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Crunch Time for New P.R. Birth Certificates

The deadline to get a new Puerto Rican birth certificate is Sunday, Oct. 31.

After that, birth certificates issued before July 2010 will be invalid, according to the Puerto Rican government.

In an effort to stem identity theft and immigration fraud, the Puerto Rican government passed legislation last year to issue new, more secure birth certificates. The deadline has been postponed twice.

The Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is issuing the new documents.

The process has caused problems for Puerto Ricans on the island and the mainland alike. In Puerto Rico, the volume of applications has overwhelmed the government, leading to the postponements. 

For Puerto Ricans living in the states, invalid birth certificates will not be accepted as identification for applications for driver's licenses, passports and Social Security cards.

The applications cost $5 except for veterans and people who are at least 60 years old. 

Applications can be found on www.pr.gov. They can mailed to:

Puerto Rico Vital Statistics Record Office

(Registro Demográfico)

P.O. Box 11854

San Juan, P.R. 00910