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Friday, September 24, 2010

Update On PennDot Accepting Puerto Rican Issued Birth Certificates

PennDOT Announces Latest Change in Accepting Puerto Rican-Issued Birth Certificates as Credentials for Driver’s Licenses/ID Cards

Harrisburg – Due to an announcement by the Puerto Rican government yesterday extending the validity of birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010 by 30 days, PennDOT will continue to accept those birth certificates as acceptable proof of identity when applying for a driver’s license or photo identification card through Oct. 30, 2010.

Previously, Puerto Rico birth certificates issued prior to July 1, 2010, would have been invalid as of Sept. 30, 2010, due to a law passed by the Puerto Rican government last year, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The law aims to strengthen the birth certificate issuance process to combat the fraudulent use of Puerto Rico-issued birth certificates to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports, Social Security benefits and other federal services.

The 30-day extension allows individuals born in Puerto Rico who were issued a birth certificate prior to July 1, 2010, additional time to obtain a new, valid birth certificate from the Puerto Rico Vital Statistics Record Office. Puerto Rico’s government advises Puerto Rican-born individuals living stateside that only those who need a birth certificate for a transaction or official purpose need apply as soon as possible; those who want to obtain a copy for their records can do so at a later date.

For more information about the law, the extension and instructions on how to apply for a new, valid birth certificate by mail, visit In addition, to assist the Puerto Rican-born community living in the U.S., the Puerto Rican government has launched an online process for individuals to apply for the new birth certificates available via

For additional information on the identity and residency documentation needed to obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s license or photo ID card, visit the Identity/Security Information Center on PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website,

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