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New Legislation Allows Freezes on Credit Reports After Identity Theft

There is now legislation in twenty-five states that enables consumers to freeze their credit reports.

Twenty of those states allow all consumers to use this tool, but in five of them this option is only available to victims of identity theft.

Those states require documentation from law enforcement to prove identity theft has taken place.

If you initiate a Credit Report Freeze, lenders cannot access your credit report or score, making it much more difficult for identity thieves to open accounts in your name.

This method has the advantage of providing extra security for your information, but there is a disadvantage: it can make many of your financial transactions more difficult.

Opening a new bank account, securing a new credit card and getting a loan all depend upon a lender’s ability to run your credit report and assess your credit score.

If you freeze your credit report, the application process will take longer, and could be more expensive, since you might have to pay your state credit bureau to remove the freeze for a time or to allow a certain creditor to see your credit report.

If your state provides the Credit Report Freeze option, you should submit a request to your credit reporting agency.

Likewise, when you need to lift the freeze on your credit report, you must submit your request to the agency and specify whether you need the lift to be temporary or permanent.

This service may come with a fee and it could take up to fifteen days to take effect; the time and fees will of course differ from state to state and possibly from credit bureau to credit bureau.

States with Credit Report Freeze Statutes

State Available To Freeze Fee per Credit Agency (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) Unfreeze Fee
(“Thaw” = Temporary lift of freeze)
Arkansas Victims of ID Theft $10 $10 to thaw or remove
California All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others $10 to thaw for a specific period, $12 to thaw for one creditor
Colorado All Consumers None for first freeze, $10 per additional freeze $10 to thaw for a specific period, $12 to thaw for one creditor
Connecticut All Consumers $10 $10 to thaw for a specific period, $12 to thaw for one creditor
Delaware All Consumers $20 None
Florida All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims or Seniors (65+), $10 All Others $10 to thaw or remove
Hawaii All Consumers $5 $5
Illinois Victims of Identity theft, After 1/1/07 All Consumers None for Seniors (65+), $10 All Others None for Seniors (65+), $10 for All Others to thaw or remove
Indiana All Consumers None None
Kansas Victims of Identity theft None None
Kentucky All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others. Freeze expires after 7 years. None for Identity theft Victims, $10 to for All Others to thaw, remove or have PIN reissued.
Louisiana All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims and Seniors (62+), $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $8 All Others
Maine All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $10 for All Others to thaw, remove or have pin reissued and $12 to lift for a specific creditor
Maryland All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, $5 All Others. $5
Minnesota All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $5 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $5 to thaw, remove, have PIN reissued or lift for a specific creditor
Montana All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, $3 All Others None for ID Theft Victims, None for All Others to remove and $3 for thaw.
Nebraska All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, $15 All Others
Nevada All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $15 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $18 for All Others to remove $20 for All Others to lift for a specific creditor
New Hampshire All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others
New Jersey All Consumers None for initial freeze Up to $5 to thaw, remove or have PIN reissued
New Mexico All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims and Seniors (65+), $10 All Others None for ID Theft Victims and Seniors (65+), $5 All Others
New York All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, None for initial freeze, $5 for additional freezes for All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $5 All Others
North Carolina All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others
North Dakota All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, $5 All Others None for ID Theft Victims, None for All Others to remove and $5 for thaw.
Oklahoma All Consumers None Identity theft Victims and for Seniors (65+),
$10 All Others
None for Identity theft Victims and Seniors (65+), $10 All Others
Pennsylvania All Consumers None Identity theft Victims and for Seniors (65+), $10 All Others. Expires after 7 years. None
Rhode Island All Consumers None Identity theft Victims and for Seniors (65+), $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims and Seniors (65+), $10 All Others
South Dakota Victims of Identity theft None. Freeze expires after 7 years. None
Tennessee All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, $7.50 All Others None for ID Theft Victims, $5 for All Others to remove and no fee to thaw.
Texas Victims of Identity theft None None
Utah
(Effective 1/1/08)
All Consumers “Reasonable Rates” “Reasonable Rates”
Vermont All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, up to $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, up to up to $5 All Others
Washington Victims of Identity theft None None
West Virginia All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, up to $5 All Others None for ID Theft Victims, up to $5 All Others
Wisconsin All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, up to $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, up to $10 All Others
Wyoming All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, up to $10 All Others None for ID Theft Victims, up to $10 All Others
Washington D.C. All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, $10 All Others None

States with No Credit Report Freeze Statutes

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia