What to do if you lose your wallet: a step-by-step guide

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    Call the credit bureaus

    Get in touch with the two major credit bureaus in Canada – Equifax and TransUnion. You can add a temporary notification to your profiles in case someone tries to use your information to apply for credit, credit, or services on your behalf, says Maria Maffia, vice president of Dragonfly ID, an identity recovery company that does the bare metalwork . Make calls and handle the paperwork associated with a missing wallet or other instances of compromised identity. If a thief tries to impersonate you while applying for a credit card or renting an apartment, the person doing the credit check will be asked to call the phone number associated with your credit profile and confirm that you submitted the application. In the event of a lost wallet or other known breach of your personal information, the credit monitoring companies offer this service for free, Maffia says.

    Contact your automotive department

    If your driver’s license is gone and driving is an integral part of your routine, the next important step is starting the process to make sure it is legal for you. Here you hope that you didn’t have every ID in your missing wallet because you have to show something with your name, date of birth and signature. A passport is ideal, but some provinces and territories will accept your health card instead. Before you head to the office for your temporary license – and keep in mind that you’ll need to take the bus or have a friend or family member take you along – do some research in your area. In some provinces, you can also apply for a replacement license online.

    Call the bank again

    If your wallet doesn’t show up in the first few days, it’s time to start swapping your cards. Contact your financial institution again to permanently cancel the cards and order replacements. You can do this in person at a branch or by telephone. If you can reach a branch, you should be able to obtain a replacement card on site (again with ID). It will likely take seven to ten business days for your replacement credit card to arrive.

    Start by replacing other important IDs

    Hopefully you didn’t have your SIN card or birth certificate in your wallet, but if you did, start the exchange process sooner rather than later. It took Kesteloot two years to replace her birth certificate, which also included a replacement passport. “I couldn’t even shop across borders for two years,” she says. A visit to your provincial vital statistics office will help you get a new birth certificate, and for a replacement SIN card, first locate a local Service Canada office.

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