Freeze Credit Reports: Consumers Have a New Tool
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Freeze Your Credit Report: New Tool to Protect You from Identity Theft

Twenty-five states have enacted laws that give consumers the right and ability to freeze their credit reports. Five states provide this option only for identity theft victims. Those states require documentation from law enforcement to prove identity theft has taken place. Twenty states have made this tool available to all consumers.

The Credit Report Freeze method prevents lenders from running your credit report or score, which in turn stops thieves from opening an account in your name. There is a downside to this method of securing your identity information. It will be more difficult for you to open a new bank account, credit card or apply for a loan when a lender is unable to run your credit report and score. The process will generally take longer, and you may have to pay a fee to the credit bureau to temporarily lift the freeze or authorize a particular creditor to access your credit report.

You can initiate a Credit Report Freeze, if you live in one of the states allowing it, by submitting a request directly to the credit reporting agencies. In order to make your credit report available once it is frozen, you must submit a request to the credit agencies to temporarily or permanently lift the freeze on your account. You may have to pay a fee to unfreeze your account and it can take up to fifteen days for your request to take effect. The ability to freeze your credit report and associated fees vary from state to state.


State Freeze Statute Available For Freeze Fee per Credit Agency (Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union) Unfreeze Fee ("Thaw"= Temporarily lift freeze) Status
Alabama No        
Alaska No        
Arizona No        
Arkansas Yes Victims of ID Theft $10 $10 to thaw or remove Effective 1/1/08
California Yes All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others $10 to thaw for a specific period, $12 to thaw for one creditor  
Colorado Yes All Consumers None for first freeze, $10 per additional freeze $10 to thaw for a specific period, $12 to thaw for one creditor  
Connecticut Yes All Consumers $10 $10 to thaw for a specific period, $12 to thaw for one creditor  
Delaware Yes All Consumers $20 None  
Florida Yes All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims or Seniors (65+), $10 All Others $10 to thaw or remove  
Georgia No        
Hawaii Yes All Consumers $5 $5  
Illinois Yes 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 Yes All Consumers None None Effective 9/1/07
Iowa No        
Kansas Yes Victims of Identity theft None None  
Kentucky Yes 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 Yes All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims and Seniors (62+), $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $8 All Others  
Maine Yes 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 Yes All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, $5 All Others. $5 Effective 1/1/08
Massachusetts No        
Michigan No        
Minnesota Yes 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  
Mississippi No        
Missouri No        
Montana Yes 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 Yes All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, $15 All Others   Effective 9/1/08
Nevada Yes All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $15 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $18 for All Others to remove and $20 for All Others to lift for a specific creditor  
New Hampshire Yes All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others  
New Jersey Yes All Consumers None for initial freeze Up to $5 to thaw, remove or have PIN reissued  
New Mexico Yes 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 Yes All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, None for initial freeze and $5 for additional freezes for All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $5 All Others  
North Carolina Yes All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, $10 All Others  
North Dakota Yes 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.  
Ohio No        
Oklahoma Yes All Consumers None Identity theft Victims and for Seniors (65+), $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims and Seniors (65+), $10 All Others  
Oregon No        
Pennsylvania Yes All Consumers None Identity theft Victims and for Seniors (65+), $10 All Others. Expires after 7 years. None  
Rhode Island Yes 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 Carolina No        
South Dakota Yes Victims of Identity theft None. Freeze expires after 7 years. None  
Tennessee Yes 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. Effective 1/1/08
Texas Yes Victims of Identity theft None None  
Utah Yes All Consumers "Reasonable Rates" "Reasonable Rates" Effective 1/1/08
Vermont Yes All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, up to $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, up to up to $5 All Others  
Virginia No        
Washington Yes Victims of Identity theft None None  
West Virginia Yes All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, up to $5 All Others None for ID Theft Victims, up to $5 All Others  
Wisconsin Yes All Consumers None for Identity theft Victims, up to $10 All Others None for Identity theft Victims, up to $10 All Others  
Wyoming Yes 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. Yes All Consumers None for ID Theft Victims, $10 All Others None  

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