Birth certificates of all island-born Puerto Ricans become invalid on July 1 and can’t be used as legal documents. The law requiring new certificates affects 1.5 million Puerto Ricans living on the mainland and nearly 4 million living on the island.
In recent years, 40 percent of fraudulent U.S. passports were obtained using Puerto Rican birth certificates—which, because of widespread use, are often stolen and sold on the black market for up to $10,000. “The new law will improve the security of all birth certificates and better protect the public from fraud and identity theft,” says Puerto Rico Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock. Apply for your new birth certificate starting July 1 (see box below, or visit Puerto Rico AARP).