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Validity of birth certificates extended until October 30

September 23, 2010

SAN JUAN-Puerto Rico Governor Luis G. Fortuo extended last night the validity of birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 to American citizens born in Puerto Rico for 30 additional days, until October 30, according to Secretary of State, Kenneth D. McClintock.

“Through his signature to Executive Order 2010-045, the Governor activated the last thirty-day extension allowed by law to assure that no citizen who truly needs a certificate for a transaction in the foreseeable future will be left without a valid certificate as a result of the measures taken by the government of Puerto Rico, in coordination with the Federal government, to combat the massive fraud that was causing thousands of American citizens born in Puerto Rico to be the victims of ID theft.”, the Secretary of State said.

McClintock explained that “in addition to expand the workday and establishing new temporary offices for the Vital Statistics Registry, and offering new alternatives to request birth certificates through internet, we remind our fellow citizens that only those who plan to make some transaction in November, Dece,ber or January that requires a certificate should request one during the 37 days before their old certificate expires.”

For those who truly need a new certificate printed on secure paper with new anti-fraud features, the Vital Statistics Office has a new office on the third floor of Plaza Las Amricas , next to the State Department’s Service Office. Dozens of new temporary employees have been recruited to operate this new office and to process 24 hours a day the requests filed by mail or through the portal.

Likewise, the State Department head stated that “people should remember that one of the steps we’ve taken to combat ID theft of Puerto Ricans is that no one in Puerto Rico can keep an original birth certificate since it’s illegal to keep someone else’s certified copy. You can be asked to show your birth certificate so it can be copied or information taken from it but the new birth certificate issued after July 1, 2010 should be held by the citizen for life, not filed away in a school or other place where it can be stolen to steal the identity of an American citizen born in Puerto Rico”.