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searchingRecently, I’ve had several friends lament stories of replacing paperwork submitted to the government, never to be returned.

It’s so bad that one of those friends may not be legally married — for the last 17 years! — as she cannot confirm that her Jamaican marriage certificate was ever recognized by the providence of Ontario. She does know they lost the first copy, and when she sent the second/last one she had…. and never heard back…. they just hoped for the best. A possible return/relocation to the US has shined a big fat light on this problem.

More common and less dramatic stories include the passport office failing to return a birth certificate. Apparently, it’s easier to prove you were born in the US than it is to prove you were married in Jamaica. Let this be a lesson to you.

Relinquishing important documents is a necessary, and uneasy, part of many processes. Before you ship off the sole, ragged copy of your birth certificate, take the fifteen minutes to what it would take to get a backup or replacement.

An ounce of prevention, and all that…

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