Replacing Your Lost GED: Your Step by Step Guide

Those with a high school diploma or GED will earn $9000 more every year compared to those without. That's a big chunk of change. Better job opportunities, lower unemployment rates, and larger paychecks are all enticing reasons to improve your education.

In fact, that's probably why you earned your GED in the first place. The problem is you've either lost or damaged your GED certificate and have no proof of education to show your employers. Now you wonder, how do I get a copy of my GED?

Take a deep breath.

Although there's no standard process to earn a copy of GED certificates, there are plenty available. You just need to discover who's in charge of GEDs in your area. Read our step-by-step guide to secure a GED replacement as soon as possible.

1. Call the Testing Center

Since GED protocols vary from state to state, the process of getting a copy will depend on where you live. Nobody is more familiar with the local GED procedures than the nearby testing center.

Wherever you took your exam, locate the number for the facility and give them a call. If you earned your certificate through an education program, you can contact them instead.

Let them know that you lost your GED certificate and need a copy. Some organizations may be able to arrange for a replacement right away.

For example, testing centers in Georgia and California allow you to purchase a GED replacement in-person. It's as simple as walking in with a form of identification and payment. Others may work through a third party and will give you a reference number.

GED testing centers come and go. If it's been several years, there's a chance that it's no longer in operation. Still, you can search through available GED testing locations to find the initial contact information.

2. Contact the State's Department of Education

In some states, the Department of Education has control over GEDs. This means you'll have to contact the DoE directly to request a copy. New York is one of these states, just for example.

The DoE websites will explain the exact process to receive a replacement. Unfortunately, the government tends to take a low-tech approach. To receive a copy of a GED in New York, you have to print off a form, enclose payment, and mail it to the education department.

You may have to wait a month or longer to receive copies of your diploma or transcripts. Keep this in mind if the Department of Education handles GED replacements in your state. This waiting period could put a job offer at risk if you can't provide proof of education.

3. Using a Third Party

Many states and testing centers rely on third-party providers. These companies hold the data for your GED transcripts and diplomas, and you'll have to go through them to get a replacement.

If your state uses these services, then your GED is likely in the hands of either Parchment or DiplomaSender. To make use of Parchment, you'll have to first log into the official GED website. From here, you'll have the ability to order a replacement GED online, as long as your state uses this provider.

In contrast, DiplomaSender doesn't go through the GED website. Make an account on DiplomaSender and then make your order.

Although these providers take a bit of extra work, they offer many different mediums to receive a copy, such as receiving a fax or even an email. That beats waiting for the state delivery, assuming you're lucky enough to have the option.

4. Check the Official GED Website

If you're not sure how your state handles GED requests, the official website can push you in the right direction. If you earned your GED before 2014, you'll be asked to select a testing state when you request your transcript.

Once you've made your selection, the GED website will automatically redirect you to the appropriate channel. This might be a Department of Education website or one of the third-party providers we talked about earlier.

But you want to know how to get a copy of your GED from 2014 or later. Lucky for you, the process is even easier.

Log into the official GED website. There's a built-in function to request a certificate or transcript for those who earned recent GEDs. They'll send the physical certificate as soon as you order.

Reasons to Request a GED Certificate

You may want to request a GED certificate for reasons other than loss or damage. A change to the GED scoring system in 2016 lowered the passing requirements. While a score between 145 to 149 used to be a failing grade, it's now a pass for exams taken in 2014 or later.

If you ever failed your GED exams, the new scoring system may turn things in your favor. Consider ordering a GED transcript to see if you've passed under the new requirements.

It's also a good idea to request a copy GED if you've had a legal name change. This way, there's clear proof that the certificate belongs to you. To receive a GED certificate with your new name, you'll have to provide proof of a name change through a social security card or marriage license.

How Do I Get a Copy of My GED?

Going through the appropriate channels can be a bit of a hassle, but it's the only option to get your hands on an authentic GED certificate. You asked, how do I get a copy of my GED? But there's a better question to ask now that you know the process.

How do you protect your GED? After all, you don't want to worry about buying a replacement GED ever again. Instead, safeguard it with our collection of diploma folders.

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