Friday, June 2, 2023


These are six critical photos to keep on your phone

What is it that most of us carry no matter where we go? Our cell phones, of course! We may leave our purses or wallets behind, but that cell phone? No way! Where you go, it goes. And for that reason, it’s important that you always keep six critical pieces of information in the form of photos on your phone.

So, what are these photos? Read on to find out.

Six critical photos to keep on your phone


Driver’s license or official state I.D. card. Take a picture of your official identification. This may be a driver’s license or your state-issued identification card. This card is often needed for proving your identity when picking up a prescription, retrieving prepaid tickets, picking up your child or grandchild from school, writing a check, and more. It’s often easier to pull up a photo of your I.D. than to wrestle the paper version out of your wallet. Plus, if you lose the physical copy, you’ll have a photo on your phone.


Health insurance cards. Take a photo of your health insurance cards: medical, dental, and prescription. They’ll be easily retrieved from your cell phone when needed. No more hectic scrambling for cards when you visit your doctor, dentist, or pharmacy.

Auto insurance card. We were happy to have taken a photo of our auto insurance card before our RV was destroyed in a violent windstorm. My purse and my husband’s wallet were both inside our totaled RV and therefore not accessible.

Personal health

Prescribed medications. Take a photo of the medicines you take regularly. Refer to the photo when you must relay this information to a doctor, when ordering a prescription, and more.


Vehicle license plates and VIN numbers. This information may be needed if your vehicle is stolen or involved in an accident. Unless you have a “vanity plate” you probably can’t rattle off the license information off the top of your head. You may need this information when securing insurance, checking into a hotel, and more.

Picture of your RV and tow vehicle. A photo will give law enforcement a jump start in locating a stolen rig (heaven forbid). It may also prove useful if your rig is more than ten years old. Some campgrounds require a photo of older rigs before reserving a campground site for you.

These are the pictures I consider critical photos to keep on my cell phone. Can you add to the list?



Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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captain gort
1 month ago

Photos of sensitive documents on your phone? Not a good idea.
But I confess, I do it.

1 month ago
Reply to  captain gort

Store the photos and other important documents on a cloud storage location like OneDrive, iCloud or Dropbox. These are protected with your username and password, enable multi-factor authentication for added security. This can be very secure if precautions are taken.

Mike R.
1 month ago

No, I really don’t think this is a good idea. Potentially convenient but for the same reason it would make it very easy for a phone thief to access a ton of confidential information. At the very least, if you’ve just got to take this chance, put the photos on a secured website with two-factor authentication and ideally encrypted files.

1 month ago

only number i keep on my phone is the gas rewards card number i use at Pilot.

Rusty Clapp
1 month ago

I keep picture of the truck and Rv, license plate and have VIn number written in a password vault. A few of this author’s suggestions are less than desirable keeping on a phone. Opinions vary.

Liz W.
1 month ago

Don’t do it. Just don’t do it. Silly things that somebody can’t use to make off with your identity, for sure. Absolutely do not put your critical information on your phone. It is soooo easy for hackers to get into your phone. Come on. Nobody is going to give your phone back until you’re out all kinds of money based info.
My son left his phone on the treadmill at the gym for less than 5 minutes. It was picked up and bam, he landed in all kinds of grief.
I used to work for the DoD. We had scan proof cases for our IDs and they said to guard personal information like your life and career depended on it.

1 month ago
Reply to  Liz W.

i tend to agree with everything you say. i agree having it on your phone for back up would be convenient but agree more that having all that info on the phone could be trouble

1 month ago
Reply to  Liz W.

Store the photos and other important documents on a cloud storage location like OneDrive, iCloud or Dropbox. These are protected with your username and password, enable multi-factor authentication for added security. This can be very secure if precautions are taken.

1 month ago

Immunization card

1 month ago

Those saying that getting into a cell phone may be difficult ignore that cell phones can be hacked and information pulled from them. Your phone might not be lost or stolen, it might be right in your hands while all that personal info you put in there is being stolen.

There are over 3 million cases of ID theft annually and it’s growing every year. The largest age group are in their 30’s. The lowest are 70+. Why do you think that is??? Could it be related to cell phones, social media “over” use, etc?

As a person that worked for one of the world’s largest IT companies and trained in the ways IT thieves work and what they are capable of, there is NO WAY I’m loading all that personal info in one place on a device! Bad bad advice.

Last edited 1 month ago by Spike
1 month ago
Reply to  Spike

Someone that got hold of my flip phone would be bored to death with the lack of any info – I hope. My wife’s smart phone scares me as I have no idea what info she has on it and I doubt even she does not know. It drives me nuts to see those big smart phones sticking out of someone’s back pocket – not just the info in the phone but there is no way that I would let a $1,000 anything be that vulnerable to loss or theft. Complain about gas prices and then lay your phone, or car and house keys, down on the counter when you check out at the register? I have copies of stuff in my wallet hidden away in the RV where even I probably can’t find it. Sorry, this discussion just got me started. My info has been hacked 3 times from insurance and investment companies. It seems my info is not safe because of others that I should be able to trust.

1 month ago

Conceal carry license

Lawrence Neely
1 month ago

do not keep critical information on your phone. I work in the defense world and we were told not to keep information electronically on devices/cloud. Your information is stored in the “cloud” in India and/or China, so available to the whole world. When ever our company requested where the data was kept and pushed to keeping data in the US, they were denied those request. (and our IT department was in India)

Last edited 1 month ago by Lawrence Neely
George Thaxton
1 month ago

The comment about being able to show your medical insurance to the doctors receptionist sounds great except they usually want to scan the cards into their system.

1 month ago

Ok, here’s a good one. Keep a picture of your current location. By that I mean a picture of your name and the name and phone number to the front office of the RV park you are currently set up. This does not give away your site number and gives the honest finder a chance to inform the office, who in turn informs you of your lost phone. It can also give authorities a chance to notify your Park in case of accident and thus secure attention for any pets you may have. All that other stuff should probably be password protected.

Sukas Mom
1 month ago

I have photos of all our IDs in a password-protected PDF.

Michael A Noble
1 month ago

I also have a list of the serial numbers of all my guns, in case my home is burglarized.

1 month ago

You mean that they are not all locked up in a gun safe? How else could they be stolen or used by a small child? Yeah, that can’t happen right?

1 month ago
Reply to  Leonard

If someone breaks into your house. They’re certainly going to let you tell them, “Hold on, while I get my gun out of the safe”. A locked up gun is useless in an emergency. Be a good parent, and teach your children safety and respect for guns. Then you don’t need to worry about it.

Thomas D
1 month ago

My tech people are busy right now, both in grade school. Ive been looking for pictures of a big snowstorm from yearsago
.someone mentioned ” you can put those in albums. Don’t know how and how do you retrieve them? I’ll probably stick to the old fashioned way thats worked for me for the last 68 years

1 month ago
Reply to  Thomas D

Check out…a senior couple that RVs and travels the world. They have many videos that are very simple to follow. Good for when your “tech people” are busy.

Kelly F
1 month ago

Perhaps a picture of all the cards in your wallet in case it is stolen.

Kaeleen Buckingham
1 month ago
Reply to  Kelly F

No, don’t do that. Now if your phone is stolen, they have your id AND your card numbers, bad idea.

Seann Fox
1 month ago

When your cell phone gets stolen then the scum have access to everything that they need to steal your identity. Remember cell phone locks are easily defeated

1 month ago
Reply to  Seann Fox

Cell phone locks are NOT easily defeated, unless you have access to the NSA.

1 month ago

Good idea to have digital pictures of those documents, but I’m apprehensive about losing my phone and having it found by someone that shouldn’t have access to that information. Security on a cell phone, tablet, etc. is just waiting to be hacked. Gotta stick with paper.

Angi Livermore
1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

I agree with this comment. This also puts your personal information in the cloud as most phones sync pictures to cloud storage. I think this could lead to identity theft or worse. I will keep most of these items in my wallet.

Terence Platt Hennessy
1 month ago
Reply to  Angi Livermore

Yeah, THE CLOUD is a theft concern for me, right/wrong, hackers are everywhere today?

1 month ago
Reply to  Dan

My thoughts as well. Although good ideas, how about a photo of your cell phone on a chain and lock to your body! (kidding) More and more people are getting their cell phones stolen nowadays. Sad, but true. I have my info memorized, but can see how some could use these. As we’re getting older, seems hard to remember where we left something!

1 month ago

Excellent advice. Will update mine today!

1 month ago

Add two more: fishing licence and recreational watercraft operator’s permit

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