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Invalidation of Puerto Rico Birth Certificates

by Oklahoma Information Fusion Center

Public Information Bulletin

(Prevention Through Awareness)


A Puerto Rican law will be implemented July 1, 2010, invalidating all birth certificates issued by Puerto Rico prior to June 30, 2010. Affected individuals will need to request a new birth certificate following the procedures outlined below.

The invalidation of all previously issued Puerto Rican birth certificates was a result of hundreds of thousands of original birth certificates stored without adequate protection, making them easy targets for theft. Subsequently, many birth certificates have been stolen, sold on the black market, and used to illegally obtain passports, licenses, and other government and private sector documentation and benefits.

In December 2009, the government of Puerto Rico enacted a new law (Law 191 of 2009) 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 (DOS) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to address the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits, and other federal services.

Law 191, which went into effect on January 1, 2010, implements the following changes:

  • On July 1, 2010, the law will invalidate all birth certificates before that date.
  • On July 1, 2010, the Vital Statistics Record Office will begin issuing new birth certificates incorporating technology to limit the possibility of document forgery.
  • The law creates a 15-day extended validity transition period for those birth certificates issued after June 15, 2010, and before July 1, 2010.
  • As of January 1, 2010, the law also establishes that no public or private entity within the jurisdiction of Puerto Rico may retain an original copy of a Puerto Rico issued birth certificate.
  • Federal or state government agencies, including the courts, may obtain electronic transcripts of all recorded birth, marriage, and death certificates, if they are to be used for official purposes. These transcripts will be issued directly by the Vital Statistics Office to the state or federal agency or court.

Obtaining a New Birth Certificate: Citizens born in Puerto Rico but residing elsewhere may obtain a copy of the new birth certificate by filling out a Birth Certificate Application form from the Puerto Rico Vital Statistics Record office on or after July 1, 2010. Cost of a new birth certificate is $5.00 / $4.00 for additional copies of the same individual. Application forms can be obtained at:

http://www.salud.gov.pr/Programas/RegistroDemografico/Pages/RequisitosparasolicituddeNacimiento.aspx

Any information or questions concerning this topic can be forwarded to the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center at the following contact numbers:

 

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