Wednesday, July 14, 2010
There is a huge problem with Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates being used to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits, and other federal services.
The government admits that hundreds of thousands of original birth certificates were stored without adequate protection, making them easy targets for theft.
About 40 percent of the passport fraud cases involve birth certificates of people born in Puerto Rico.
The Vital Statistics Record Office will begin issuing new birth certificates incorporating what it calls "state-of-the-art" technology to limit the possibility of forgery.
The government of Puerto Rico recommends that only people who have a specific need for their birth certificate request a new birth certificate.
People who want a copy of the new birth certificates for their records are asked to wait to avoid a rush of applications.
The new birth certificates will cost $5.