Puerto Rico’s New Birth Certificate Law (Law 191 of 2009 – As Amended)
The Government of Puerto Rico has enacted a new law (Law 191 of 2009 as Amended) 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 collaborations 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, and to commit other types of identity theft and fraud.
The new law calls for issuing new, security-enhanced certificates beginning July 1, 2010.
The Government of Puerto Rico has taken a number of steps to be ready for those applying for the new certificates.
The Government of Puerto Rico partnered with document provider VitalChek to provide an expedited method for ordering the new certificates. The new birth certificates can be ordered on line at www.vitalchek.com or by phone through VitalChek’s 24/7 bilingual call center at (866) 842-6765. An express processing fee and shipping costs apply for this service.
In addition, the Government launched an on-line application process through the E-Government website – www.pr.gov- to provide convenience and ease-of-use for those applying for the new certificate.
Those Puerto Rican-born living in the states are also able to request their new birth certificates through a simple process by mail.
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.
Instructions on how to apply, as well as information on Puerto Rico’s birth certificate law, can be foundthrough the links below:
About the Law:
Birth Certificate Law Fact Sheet and Frequently Asked Questions
Text of New Birth Certificate Law
How to Apply:
VitalChek (www.vitalchek.com) * VitalChek, a LexisNexis company, works with hundreds of state and local agencies throughout the country to provide vital documents to consumers. Processing and shipping fees apply.
Government of Puerto Rico E-Government Site (www.pr.gov) * Once at pr.gov, click on the Certificado de Nacimiento button.
VitalChek call center (866) 842-6765) *Bilingual call center is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Processing and shipping feeds apply.
Link to the Mail-In Application
Note regarding U.S. Passports: Those individuals who currently have a U.S. passport will not be affected. For those applying for a passport for the first time, go to the U.S. State Department website at www.travel.state.gov for application details.