Sometimes even the most important and cherished items get lost. From tragedies, like a fire or flood, to simple acts of forgetfulness like leaving that small folder of papers in the back of the moving truck, there are myriad ways you could lose your diploma. Fortunately, many schools understand this and offer the option to order a replacement copy of your diploma if you have lost the original.

Step 1

Locate your old school. You can usually do this with a simple Internet search. Once you’ve found the school’s website, find the contact information for the registrar’s office.

Step 2

Compile your relevant personal information. This will usually include basics such as your date of birth, Social Security number and name at the time you graduated (in case it has changed), as well as school-related information like the date or semester you graduated, your student ID number and possibly your major.

Step 3

Call the registrar’s office and ask whether the school provides replacement diplomas for people who have lost the originals. This office will usually be able to help you get your new diploma, or it can direct you to someone who can help. You may be able to order your replacement over the phone, or you may have to fill out forms and mail them to the office.

Step 4

Provide any information the registrar’s office (or the other office to which you were directed) asks for, either by phone or on the forms mentioned in Step 3. You may feel a little uncomfortable about disclosing your Social Security number and other personal information, but keep in mind that the school is only asking to protect you. If the school didn’t ask for this, anyone claiming to be you could order a copy of your diploma.

Step 5

Wait. The amount of time it takes a school to process your request and send a replacement diploma varies. Your new diploma may arrive in a couple of weeks, or it may take several months.