TN 28 (10-10)

GN 00301.065 Acceptance of Puerto Rico Birth Certificates

A. Policy for Puerto Rico birth certificates

Under Puerto Rico law, all certified copies of birth certificates issued from Puerto Rico before July 1, 2010 will be invalid after October 30, 2010. On July 1, 2010, the Vital Statistics Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico began issuing new, security enhanced certified copies of birth certificates to U.S. citizens born in Puerto Rico. Beginning October 31, 2010 for enumeration and claims purposes, SSA will only accept birth certificates from Puerto Rico with an issue date of July 1, 2010 or later.

B. Procedure for Puerto Rico birth certificates

Use the following procedures beginning October 31, 2010 when an applicant presents a Puerto Rico issued birth certificate for enumeration or claims purposes.

1. Enumeration procedures for accepting Puerto Rico birth certificates

  • Accept birth certificates from Puerto Rico with an issue date of July 1, 2010 or later. If the applicant submits a birth certificate issued July 1, 2010 or later, follow established evidentiary guidelines to process the application.

  • Do not accept birth certificates from Puerto Rico with an issue date of June 30, 2010 or earlier. If the applicant submits a birth certificate that was issued prior to July 1, 2010, do not process the application. Provide written notice that the SSN application cannot be processed. Explain to the applicant that as of October 31, 2010 all birth certificates from Puerto Rico with an issue date of June 30, 2010 or earlier are invalid, SSA cannot accept an invalid birth certificate as evidence and he or she must submit a birth certificate with an issue date of July 1, 2010 or later. He or she must contact the Puerto Rico Vital Statistics Office to request the new birth certificate

2. Claims procedure for accepting Puerto Rico birth certificates

Follow these steps for accepting a PR BC for claims purposes:

  • Determine whether the proof of citizenship (POC) and proof of age (POA) tolerances apply. If a tolerance applies, do not develop for evidence of age or citizenship.

  • If the POC tolerance does not apply, ask for primary evidence of citizenship following the instructions in GN 00303.300.

  • If the POA tolerance does not apply, ask for a public record of birth issued July 1, 2010, or later and established before age five or a religious record of age established before age five.

  • If the claimant does not have a valid Puerto Rico BC issued July 1, 2010, or later, and he or she does not have other preferred or primary evidence, follow the instructions in GN 00302.057, How to Determine Whether Preferred Evidence of Age is Available. To obtain a PR BC, follow the instructions in GN 00308.220, Puerto Rico Vital Records.

IMPORTANT: Do not have the claimant authorize the PR Vital Statistics Office to send the BC directly to the FO, and do not retain any PR BCs. Follow existing instructions in GN 00301.286 to document the evidence.

C. References

  • GN 00302.030, Tolerances for Developing Evidence of Age

  • GN 00302.054, Public Record of Birth

  • GN 00302.056, Religious Record of Age

  • GN 00302.057, How to Determine Whether Preferred Evidence of Age is Available

  • GN 00301.286, Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention

  • GN 00308.220, Puerto Rico Vital Records

  • GN 00303.300, Establishing U.S. Citizenship for All SSA Programs

  • GN 00303.320, Evidence of U.S. Citizenship – Tolerances

  • RM 10210.250, Overview of Evidence of Age for an SSN Card

  • RM 10210.270, Evaluation and Verification of Evidence of Age for an SSN Card

  • RM 10210.210, Reviewing Age, Identity, Citizenship and Lawful Alien Status Evidence for an SSN Card

  • RM 10210.500, General Information on Evidence of U.S. Citizenship for a Social Security Number (SSN) Card

  • RM 10212.010, Evidence of a Name Change on an SSN

  • RM 10215.115, Procedures for Providing Written Notice to an SSN Applicant

  • RM 00299.020, Form L-676 Refusal to Process SSN Application

  • Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration – http://www.prfaa.com/birthcertificates/