What Documents Can I Use to Prove My Residency for Unclaimed Property?

By Nicholas Smith ; Updated June 05, 2017
Woman looking through statements

Unclaimed property is property held by a local or state agency after financial accounts have been deemed abandoned or forgotten. Identification, statements or federal documents that list the owner's name and address of records for the assets is used to prove residency.

Depending on where you live, your local or state government may have an "unclaimed property" division where you can claim abandoned or lost property. Generally, unclaimed property includes bank accounts, wages, stocks and bonds. To claim property, you must provide documented proof of your residency in the city or county of your claim. Even if you moved, you will need to show proof of your past residency.

Drivers License, Birth Certificate and Vehicle Registration

You can present your state driver's license and vehicle registration to officials to prove your residency. Both documents must include the address to be a valid form of proof. If your driver's license doesn't have the required address to secure the claim, you can only use it as a means of identification. You can use your child's birth certificate as proof if you lived at the address you are proving residency for at the time of his birth. Your own birth certificate will not suffice for both identification and proof of residency.

Bank Statement

Bank statements are considered valid documents to demonstrate residency. When a bank account has no transaction activity for an extended period of time, it becomes dormant. Eventually, dormant accounts are sent to unclaimed funds. Statements with the same address as the old unclaimed account reconcile the information that the unclaimed records division has on file. This is why current or old bank statements serve as proof of residence. Use bank statements of personal accounts, not business accounts, since it needs to show your place of residence, not your place of employment or ownership. Business accounts don't suffice since business addresses are often not personal residences and may even be in another state.

Tax Documents

Tax documents are another record of residence and the legal name of the resident. Essentially, any official tax document from federal, state or city agencies record residence information for the given period of time noted on the form. For example, a tax return and the supporting W-2 wage statements prove the address of record for both the year the return was filed for and the year it was filed in. Property tax bills from the county are another tax document . Each of these documents will list your name and current address.

Other Forms of Proof

Numerous other forms of proof exist. For example, you can present a utility bill that lists your name and address in the city or county of your claim, or the title to your car. A marriage certificate, medical bill, school transcripts, a deed or a will also suffice. Other acceptable documents include military records, church records and pay stubs from your employer.

About the Author

Nicholas Smith has written political articles for SmithonPolitics.com, "The Daily Californian" and other publications since 2004. He is a former commissioner with the city of Berkeley, Calif. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of California-Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from St. John's University School of Law.