San Juan – After receiving the approval from the Department of Homeland Security after a consultation aimed at making some requirements more flexible for the application of licenses and identifications in Real ID format to American citizens residing in Puerto Rico, the Secretary of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP), engineer Carlos Contreras Aponte, ordered that the laminated Social Security cards be accepted as valid starting this Wednesday.
In addition, it approves a resolution that extends the validity of all licenses and sworn statements required to carry out transactions in the Driver Service Centers (CESCO).
“For years we have seen how thousands of citizens have faced problems to carry out transactions in the CESCOs, because their Social Security card is laminated and, by regulation of the DTOP, it could not be accepted as valid. Although there are other documents that citizens can submit as a substitute for Social Security, such as the forms or the W-2 tax withholding sheet, it never made sense to us that the Social Security card was not accepted just because it was laminated, “said Contreras Aponte in written statement.
“On the other hand, this limitation is incompatible with the CESCO 2.0 model, which has allowed us to serve hundreds of thousands of citizens quickly, safely and without queues in just over three months. It is not acceptable that in the historical moment that we live, when we have transformed the CESCOs and made applications such as Digital CESCO available to the people to make their lives easier, a single document, which does not change at all due to the fact that it is laminated, it can result in a headache for citizens ”, he added.
The plastic cover should not affect the readability of the Social Security card.
Contreras Aponte reported that he requested a legal opinion and consulted with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who gave him the go-ahead, for which, by means of a Resolution, he authorized the acceptance of Social Security cards for both license and identification transactions. in regular format as Real ID, even if they are laminated, as long as their readability has not been affected.
They extend validity of licenses and affidavits
With the approval of Resolution Number 2020-26, effective as of this Thursday, in addition to approving the aforementioned provisions in relation to the Social Security card, the secretary established that “all categories of driver’s licenses and identification cards whose original expiration date corresponds to the months of June, July, August, September, October, November and December 2020, will have an automatic extension of six months from its original expiration date ”.
It also provided that “the computation of the 30-day term to renew the license or identification card or take the practical exam without surcharge, will be counted from the expiration date, as extended by this Resolution.”
Finally, for transactions that require the delivery of a sworn statement, the secretary has increased the term of validity from one to six months, established since it is signed before a Notary Public.