Effective July 1, all Puerto Rican birth certificates will be invalidated as part of a sweeping move by the U.S. commonwealth to combat fraud. That means the 4.1 million people of Puerto Rican descent in the U.S. will require of new proofs of birth & may approach Notaries to assist them in obtaining such documentation. Federal & Puerto Rican officials warn there will be a wave of attempts to commit fraud amid the confusion, as Puerto Rican birth certificates are in high demand on the black market for those seeking to receive unlawful passports, driver’s licenses & other government benefits.
Notaries approached with a request to help receive proof of birth in Puerto Rico should keep in mind that they have no power to “certify” vital records such as birth documents.
The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) reports that they took this aggressive action because lots of Puerto Rican businesses improperly asked for certified copies of birth certificates for common transactions, & then stored the copies in unsecured areas. Lots of were stolen & sold for use in generating fake IDs. Approximately 40 percent of passport cases inquired in to by the U.S. Department of State in recent years have involved fraudulent use of Puerto Rican birth certificates. More information about the Puerto Rico law & where to receive a lawful certified copy of a Puerto Rican birth certificate can be found at the PRFAA Web-site.
N3 Notary for information use only, not to be used as legal advice.