Puerto Rican Certificates Widely Circulate Fraud Prone
Puerto Ricans regularly distribute original, certified copies of their birth documents like they might be business cards or resumes, leaving them with church offices, athletic team coaches or summer camp counselors as part of membership applications.
“I don’t know why we do it,” said Luis Balzac, regional director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration. But “anybody who grew up in Puerto Rico saw it happen.”
The documents often remain unclaimed, lingering in filing cabinets and wastebaskets, easy targets for would-be thieves.
“My mom would request multiple copies of my birth certificate to give to the peewee football coach, summer camp, church groups. put out at least 10 copies of my certificate,” Balzac said. “We don’t know where those ended up We would not receive them back.”
Only 45,622 children were born in Puerto Rico in 2008, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. But more than 860,000 certified copies of birth certificates were issued by the Puerto Rican Office of Vital Statistics the same year, according to the Office of Management and Budget.
Under the new Puerto Rican law, all birth certificates circulating on the island and in crime rings will become worthless in July. The reissued birth certificates will contain enhanced security features to make them less fraud prone, officials say.
Puerto Ricans are also no longer permitted to provide original copies of their certificates to third parties.
As Of Sept 30 2010 Certified Copies Of Puerto Rico Birth Certificates Issued Before July 1 2010 Will Now Be Valid Through Oct 30 2010 The Dates Below Reflect This Extension
WASHINGTONOn July 1, 2010, the Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico began issuing new, more secure certified copies of birth certificates to U.S. citizens born in Puerto Rico because of a new Puerto Rico birth certificate law. After Oct. 30, 2010, all certified copies of birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010, will become invalid. This new law does not affect the U.S. citizenship status of individuals born in Puerto Rico. It only affects the validity of certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates.
Find Puerto Rico Birth Records
Puerto Rico Birth Records are documents relating to an individual’s birth in PR. These can include birth certificates, birth indexes, and birth databases. Some states may also have paternity registries and affidavits of parentage for children born to single parents. Birth Records are kept by Vital Records Offices or the County Clerk’s Offices, which may be run by the Puerto Rico state government or at the local level.
Find Birth Records, including:
- Certified copies of birth certificates
- What birth records are used for
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How To Search For Birth Records In The Gazeta De Puerto
GenealogyBank makes searching for Gazeta de Puerto-Rico birth records simple. Start your search with the last name of your ancestor and click the Search button.
You can also download the Tips for Searching Newspapers guide for free to learn about smart techniques that can help you to narrow down your results and uncover those elusive family members.
Follow these steps to perform an advanced search of birth notices in the Gazeta de Puerto-Rico:
Issuance Of New Birth Certificates For People Born In The Commonwealth Of Puerto Rico
Guidance for : This informational bulletin updates an earlier bulletin about the legislation enacted by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to re-issue certified birth certificates for persons born in Puerto Rico. The legislation was designed to reduce the risk to the security and well-being of Puerto Ricans by limiting the issuance and use of certified birth certificates by unauthorized individuals.
Issued by: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Issue Date: November 02, 2010
HHS is committed to making its websites and documents accessible to the widest possible audience, including individuals with disabilities. We are in the process of retroactively making some documents accessible. If you need assistance accessing an accessible version of this document, please reach out to the .
DISCLAIMER: The contents of this database lack the force and effect of law, except as authorized by law or as specifically incorporated into a contract. The Department may not cite, use, or rely on any guidance that is not posted on the guidance repository, except to establish historical facts.
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Do Us Citizens Need A Passport For Puerto Rico
United States citizens traveling from within the USA do not need a passport to enter Puerto Rico as it is a non-incorporated territory. Travelers can use a government-issued photo ID like a drivers license and their birth certificate to travel to Puerto Rico.
Since 1898, Puerto Rico has been a non-incorporated territory of the United States. As a result, a trip to the island counts as domestic travel, and US citizens can visit using only their birth certificate and an official government-issued ID. These documents prove that youre a United States citizen.
While other commonwealth territories like Guam, American Samoa, the Swains Island, and the Northern Mariana Islands might require US citizens to have a passport, US citizens can travel freely between Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands with their official ID and without going through customs as long as they travel directly from the mainland.
A United States citizen that travels from a foreign port will need to show their passport at the airport when entering Puerto Rico.
The Luis Muñoz Marin Airport in San Juan
As of May 2023, the Real ID Act will require all driving licenses to be a Real ID for traveling purposes. If your drivers license or government-issued ID isnt a Real ID, then youll need your passport to travel to both Puerto Rico and other states of the United States.
Always Forget What to Pack? Use my handy checklist of what to pack for Puerto Rico to remember everything!
How Safe Are Puerto Rican Birth Certificates
More than 50 people were recently arrested in a major international sting operation that led to the dismantling of an identity theft network centered in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Two of the most recent defendants were Francisco Matos-Beltre and Isaias Beltre-Matos, both originating from the Dominican Republic. The network was selling Puerto Rican birth certificates in more than a dozen U.S. states. Alfonso Chardy of El Nuevo Herald tells how the network operated and whether Puerto Ricans should be concerned about their identity.
Alfonso: They were selling Puerto Rican birth certificates and other Puerto Rican documents to undocumented immigrants because people want the Puerto Rican birth certificates so they could apply for U.S. passports.
Luis: I’m Puerto Rican, born on the island, and a number of years ago I was sent a letter saying you must get a new birth certificate issued because of problems with identity theft. I did that and I got my new birth certificate, but should I be worried?
Luis: Remind us again why the Puerto Rican birth certificate is such a popular item to try to get.
Luis: As a Puerto Rican, what do we do to protect ourselves?
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How Can I Order A New Pr Birth Certificate
Our office recommends VitalCheck to order the Birth Certificate online quickly:
Alternatively, if you do not wish to make the request online, a mailed-in request to the San Juan Vital Records Office is possible. The San Juan Registry has been keeping vital records since July 22, 1931. For birth records prior to July 22, 1931, contact the Local Registrar in the municipality where the birth occurred or you may write the central office for additional information.
You may request a birth, death or marriage certificate by mail, but you must provide the following information:
- P.O. Box 11854
- San Juan, Puerto Rico 00917
If you need more information or need to verify current fees, the telephone number to the San Juan Vital Records Office is 767-9120. Mailed-in Requests usually take six weeks.
I Sent My Documents To Vitalcheck And They Dont Answer My Calls Or Emails
VitalCheck is a private company that provides help processing vital documents for all states in the U.S. including Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates but has nothing to do with the Government of Puerto Rico. If you sent your paperwork to VitalCheck and you have an issue, please contact VitalCheck directly for customer service. The official government website to request vital documents is www.pr.gov.
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How Can I Contact The Puerto Rico Health Department For My Birth Certificate Or For Corrections To The Document
The Official Puerto Rico Government website is www.pr.gov and you can click on the orange box titled Certificado de Nacimiento. The phone number is 765-2929, the extension is 6100 and the email is . *Note*: PRFAAs Orlando Office is only authorized to expedite vital documents, not to make corrections.
Drivers Records And Apostille Services
6925 Lake Ellenor Dr Suite 101, Orlando, FL 32809.
Cel. 776 9000
NEW SERVICES! Request your document online and pick up by appointment: www.renovacionesonline.com
Also you can now get the digital treasury stamps in your android or apple device. For more information please download the Colecturia Digital App or please visit: www.colecturiadigital.com
Monday to Friday from 10:00-12:00pm and 1:00-3:00 pm.
Some Saturdays from 9:00am to 1:00pm.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, effective Monday, June 1, 2020, the office will be open serving those who make appointments, additionally temperatures will be taken, and individuals must wear proper face coverage prior to entering the office.
Paperwork and other requirements:
The registrant must visit the office in person.
Have a valid ID that is not expired such as Drivers License, Passport or state identification.
For Marriage Certificate, if you have a married name and you didnt get married in Puerto Rico, youll need to bring your State Marriage License from the State where your marriage license was issue.
Birth Certificate: $5.00 for the stamp, and $10.00 for additional copies.
6925 Lake Ellenor Dr. Suite 101, Orlando, FL 32809
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Born Again Puerto Rico’s Birth Certificate Fiasco
Rampant fraud has forced the invalidation of millions of birth certificates.
April 20, 2010 — This summer all Puerto Ricans will have the chance to be born again — at least on paper.
The government of Puerto Rico is invalidating every birth certificate issued on the island before July 1, 2010, in an attempt to curb rampant fraud and identity theft that officials say has ruined lives, strained social service programs and compromised national security.
Each of Puerto Rico’s 4 million residents and the estimated 1.2 million Puerto Rico-born Americans living in the 50 states will have to apply for new vital documents to legally prove that they exist and remain eligible for government benefits.
It’s a radical solution to what many say has been a serious and growing crisis involving Puerto Rican birth certificates, which are used to apply for everything from U.S. passports to Medicaid.
The U.S. State Department and Homeland Security Department estimate that an astonishing 40 percent of all U.S. passport fraud cases in recent years involved Puerto Rican birth certificates, though exact numbers are unknown.
“There are so many floating around a lot fall into the hands of unscrupulous individuals,” said State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs spokeswoman Rosemary Macray. “We’ve uncovered many cases of people posing as Puerto Ricans” in applying for U.S. passports.
Puerto Rican Birth Certificates Issued Before July 1 2010 Declared Void
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: 549-2666
BOSTON — A change in the law has voided the birth certificates of approximately five million Puerto Ricans, including some 1.4 million on the U.S. mainland, if they were issued before July 1, 2010. The Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts urge those affected to take steps now to obtain new birth certificates, and to report any problems or delays in obtaining new birth certificates from Puerto Rico, or in obtaining IDs and driver’s licenses from Massachusetts, which often depend on having a valid birth certificate.
On November 1, 2010, the Puerto Rican government invalidated the birth certificates of all persons born in Puerto Rico before July 1, 2010. The Vital Statistics Record Office responsible for issuing new, allegedly more secure birth certificates has been unable to cope with the flood of applications, which number more than 1.9 million since September. Many applicants report long lines and extensive processing delays.
While a number of federal and state agencies have developed policies to ensure that the Puerto Rican-born are not denied access to food stamps, Medicaid, and other services as a result of difficulties in obtaining a new birth certificate, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has not done so.
For more information about the MLRI, go to: www.mlri.org
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What Documents Do I Need To Go To Puerto Rico
United States citizens and lawful permanent residents coming from within the USA do not need a passport to visit Puerto Rico and can enter the island with a government-issued ID. International travelers have the same entry and passport requirements to enter Puerto Rico as they would entering any other part of the United States.
Requesting Your Certificate In Person
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Tips For A Successful Gazeta De Puerto
Older records in San Juan,Puerto Rico were not always the most accurate. Only in the modern age did birth certificates include first and middle names. Plus, many records offices took down information orally, which resulted in misspellings and missing information.
Remember, nobody audited records in the newspaper, apart from busy newspaper editors.
If youre finding it difficult to get Gazeta de Puerto-Rico birth records, try following these tips:
- Search by initials. Many birth records in the Gazeta de Puerto-Rico may have only included initials plus the surname.
- Look for common misspellings. Records were often taken down orally, and there were high levels of illiteracy, meaning many people didnt know how to spell their names. This is particularly important when dealing with names of foreign origin or longer names.
- Look for illegitimacy. Children born out of wedlock were often registered under their mothers maiden surname.
- Expand your year’s search. It wasnt uncommon for people to be unaware of their real birth date or to lie about it, particularly when it came to war service records.
Finally, if youre struggling to find a relative, consider searching for siblings or other family members first. Remember, not everyone may have chosen to register births in newspaper records.
Do Us Permanent Residents Need A Passport For Puerto Rico
United States lawful permanent residents do not need a passport to enter Puerto Rico if coming from within the USA. Lawful permanent residents can visit Puerto Rico using a driving license and their immigration papers.
While travelers with an LPR status can enter Puerto Rico with an official ID such as a driving license, the United States Customs and Border Protection recommends bringing their green card and passport too.
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Do You Need A Passport To Go To Puerto Rico
Are you planning a trip to the Caribbean and wondering: do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico? Puerto Rico is one of the top Caribbean destinations for US travelers, but there are some details to know before you go.
Puerto Ricos entry requirements are different for United States citizens than those coming from a foreign destination. While United States citizens and permanent residents can enter Puerto Rico with just a government-issued photo ID, travelers from other countries need to comply with the same visa and passport requirements as entering the US.
There are other US territories with similar rules, but as a local, I can tell you that Puerto Rico is particularly easy to travel to and makes for a great trip from the states.
Lets look at some of the entry requirements for traveling to Puerto Rico!
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