The parent or guardian of a minor under the age of sixteen or the guardian or conservator of an incapacitated or protected adult, collectively referred to as a “protected consumer” may seek a security freeze to protect the identity of a protected consumer and ensure that credit is not inappropriately granted in the protected consumer’s name. In order to request a security freeze for a protected consumer, the protected consumer’s parent, guardian, or conservator must present sufficient proof of authority to act on the protected consumer’s behalf. The parent, guardian, or conservator must also present sufficient proof of identity for the parent, guardian, or conservator, in addition to proof of identity for the protected consumer.
In order for the representative of a protected consumer to request the removal of a security freeze of a protected consumer, the representative must contact the consumer credit reporting agency and provide all of the following:
- Sufficient proof of identity for both the protected consumer and the protected consumer’s representative;
- Sufficient proof of authority to act on the behalf of the protected consumer.
A minor protected consumer, upon reaching sixteen years of age, may also request that the security freeze be removed. A minor protected consumer making such a request must provide proof of identity and age.
A consumer credit reporting agency that receives a proper request by certified mail or other comparable service, secure electronic method selected by the consumer credit reporting agency, telephone, or by any other means authorized by the consumer credit reporting agency to remove a security freeze on a credit report shall comply with the request not later than thirty days after receiving the request.
A security freeze does not apply to circumstances in which a protected consumer already has an existing account relationship and a copy of the protected consumer’s credit report is requested by the protected consumer’s existing creditor or its agents or affiliates for certain types of account review, collection, fraud control, or similar activities.
If a protected consumer is actively seeking credit, it should be understood that the procedures involved in removing a security freeze may slow any applications for credit. Plan ahead and remove a freeze a month before actually applying for new credit.