ID card online without having to physically visit your DMV's driver license office in person.
If your learner's permit was lost or stolen, you'll still need to complete driver's education, pass your road test and go through the normal process for obtaining a state issued driver's license.
🎯 Related: Someone Wants To Buy My Car Without Seeing It →
7. Run a free Dark Web scan
Identity Guard has developed a Dark Web scanning tool which can check to make sure your personal information has not been exposed on the Dark Web.
8. Get identity theft protection
Unfortunately, a lost license means that your personally identifying information is floating around out there. If it ends up in the wrong hands, it could wreak havoc on your life. Signing up for identity theft protection is the best way to help protect yourself moving forward.
Protect Your Identity With Identity Guard
You can take action today to protect yourself, starting with learning how to tell if your identity has been stolen.
However, even with preventative measures in place, we are always at risk of identity theft in one form or another.
"It's not a matter of if, but when." – Dave Ramsey
If your driver's license has been lost or stolen, give us a call at 855-712-6007.
The identity guard team is always working to provide you with powerful identity theft protection for your entire family.
Identity Guard is the best alternative solution to many of the most well known identity theft protection services out there.