California Fires Legal Help


How can I get legal help with insurance, FEMA, and repair or contracting issues?

The California State Bar has added a page on its website with ways to get legal help with these issues: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Need-Legal-Help/Free-Legal-Help/Legal-Help-After-Disaster

Additionally, Alameda County Bar Association is offering free legal assistance to fire survivors on insurance, FEMA, and repair contracting issues: the website is https://www.acbanet.org/volunteer-legal-services/bay-area-resilience-collaborative/ and the hotline number is 415-575-3120.

Another resource is United Policyholders (UP). UP is a non-profit 501(c) (3) organization whose mission is to be a trustworthy and useful information resource on insurance issues. They have put together additional resources specifically for fire victims: http://www.uphelp.org/blog/north-bay-fires-insurance-claim-help

I lost many of my important documents, how can I get additional copies?

Insurance Policies

Your insurance is required to provide you a copy of your policy upon request. Contact your insurer right away to get a copy of your policy to know what your benefits are.

Tax Returns

California: For a limited time, you can obtain copies of your California tax returns filed with the FTB at no charge to replace lost or damaged tax returns: https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/misc/3516.pdf or contact (800) 852-5711.

For business owners: You can obtain BOE tax records lost in the wildfires, free of charge by calling (800) 400-7115.

Federal: Copies and transcripts of federal tax returns from the IRS are free and expedited for fire victims. The form you need can be obtained here https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4506.pdf or by calling (866) 562-5227.

DMV Documents

For a limited time period, fire victims may be able to replace your driver’s licenses, state identification cards, vehicle registrations, and titles for no charge at your local DMV, by calling (800) 777-0133, or going online at www.dmv.ca.gov.

Birth, Marriage, or Death Certificates

For a limited time, fire victims may also obtain certified copies of birth, marriage, and death certificates and divorce records for no charge from the Office of Vital Records. More information is available at their website: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/Vital-Records.aspx.