Suggestions For Safeguarding Vital Documents

by erin on June 22, 2010

Many of us have a file for our important papers but I wonder if these pieces of paper are a lot more valuable than you might imagine. Most Americans have pass ports, social security and driver’s license cards, and birth certificates. When you realize the large part of your daily life played by these documents, you may find they require quite a degree of respect.

Let’s start by discussing our passport. A United States passport is issued by the country of your citizenship and is proof of that citizenship as well as your identity. You must present documentation to prove your identity and birth or citizenship country in order to apply for one but once you have a passport, it will serve as a first class way to prove your identity and citizenship as it even provides a picture. Information included is name, place and date of birth and sex. While it is not true that a passport can get you into every foreign country, it does guarantee re-entry into the country that issued it. While it is a necessary part of international travel, it also provides an unquestioned source of identity verification.

Your social security card is another very important form of identification. As an American citizen, you are issued a number that is totally unique to you. This nine-digit number is used in lawful taxation as well as a valuable tool to properly identify medical, educational and educational records.

To operate a motor vehicle legally in the United States, you are required to have a drivers’ license issued by your state of residence. There are also different types of drivers’ licenses depending on the type of vehicle you will be operating. A very large percentage of Americans possess a drivers’ license and this provides a qualified means of identification as a picture and description are presented on this important plastic card. This form of identification is often requested when purchasing alcohol, tobacco products or when applying for a job. A drivers’ license provides a unique opportunity to become an organ donor in case of your death as this can be indicated on the face of your card.

A birth certificate is issued as the result of information submitted by the hospital where a child is born or, if the birth happens at home, by the qualified professional. There is both a long and short form when it comes to a birth certificate but both will include name, sex, place and time of birth and the names of the parents. This is the #1 document required when obtaining almost any other important document and is also a way to prove legal citizenship and identity. Among the documents requiring the presentation of a birth certificate are a passport, drivers’ license, social security card and marriage license.

As you can now see, these documents come in all forms and are needed for a whole variety of instances. Keeping good care of these documents by storing them in safe places where they can’t be stolen or damaged is something that every American needs to take very seriously. Identity theft and counterfeit forms of these identifications can put you and your family in harm’s way. However, keeping these documents handy make day-to-day activities much more convenient and stress-free.

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