Discovering that your school documents, like certificates or results are missing can be worrying, especially when you need them for a job requirement or to process a crucial application.

Your school records are proof that you’ve spent the required time attaining the skills needed to thrive in your current endeavor, and without them, all those years of hard studying are nothing more than a “claim” without substance to prove them.

So, what do you do now that your documents are no longer in your possession? Well, you relax and carefully follow the steps we’ll show you. It doesn’t matter if you’ve misplaced these documents, they’ve been damaged, or, in the worst-case scenario, they’ve been stolen; these steps will guide you on what to do.

Reach Out to Your Educational Institution

The first step in reclaiming your school documents is contacting your college or university (whichever you may have attended). They are in the best position to issue you a replacement (although the process is usually slow, but worth the wait).

How long it will take to get your replacements depends on the institution you graduated from. However, the usual wait time is from three months to a year, depending on the process of requesting a duplicate.

If, for example, you’re looking to get a duplicate of your diploma from your college, you may be required to file a complaint with the police station in your locality and get a copy of the First Information Report [FIR] on the document that is missing before submitting a copy of this FIR to your college and requesting a duplicate.

Your college would then have to verify the FIR and commence work on getting you a duplicate. All these processes take time (time you may not have to spare).

So, What Can Be Done?

Well, you can sit it out and wait for the duplicate (depending on how long that may take), or you can seek to get a fake duplicate, like a fake diploma (by employing the services of a document maker), to handle whatever you need the document for while your college processes your request.

How this works is that you provide the document maker with all the details they need to create a replica of your missing school document, and within a matter of days, you should have your lost diploma in your hands, ready to do your bidding.

It’s important, however, that you understand that this is not an original, and you’ll still need to go through the remaining steps on this blog to get your original school document.

Request for Your Transcripts

If you discover that your college or university is making it hard to file for a duplicate, the next step is to request your official transcripts.

Your transcript can substitute for your certificates (if that’s what you lost). It has all your academic performance, including courses taken, grades earned, and any honors or awards you may have won while in school. Plus, it usually has a more straightforward process than when trying to get a duplicate of a missing certificate.

So, here’s what you do: submit a formal request for your transcripts to your department, and if possible, try contacting the person in charge so they can guide you on how to make the process easier and faster.

Whatever advice they provide you, which may involve how to complete the request form, what fees to pay, and what means of identification you’ll need to bring, ensure you follow their guidance carefully so you don’t make mistakes that will extend the process.

Also, after filing for your transcript, keep copies of all the receipts you used. It may come in handy if there is a need to escalate the matter to higher authorities.

As soon as you get the transcript, you can proceed to use it as a substitute for the missing certificate in your job applications or further academic pursuits.

File a Police Report

Aside from obtaining an FIR to file for your missing school documents, if you believe your results may have been stolen and they contain sensitive information that can be used to cause you harm, then it’s important you file a police report as soon as possible.

Filing a police report can create an official record of your missing document and protect you from any fraudulent scheme or identity theft.

Walk into a police station and make your complaints. They may require you to provide some details, so provide them with as many details as they need about the missing document, as well as any circumstances surrounding its disappearance and who you might suspect.

This step may seem too extreme, but it clears you of any fraudulent practice that may later involve your identity and missing school documents. It also provides a legal avenue for investigation. However, feel free to skip this step if it’s not necessary.

Contact Your Local Department of Education

Now, this step is only necessary if your school cannot assist you in getting a duplicate of your missing document or if the missing documents extend beyond academic records.

Your local department of education is responsible for handling every educational issue within their jurisdiction, and they may be able to help you out if other vices have failed.

Depending on your state, each department of education has specific requirements when handling your complaint.

You may have to provide them with details like your full name, student ID, and information about the missing records, such as the academic year, course, and any relevant reference numbers. They’ll collate this information and advise you on what to do next.

Protect your Documents

Please choose a different storage method when you get your duplicates or transcripts. Whatever way you used before that got them missing or stolen in the first place should be avoided.

There are far more innovative and safer means of storing your documents, such as creating digital backups and storing physical copies in the bank or a secure location.

Storage services like Google, iCloud, and Dropbox are there for you to save digital copies. All you need is a scanned version of your duplicate, transcripts, and other important school and life documents you need to keep.

You can have them in PDF or PNG versions; it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you have them saved on cloud storage and won’t have to go through the stress of getting a replacement any time soon.

Wrapping Up

Now that you’ve seen the steps to get a replacement for your missing school documents, do well to make the most of the information you have here. Before making any decisions, ensure you’re clear on what you need. 

While all the steps here might not apply to you, feel free to select and leverage the ones that serve your needs. All the best!