Replacing lost or destroyed documents
Below is a list of the types of personal documents that may need to be replaced after a natural disaster such as a bushfire or flood.
- Birth, death, marriage and change of name certificates
Replacement certificates can be ordered from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages at:
Telephone: 131 882
There have been online scams involving private companies that charge fees for downloading Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages forms. These forms are freely available at the Births, Deaths and Marriages website above. The scams also require you to provide financial and personal information for the purpose of credit card and identity fraud. For further information see this Scamwatch article on Scam birth, death and marriage certificate websites.
- Medicare cards
Contact by telephone on 132 011 or visit your local Medicare office.
You can also write to the Department of Human Services, GPO Box 9822, Adelaide, SA 5001
- Driver’s licence
There are different procedures depending on whether a photograph is required.
Contact by telephone on 13 10 84 or visit a Customer Service Centre in person for further information.
(See: https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/transport-travel-and-motoring/motoring/drivers-and-licences/maintaining-and-updating-your-driver-s-licence/replacing-a-driver-s-licence )
- Insurance documents
It is not necessary to have all your documents on hand in order to initiate an insurance claim as many insurance companies keep records electronically. The Insurance Council of Australia has a disaster hotline (telephone: 1800 734 621) to help people who are unsure what insurer they are with and with general questions about the claims process. Most insurance companies have 24 hour call centres.
(See: http://www.insurancecouncil.com.au/assets/media_release/2015/050115 Insurance Council declares Catastrophe for South Australian bushfires.pdf)
- Tenancy agreement
A tenancy agreement continues even if the document recording the agreement has been destroyed. Landlords are required to keep a copy of these agreements up to 2 years from the date of termination. If their copy has also been destroyed a new document can be created to record the agreement.