While this may be the computer age, paper records are still as important as they ever were. Try going to DMV with a USB if you don’t believe me. Losing these documents could cost a good deal of money in fees trying to get them back or other costs not having them may incur. Here are a few tips to keeping track of your important documents.
When it comes to important documents, it costs very little to keep organized. Buy a binder and a pack of plastic sleeves. Put one document (birth certificate, car title, etc.) in each sleeve. For smaller documents such as your social security card or medical insurance cards, use a trading card organizing sleeve instead. Not only will you have all your important documents, you will be able to see them without removing them. Take the whole binder to the DMV or the doctor’s office instead of removing the documents. There is less chance you will forget a document you needed. There is also less chance of you losing the document completely.
Each state has a different way of obtaining replacement documents. North Dakota requires a payment and faxing proof of identification to get a copy of your birth certificate. California requires paperwork to be mailed in or faxed to them. This also can apply to vehicle records.
Doctor offices keep a record of your immunizations and visits. You can usually get a copy of these items at a price or have them faxed to your new doctor if you have moved out of state. Faxing may also cost money. The only big trouble you could run into is if you have multiple doctors. Then each doctor has kept their own records and you’ll need to request documents from all of them.
Always keep tax documents for at least seven years. This includes W2s, 1099s, and records of any deductions you took. While the IRS does process and send refunds out every year, often they don’t actually look at the tax returns seriously for a few years. You could get audited for a return up to seven years back. Without your records there would be little you could do to defend your return.
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