All About You
Gathering Information About You: You're Going To Need It
Many applications you will be asked to fill out, now and in the future, will ask you for personal information. It is very important that you have this information on hand so that you can apply for a job, a student loan, an apartment, health care, or a passport—without delay. This information will even come in handy if you ever want to adopt a pet from a shelter. They ask a lot of questions!
Get a Copy of Your Birth Certificate.
You can get a copy of your birth certificate online at https://www.vitalchek.com/product_selection.asp. This option is the most convenient, but is also the most expensive. (If you were born in Vermont, it costs $9.50 plus a $6.00 processing fee to have it shipped by regular mail).
Or, you can get from the town clerk's office in the town where you were born. In Vermont, this will cost you $9.50, which is less than what it costs to get it online. To find your town clerk's office, go to http://vermont-elections.org/elections1/town_clerks_guide.html and click on “Guide to Vermont’s Town Clerks, Treasures, and County Clerks”.
You can get a copy of the Application for Birth or Death Records form online at http://www.bgs.state.vt.us/gsc/pubrec/referen/index.html. Fill it out and mail it, along with a check or money order for $9.50, to the address shown on the form.
Get Your Social Security Card.
You should first check with your foster parent, birth parent, or case worker to see who has your social security card. If they are unable to find your social security card, you will likely need to seek their help to get a new one. If you are under 18, you will not be able to sign the form to get a new card on your own, and you will need a picture ID and a copy of your birth certificate in order to get your social security card. Information is available at: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10002.html#how
Once you have your social security card, keep it safe. Memorize your number so you don't have to carry it around in your wallet. This is a very important card. You really don't want to lose it. If the wrong person found it, they could do a lot of damage with the information on the card. They could essentially steal your identity and “ruin your name”.
Get a Picture ID Card.
If you do not have your driver’s license you will need a photo ID card issued from the state of Vermont. You can get an ID card at any Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Click here for a list of locations. You will need to bring two forms of ID, click here for a list of the types of IDs that are accepted. You will also need to pay $15.
Make a List of Important Phone Numbers.
Make a list of the numbers that you might need to know, especially numbers that you cannot look up in the phonebook or easily access through Vermont 2-1-1. These numbers should include your relatives; caseworkers from DCF and other agencies; your youth development coordinator; doctors, dentists, and other health care providers; foster parents; and other people who are important to you or who have helped you in the past.
Know the Dates you Entered and Exited State Custody.
Have your case worker write a letter on DCF letterhead with the dates that you entered and exited state custody. This will be useful later on when you apply for scholarships and programs.
If you are 18 or Over:
Register to Vote.
If you don’t like the way things are being run, or if you do like the way things are being run and want to keep them that way, vote! To learn how to register to vote click here.
Register for Selective Service (Mandatory for Males).
If you are a male above the age of 18, you are required to register for the selective service. This is the program that is used should a military draft ever be put in place. A draft means that the government is mandating military service, except in special circumstances such as a conscientious objector or disability. You can register at your local post office.