The government of Puerto Rico has enacted a new law (Law 191 of 2009) aimed at strengthening the issuance and usage of birth certificates to combat fraud and protect the identity and credit of all people born in Puerto Rico.
The new law was based on collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to address the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits, and other federal services.
Under the new law, all Puerto Rico birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010, will be invalidated so that new, more secure certificates can be issued. Until that date, all birth certificates will remain valid.
It is important to understand that there is no need to rush out and get a new birth certificate on July 1, 2010. It is suggested that only people who have a specific need for their birth certificate for official purposes need request a new birth certificate right away.
Those Puerto Rican-born living in the states will be able to request and receive their new birth certificates through a simple process by mail. The fee is $5, but will be waived for people over 60 and veterans.
The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (“PRFAA”) has prepared a frequently asked questions information sheet that can be used as a guide about how the new law affects Puerto Ricans.
A new birth certificate application has also been provided by the PRFAA. A new, more secure, birth certificate will be available only on or after July 1, 2010.
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