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Puerto Rico Extends Validity of Birth Certificates through September 30, 2010

Rhode Island’s State Office of Vital Records and local clerk offices can now accept certified copies of Puerto Rico birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 through the end of September. The Puerto Rico government previously passed a law invalidating all birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 on that date. The government has now extended the validity of current Puerto Rico birth certificates until September 30, 2010. The purpose of the extension is to provide people born in Puerto Rico who may need a birth certificate for an upcoming transaction with a three-month window to apply for and receive a new document. The Puerto Rico government will still begin issuing new, more secure certificates to anyone who requests one starting July 1. People may need to present a certified copy of a birth certificate to apply for a marriage license or to request legal changes to birth, death, or marriage records filed in Rhode Island. Any Puerto Rican-born person who may need to provide their birth certificate to the State Office of Vital Records or to a local clerk office for these purposes after September 30 should apply for a new certified copy from the Puerto Rico Health Department. The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) recommends that anyone who needs to get a new birth certificate from Puerto Rico should still plan ahead and allow plenty of time to get the new birth certificate. At this time, the Puerto Rico Health Department does not know how long it will take to process a request for a new birth certificate. According to the Puerto Rico government, if you are age 18 or older and were born in Puerto Rico, you may apply for a new copy of your birth certificate online at For more information on the law and instructions on how to apply, see For information in Spanish, visit For general information, call the HEALTH Information Line at 401-222-5960 / RI Relay 711 or visit

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