In the mailbox
Last December the Government of Puerto Rico 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. We are working to ensure that the individuals, communities and institutions that will be impacted by this law have access to complete and accurate information on this topic. Therefore, we kindly request your assistance and collaboration to communicate the facts about this change in law to affected citizens as well as federal, state and local governments.
The new law was the result of cooperation 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 birth certificates issued by Puerto Rico before July 1, 2010, will be invalidated on that date so that new, more secure certificates can be issued in their place. Until then all current birth certificates will remain valid.
This change will impact all people born in Puerto Rico regardless of whether they reside in the island or the U.S. mainland. Affected individuals living in the states will be able to request and receive their new birth certificates through a simple process by mail. However, it is important to understand that there is no need to rush out and get a new birth certificate on July 1, 2010. Instead it is suggested that only people who have a specific need for their birth certificate for official purposes request a new birth certificate right away.
To better inform the public we are providing several public outreach materials in both English and Spanish. They can be found on the PRFAA website through the following links:
Please share these links and the public outreach materials they contain with all of your pertinent networks. We thank you in advance for your help.
Luis M. Balzac
Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration