Ok, it happened, the day you dreaded. Yep, you can't find it. Was it in your pocket? Was it tucked in behind your phone? Did you have it in that one spot that you always put it when you are traveling?

So, you have had every 'worse case' scenario cross your mind, there isn't much you can do. What do you do next? Quit panicking. The reason I am sharing this with you? Yep, lost it this week. Couldn't find it anywhere. This is what I had to do.

What do you do when you have lost your New York State Driver's License?

A. Boris
A. Boris

First, don't do what I did, which was panic and think that my identity was going to be stolen and that some underage kid was going to use my id to buy themselves alcohol. Yes, I went there. I also went down the rabbit hole of is someone going to try to take out a loan in my name. All of this happened in oh, about 30 seconds. Then I stopped and took a deep breath. Know that for the most part, it will be ok. 

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Why you should always have your driver's license number kept hidden somewhere?

(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)
(Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

As soon as you have retraced your steps and you know that your license is gone, go to the NYS DMV website and order a replacement. The sooner you do it, the sooner it will be in your hands. To make it easier for yourself, write down your NYS Drivers License number and stash it away somewhere for times like these. Having that number will reduce the drama on the NYS DMV website. Keep in mind, you can only use the DMV website to order a replacement license if:

  • You are sending the replacement license to the address you already have on file with the DMV
  • You are not making any changes to your license.

Need it mailed somewhere else or want to fix the spelling of something? You will need to march down to the DMV and get that replacement in person. Either way, it will cost you a few dollars. 

How long will it take to get the new New York State Drivers License?

It can take about two weeks from the time you order it to the time it arrives via mail. In the interim, when you are purchasing the replacement license, the DMV gives you the option to print a paper ID. Do it. You will only get one opportunity to print that thing out, so take advantage of it and go ahead and print it. That way, if you get pulled over, you will be able to show that you are indeed a licensed driver. No, you can not use that paper print out to get on a plane or purchase alcohol.

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