Massachusetts

Open Public Record Act:

The Massachusetts Public Records Law guarantees any individual the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records created or received by a state or local agency, board, or other type of government body. However, there are some exemptions to this law such as criminal investigation records and records that invade the privacy rights of an individual citizen.

Birth Records:

The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics is able to provide copies of birth records of births that occurred in the state from 1926 to the present. Most requests of birth certificates are fulfilled within 2-3 weeks upon receipt of request. In order to submit your request, you will need the following:

  • subject’s name
  • date of event
  • place of event
  • proof of your identity (ID)
  • Applicants may also be required to provide proof of relationship to the subject on the record.

    The cost of a birth certificate is $51 for the first copy if requested online or by phone and $42 for each additional copy. Requests submitted by mail cost $32 per copy while in-person applications cost $20 per copy.

    Requests made online or by phone are processed by a third party vendor, VitalChek. Orders sent by mail will be processed by the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. Be sure to submit the completed application form as well as a check or money order made payable to “Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Standard processing time for mailed requests is 15-20 days upon receipt. For expedited processing, the cost of the certified copy is $42 and processing time is 7-10 business days. Requests made in person can be processed within the same day. Payments must be made in cash or check.

    Only the following individuals are eligible to receive a copy of birth records:

  • the child
  • parents
  • legal guardian
  • legal representative
  • Marriage Records:

    The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics is able to provide copies of marriage certificates for marriages that occurred in the state from 1926 to the present. Most requests of marriage certificates are fulfilled within 2-3 weeks upon receipt of request. In order to submit your request, you will need the following:

  • subject’s name
  • date of event
  • place of event
  • proof of your identity (ID)
  • Applicants may also be required to provide proof of relationship to the subject on the record.

    The cost of a marriage certificate is $51 for the first copy if requested online or by phone and $42 for each additional copy. Requests made online or by phone are processed by a third party vendor, VitalChek.

    Requests submitted by mail cost $32 per copy while in-person applications cost $20 per copy. These will be processed by the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. Be sure to submit the completed application form as well as a check or money order made payable to “Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Standard processing time for mailed requests is 15-20 days upon receipt. For expedited processing, the cost of the certified copy is $42 and processing time is 7-10 business days. Requests made in person can be processed within the same day. Payments must be made in cash or check.

    Only the following individuals are allowed access to a marriage record:

  • Bride
  • Groom
  • Legal representative (requires documentation supporting representation)
  • Parents
  • Legal guardians (requires documentation supporting guardianship)
  • Divorce Records:

    The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics does not provide copies of divorce records. If you wish to obtain any of the following divorce records listed below, you will need to get in touch with the courthouse where the divorce was granted.

    Certificate of Divorce Absolute
    Letters of Authority or Appointment; Personal Representatives/Guardians
    Docket Page
    Attested Copies of documents in a court file
    Unattested Copies of documents in a court file

    To obtain a copy of a divorce record, you will need to submit a completed application form and the payment to the courthouse where the record is filed.

    Death Records:

    The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics is able to provide copies of death certificates for deaths that occurred in the state from 1926 to the present. Most requests of death certificates are fulfilled within 2-3 weeks upon receipt of request. In order to submit your request, you will need the following:

  • subject’s name
  • date of event
  • place of event
  • proof of your identity (ID)
  • Applicants may also be required to provide proof of relationship to the subject on the record.

    The cost of a death certificate is $51 for the first copy if requested online or by phone and $42 for each additional copy. Requests made online or by phone are processed by a third party vendor, VitalChek. Requests submitted by mail cost $32 per copy while in-person applications cost $20 per copy. These will be processed by the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. Be sure to submit the completed application form as well as a check or money order made payable to “Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Standard processing time for mailed requests is 15-20 days upon receipt. For expedited processing, the cost of the certified copy is $42 and processing time is 7-10 business days. Requests made in person can be processed within the same day. Payments must be made in cash or check.

    Missing People:

    The Massachusetts State Police maintains a list of all missing persons reported to the agency on their website. You can scroll through the list which contains photos, names, physical descriptions, and addresses of missing persons as well as a copy of their missing poster.

    Elected Officials:

    You can get a list of all state elected officials for Massachusetts through the city of Boston’s government website. Each Senate and House of Representatives member is listed with his/her contact information as well as a link to his/her profile and the area he/she serves. For example, Senator William N. Brownsberger serves the Second Suffolk and Middlesex area. On his profile, you’ll be able to see all the bills he has sponsored and cosponsored as well as the different committees he is a member of.

    Court Records

    no links in this area

    Recorder

    no links in this area