ORLANDO, Fla. - Puerto Ricans who live on the mainland now have an easier way to get their important records, like birth and marriage certificates.
The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration opened its Center for Integrated Services Wednesday in Orlando. The office is a one-stop location for Puerto Ricans living in Central Florida and in the state to get their vital documents.
Gloria Cancel has lived in Central Florida for years, but she said she lost her birth certificate.
"For four years I've been waiting. I've been waiting for four years," Cancel said, who was the first person to receive her birth certificate at the new center.
PRFAA Executive Director Carlos Mercader said people can get important documents, like birth, marriage, and death certificates at this location quickly.
"They need that in order to get a driver's license, to get a job, to get a housing benefit," Mercader said.
Mercader said it used to be a long process to get those documents. But with the new center, the process is now streamlined and only takes a matter of minutes.
"That would take the person about 45, 60, 90 days. Now we're calling upon all of the community to come here to do the same things that we're doing before, but now we're going to be able to give them the birth certificate in 10 or 15 minutes," Mercader said.
The center is getting results to make lives easier.
"It's all about facilitating normalcy for people here in the state," Mercader said.
Cancel said she is grateful. She was overwhelmed, tearing up as she got her birth certificate.
She said the document means so much for her future.
"For my license, my housing. Everything, everything," Cancel said.
The PRFAA Center for Integrated Services is located at 6925 Lake Ellenor Drive Suite 101 in Orlando. It is open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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