It’s the middle of January and you’ve decided to treat yourself to a warm-weather escape from the cold, dark Edmonton weather. You’ve hopped a plane to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and are having a blast with your family or friends. You’ve spent the day off-resort sightseeing in town and you’ve returned to your room to discover that your passport is missing….
What do you do?
Most people understand the importance of keeping their important documents somewhere safe and secure. But have you ever made copies of these documents and stored them in a second safe & secure location? Somewhere a family member or friend can access them? Are they accessible remotely should the need arise?
In the above scenario, would you be able to get back into Canada without an extreme amount of hassle and inconvenience?
What Are Key Identity Documents?
Identity documents are those documents that are relied upon by others to prove your identity. Key documents include:
- Birth Certificate
- Drivers License
- Permanent Residency Card
- Social Insurance Card
- Military ID
Make Copies of Your Key Identity Documents
We recommend you make at least two photocopies of your important identity documents. One copy you should keep with the documents themselves. If you ever take these documents anywhere, bringing a photocopy with you is an insurance policy against the loss of the original document. If you get stuck somewhere and need to rely on the local authorities in a foreign jurisdiction to help you out, having a copy of your ID is critical. In the above scenario, this would include getting yourself to a Canadian Embassy to get a replacement passport issued so you can travel home.
The second photocopy should be stored somewhere safe & secure, separate from the original documents. This can include a firesafe box in the basement of your home, in a safety deposit box at the bank, or with a parent or family member for safe keeping. This second copy ensures that someone you can count on and who knows you well is able to assist you from home if you get yourself in a jam.
Lastly, you should also scan and save a digital copy of these documents. If you store them in a cloud hosted service like Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive, save them under a fake file name, and password protect them for security. You should also ensure you turn on two-factor authentication as an added measure of security. You can also consider saving them on a memory stick and encrypting it using the Windows 10 BitLocker tool.