New York City Office for Puerto Rican Vital Records Opens

Vital Records Office for Puerto Ricans

Obtaining records for Puerto Ricans in the New York City area just became much easier.

A new Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration (PRFAA) office will open in the Bronx, NY to help Puerto Ricans obtain birth certificates (certificados de nacimiento) and other vital records (registros vitales).

While it is easy for native New Yorkers to obtain their birth certificates and other vital records, many Puerto-Rican born residents have had trouble accessing their documents.

That includes native-born New Yorkers with Puerto Rican roots.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and due to numerous natural disasters, it has been difficult for Puerto-Rican residents to obtain vital records that are registered on the island.

According to a 2010 census, around 10% of New York City’s population, or around 1 million residents, could be traced back to Puerto Rico.

Before the opening of this government office, Puerto Rican residents of NYC had to get their birth certificates and other records from PRFAA offices in Washington, D.C., Orlando, or Puerto Rico.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul commented on the announcement of the opening of the office at the SOMOS conference in San Juan on November 11th, saying:

“As home to one of the largest populations of Puerto Ricans in the U.S., New York is taking steps to ensure that everyone in our state can access vital programs, services, and benefits,”

“This brand-new office will help to ease the burden of locating important records and documents for Puerto Ricans in and around New York.”

With access to vital records, residents can claim benefits and other forms of assistance if needed.

To obtain legal documents or government benefits, a certified copy of a birth certificate or death certificate is essential (información sobre como obtener un certificado de nacimiento aquí en Español).

For the large population of Puerto Ricans in the New York City area, this new office will alleviate any struggles they’ve had obtaining their certificates in the past, especially since 2020.

U.S. Congressman Ritchie Torres also mentioned how the opening of this office will bring the NYC and Puerto Rican communities together, especially those who have arrived to start a new life after the recent devastating hurricanes.

“Outside the island, New York State has the highest population of Puerto Ricans in the United States,”

He went on to say: “The presence of this office not only allows for Puerto Rican residents to access important documentation, but also creates a space to build relationships between the Puerto Rican diaspora in NYC and current residents of Puerto Rico.

Following Hurricanes Maria and Fiona, thousands of Puerto Ricans have come to New York to restart their lives after losing everything in the natural disasters.”

The opening of this office will ease the process of obtaining essential vital documents for all Puerto Ricans in the New York City area.

Read more:

New York Office of Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration - NYS

Birth Certificate form Puerto Rico - NYC311