There are 3 key documents for you to have when returning to the community:
(1) your Birth Certificate;
(2) your Social Security card (or number); and
(3) either a State ID or Driver’s License.
If you don’t have a birth certificate or Social Security card, that’s where you should start. You will need both to get a state ID or Driver’s license.
To replace your birth certificate you will need to get it from the vital statistics office of the state in which you were born. Each state has its own application process and fees. You must contact the office in your birth state to find out how to apply for a certified copy of your birth certificate. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website has a list of each state office of vital statistics: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.
Social Security card: Social Security cards are issued only by the Social Security Administration of the federal government. If you have lost your social security card, you will need to get an application, called form SS-B, either online at https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ss-5.pdf (you will need a printer) or call the Social Security Administration (SSA) at (800) 772-1213 and ask to have the form mailed to you. You can also visit a local RI SSA field office. The Providence office is at One Empire Plaza on the 6th floor. Social Security cards are free.
State ID or Drivers’ license: The application for both forms of ID is the same. You can get the application online at http://www.dmv.ri.gov/documents/forms/license/LI-1.pdf or in person at the DMV. The application has a list of documents that you will need (for example your birth certificate and social security card) in order to apply for either a state ID or drivers’ license. There is a fee for both forms of ID.
Suspended driver’s license: If you’re not sure if your license is suspended you can check online at: https://www.ri.gov/DMV/statuscheck/ You will need to enter your driver’s license number to use the website. If your license is suspended, you will need to determine the reasons why and what you have to do to get it reinstated. You can do that in two ways: 1) At the same website you can pay $20.50 for a copy of your driving record history report but you will need a credit card to do so, or 2) you can visit Operator Control (near the DMV, 600 New London Ave, Cranston) and talk to a hearing officer who will tell you why your license is suspended, what fines you need to pay and to whom in order to get your license reinstated. In addition to fines you may owe, there is also a reinstatement fee of at minimum $152.50. This option is more accurate and recommended.
REPLACING YOUR GREEN CARD
If you are a permanent resident and need to replace your Green Card because it was lost, stolen or destroyed, you will need to fill out a Form I-90. You can find the application online at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. Go to https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/replace-a-green-card and click on green card. You can print a paper copy from the website or get one from the local USCIS office at 105 Sockanosset Cross Rd Suite 210, Cranston, RI 02920. The application can be filled out and submitted online or a completed paper copy can be mailed to: USCIS, P.O. Box 21262 Phoenix, AZ 8503. There is a filing fee of $455 and a biometric services fee (fingerprints) of $85 for a total of $540. You will need a copy of a government-issued form of identification that contains your name, date of birth, photograph, and signature (such as state ID or drivers’ license.) You can pay the fees with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or by credit card using Form G-1450, Authorization for Credit Card Transactions. If you pay by check, you must make your check payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
If you need help filling out the application or have other citizenship/immigration questions, these organizations can assist you. If you choose to get help from a lawyer, ask for references and know that there will be extra lawyer fees.
Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island Address: 645 Elmwood Ave, Providence 02907. Phone: 401-784-8600 or visit in person to make an appointment. Website: http://www.diiri.org/
Catholic Charities of Providence Address: 1 Cathedral Sq, Providence 02903. Phone: (401) 421-7833 ext. 229 or drop-in. Website: http://www.dioceseofprovidence.org/
Progreso Latino, Inc. Address: 626 Broad St, Central Falls, RI 02863. Phone: (401) 728-5920 ext 310 or visit in person to make an appointment. Website: https://www.progresolatino.org/