If you’re anything like me, you lost your wallet at the height of exam season this past December.
“Such great timing!” you thought as you tore your apartment apart. “I’m so happy this is happening!” you exclaimed. You didn’t cry as you retraced your steps to the bus stop in the rain.
Please learn from how I took losing my wallet completely and totally in stride. Follow these steps to remedy the situation!
Take a second and try not to lose all faith in humanity
I did not do this at first, but please know that real-life scientists have conducted real-life experiments that show that most people return wallets! How amazing is that!? Between your tears, fear and panic, look at the science to remind you that people are mostly good. Statistically, your wallet will probably be returned.
Retrace your steps and try really hard to remember where and when you last had it
For me, this meant perusing the four block radius encompassing my home and the bus stop. While I didn’t find my wallet, I’m sure my neighbours found some schadenfreude in watching a panicked girl walking really fast by their house three times.
If you can’t find it while retracing your steps, please remember the science again. At this point — if you haven’t already — you can call your friends/family/therapist for some support.
Humble yourself by remembering that people lose their wallets every day
You are not special.
Write down everything you had in your wallet
Bank cards? Compass card? PC Optimum card? Driver’s license? Student ID? Health Card? As you make this list, it’s easy to think, “Oh dear, without these cards, how will I be able to travel around this city by bus or car, access healthcare, buy food or prove that I am a UBC student, let alone collect Optimum points?” It is a humbling thought. However, writing down what you had in your wallet is a super important part of breaking this catastrophe down into easy, manageable steps as you embark on The Great Replacement of Cards in Your Wallet.
Replacing your Bank Card(s)
Put a hold on your credit and bank cards by calling your bank. Call through the app for shorter wait times and less elevator music (or lock your cards through the app if that’s an option). The bank person on the phone will tell you they’re sorry you lost your wallet. Your bank will mail you a new credit card at no cost to your home address. Now your money is protected! Good job.
ASAP, you can visit your local branch to get a debit card. To get a new debit card, you’ll need to bring other forms of ID to prove your identity (like a birth certificate or passport), so I really hope you have that.
Once you have your new debit card, you can get fare for the bus from the teller and fetch yourself a new Compass Card! Wow! Losing your wallet has never been so easy!
Replacing your Compass Card
Log on to your Compass account. Here, you can report your compass card as lost or stolen, and so now, the evil person in your mind who has stolen your wallet cannot reap the benefits of your U-Pass.
Once you have your new compass card, remember to relink your U-Pass.
Replacing your Driver’s License
First off, I am very sorry. This one burns. And I know you only used your license for the occasional Evo ride, but losing your license still feels like your freedom has been ripped from your hands (probably because that’s exactly what has happened). I can only hope that you have a BC license to make things easier. If this is the case, make an appointment through ICBC to replace your Driver’s License. If your license is out of province, there are lots of province specific replace/renewal processes for this exact purpose. You will have to report your Driver’s License as lost or stolen. I hope this calms your fears that someone out there is driving a car and stealing your identity right this very moment.
Replacing your Health Card
Replacing a health card is very similar to how you replaced your Driver’s License. Each province has their own process. First, you have to report your care card as lost or stolen. It’s easiest to do this kind of stuff by phone and thanks to the internet, all the steps are a Google away. For example, see instructions here for replacing your care card in BC.
PC Optimum card
I am sorry. You will have to take an L on this one. I did not even consider replacing this card. It was the least of my worries, and it should be the least of your worries, too.
Replacing your UBC Student ID
Report your card as lost and get a replacement using this portal. Once your UBCcard has been reported lost/stolen, it cannot be reactivated. The fee for replacing a UBCcard is $15, but the fee is waived if your card has been stolen and you have a police file number. Report your UBCcard as lost to protect any money you may have stored on this card.
This brings us to our final step and the reason we’re replacing all these cards in the first place:
Report your lost wallet.
You can report a lost item to TransLink using this surprisingly easy to use lost property form. You can contact VPD to find out if your item has been returned and to get a file number for your lost item. This way, if the science is right, if/when your wallet is returned, they will know how to contact you. Also, keep an eye on the UBC Lost and Found database or various UBC Lost and Found Facebook groups, too.
If you’re anything like me, you will receive a call from TransLink 24 hours after you lost your wallet notifying you that, miraculously, your wallet (and even your Optimum card), has been found. I hope when this happens, you feel joy and realize that your grief was not all for naught. Losing your wallet can turn into a piece of journalism or even more likely, adult wisdom you can pass onto to future generations.