Correction or Change of a Certificate
We can make a correction or change to a Certificate of Birth, Marriage, Death or any other certificate issued by the Puerto Rico Demographic Registry. This can be in the Certificate of Birth, Marriage, Death or any other issued by that agency.
What is the procedure: via the Agency or the Court?
Each case is different. In order to analyze your case, it is necessary that you first send us an inquiry through our contact form. In this inquiry, you will need to upload or attach your current Certificate, if you have one. Our analysis will include the possibility of verifying directly with the agency before answering you which will be the procedure to follow.
On the other hand, if you have already received any previous communication from the PR Demographic Registry, you should include that letter in your consultation with us. Sometimes, when they are errors from the Population Registry itself, they can be corrected via the agency. For example, if the Certificate had the correct date of birth originally and then, due to some internal error of the agency, it was modified by mistake.
However, for most of the corrections it is necessary to turn to the court. This is because at the time of registration, the applicant (usually the parent) is the one who certifies by signature that the information provided was correct. Therefore, if more than 30 days have elapsed since the original registration, and the error was not due to the agency, then only the court is the one who could order the Population Registry to make the change. Without a doubt, going to court always involves more work, which is why the cost is higher.
Correction or Change of Name: Via the Courts
This is the most common type of correction, via the court. If your issue is 1) a correction, or, 2) a name change, you will have to go to court, as summarized here:
1. Correction: for the Birth Certificate to officially show that the person's name is "also known by" another name. This legal procedure is known in Latin as "Ad Perpetuam Rei Memoriam".which means "information that is made judicially and preventively, so that it will be recorded in the future". This is the most common type of name change as it helps to preserve the tract of names previously used.
2. Name change: less common. However, this option completely eliminates any previous use of the original name, so it is not a recommended alternative as it is more drastic.
How long does the whole process take?
It depends. If the correction could be done within the Demographic Registry itself, that is, via the agency, the process would take only 14 days.
However, if the correction is via the court, then it is about 90 days. In addition, we have a service urgent (30 days), for an additional cost at the time of payment. The time frame will depend on several factors, for example, how quickly you can email us the evidence needed for your case, in addition to signing an affidavit that we will send you.
The shipping cost will be automatically calculated depending on the address you enter when finalizing your order.
Do I have to be in Puerto Rico?
No, that is what legal representation is for. In the vast majority of cases we can work the case completely online. online. However, in a few situations, the judge may require your physical presence in PR. This will depend on several factors, such as: if you live and work outside of PR, your age, if you have any health condition, etc. On the other hand, since the COVID-19 pandemic, court cases have been almost all virtual (via Zoom®).
What if I already have a judgment from a U.S. court?
Generally, corrections to vital records certificates are supposed to be made in the same state or country where the person was born. For example, if a person was born in California, then a Puerto Rico court cannot order the Los Angeles Vital Records Office to correct an error in a certificate issued there. This is because a PR court does not have jurisdiction over an agency or entity in another state.
The same happens the other way around. That is, if a person is born in PR, then he/she must make any corrections to his/her certificate here on the island. The only exception is that if the person has already obtained an order from a U.S. court, then he/she may seek to validate it through an additional judicial proceeding known as "exequatur". However, this process is somewhat complicated and tedious, so it is easier and more advisable to make the complete correction through a court in PR.
What does the cost include and what is the shipping method at the end?
The cost of the correction or change of the Certificate indicated here is only for the change or correction. The work to be done by the attorney, in case it is a correction via the court, also includes getting some required certifications. For example, a negative certification of alimony from PR and the negative certificate of criminal record, even if you live outside of PR. These certifications will be processed by the attorney on behalf of the client.
It is important to note that the correction through the court cannot be made by a person convicted of perjury or fraud. To obtain the new, corrected document at the end, you must also add the new Certificate to your order, as this is a separate process. The shipping cost of your Certificate once corrected will be automatically calculated depending on the address you enter when paying for your order. We ship anywhere in the world. Shipments to the U.S. or PR are through federal mail and international shipments via FedEx® or UPS®.
What if I still have doubts or questions?
If you still have questions after reading this, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions section.