Puerto Rico-born Americans must get replacement birth certificates issued


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The commonwealth of Puerto Rico will be reissuing all birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010, and invalidating the old certificates so that new, more secure versions can be issued.

Until July 1, all Puerto Rico birth certificates will remain valid.

Puerto Rican-born citizens living in the states and territories will be able to request and receive their new birth certificates through a simple process by mail. The fee is $5, but it will be waived for people over 60 as well as veterans.

The government of Puerto Rico enacted the new law in 2009 to strengthen the issuance and usage of birth certificates in order to combat fraud and protect the identities and credit of people born in Puerto Rico. The new law was based on collaboration with the U.S. State Department and U.S. Homeland Security Department to address the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits and other federal services.

Ppeople born in Puerto Rico are not required to get a new birth certificate on July 1. Puerto Rico government officials are anticipating an influx of requests and suggested that only people who have a specific need for a birth certificate for official purposes should request a new certificate right away, she said.

Officials are encouraging Puerto Rico-born Americans without passports who are planning to travel in July, or shortly thereafter, to have their passport applications processed before the birth certificates become invalid. If they do not do so, they likely will see a delay in obtaining the new birth certificate.

For more information, visit www.prfaa.com/birthcertificates.

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