We would like to remind all our clients and readers that all Puerto Rican birth certificates issued prior to 1 July 2010 will automatically become invalid on that date. This decision was taken by the Puerto Rican authorities in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security some time ago in response to large scale identity fraud in the U.S. involving Puerto Rican birth certificates.

The U.S. Department of State has estimated that as much as 40% of all identity fraud in the U.S. is a result of stolen Puerto Rican birth certificates. It is common practice in Puerto Rico to use birth certificates as a means of proving identity. Until recently, adequate measures to safeguard birth certificates were not taken. For example, students were often requested to provide a birth certificate to prove identity when enrolling in school, and the school or college would then frequently keep the original birth certificates on site without securing these documents properly. Since individuals born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens, a Puerto Rican birth certificate is a valuable document – and theft had become widespread.

The Puerto Rican government has now passed a new law that makes it illegal for institutions to hold onto birth certificates and will be issuing new, more secure certificates, from 1 July 2010.

More information can be found at the Puerto Rican government site here.

Please contact your Pro-Link Global immigration specialist if you have any queries, or would like assistance in applying for new Puerto Rican birth certificates.