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P.O. Box 160
Trenton, NJ
Media Contact:
Mike Horan
Elyse Coffey
(609) 292-5203
Public Information:
(888) 486-3339
RELEASE: August 24, 2010

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MVC Highlights Puerto Rico Birth Certificate Change
Puerto Rico-born residents need to obtain new document by September 30

(NEW YORK) Following a meeting today with Luis Balzac, Regional Director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez reminded residents that effective September 30, 2010, all birth certificates issued by the Puerto Rican government prior to July 1, 2010 will be deemed invalid. The old birth certificates will not be accepted as proof of identification when obtaining a Digital Driver License (DDL) or conducting other government transactions in New Jersey.

A law passed by the Puerto Rican government, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will invalidate all existing Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates prior to July 1 in order to prevent fraud and unlawful attempts to obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits and other federal services.

“With one of the largest Puerto Rican populations in the nation, it is important for us to educate New Jerseyans about this major change, the reason for it and how new documents may be obtained,” said Martinez. “Like many of the security measures established by our organization over the last seven years, the Government of Puerto Rico is taking the necessary steps to prevent identity theft and abuse. Through a cooperative effort, we, along with other partners in New Jersey, are assisting Puerto Rico in this effort.”

Puerto Rico-born residents must obtain a new, valid copy of their birth certificate from the Puerto Rico Vital Statistics Record Office. Individuals who do not obtain a new birth certificate will be unable to apply for a U.S. Passport or other federal or state programs.

Those Puerto Rico-born customers who already possess a New Jersey DDL do not need to present their birth certificate when renewing a license. A DDL serves as a four-point, primary document for renewal purposes. If a customer loses his or her DDL, or seeks to obtain a DDL for the first time, a valid birth certificate or other four-point, primary document is required for the transaction.

“This birth certificate change should not pose a major problem for most of our customers born in Puerto Rico,” said Martinez. “Those who already possess a digital driver license will have no issue because it is considered a primary document under the MVC’s 6 Point ID Verification Program. This reaffirmation of Puerto Rico’s new policy is most important for those who have yet to apply for a driver license to ensure that they obtain a valid birth certificate as soon as possible.”

To assist its customers in obtaining new birth certificates, the MVC has provided information on its website at www.njmvc.gov. Customers may also visit the Government of Puerto Rico’s website at www.pr.gov for information and use its online application process.