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Massachusetts Vital Records

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The following is for informational purposes only

What are Massachusetts Vital Records?

Vital records in Massachusetts are the official records of all births, death, marriages, and divorces in the state of Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), Registry of Vital Records and Statistics (RVRS) maintains and issues copies of vital records from 1926 to the present.

Massachusetts vital records that occurred between 1841 and 1925 are maintained at the Massachusetts Archives department. Some Massachusetts cities and towns maintain records from as early as 1635. To access these older records, you should contact the Massachusetts city clerk's office or town clerk's office where the event occurred.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Birth Certificate in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts birth records

Two types of birth certificates are restricted by Massachusetts State General Law – births to unwed parents, and birth records prior to adoption.

For births to unwed parents, only the following persons may obtain a copy of the birth certificate:

  • The registrant of the birth certificate.
  • The parents of the registrant listed on the birth certificate.
  • The father who is not listed on the certificate if he has proof supporting his paternity.
  • A legal guardian with proper documentation.
  • A legal representative of any of the authorized persons, with supporting documentation.

For birth records prior to adoption, only the following persons may obtain a copy:

  • Adoptees who were born in Massachusetts on or before July 17, 1974.
  • An adult child of a deceased parent who was an adoptee born in Massachusetts on or before July 17, 1974.
  • The parent or legal guardian of a child under the age of 18 whose deceased parent was an adoptee born in Massachusetts on or before July 14, 1974.
  • The adoptive parent of a child under the age of 18 born in Massachusetts on or after January 1, 2008.

Birth certificates that are not one of the above two restricted types may be accessed by anyone.

You may obtain a certified copy of a Massachusetts birth certificate online, by mail, by phone, or in person. You will need to complete an Application for Vital Record request form.

To order a Massachusetts birth record online, you should contact VitalChek. Copies of birth certificates, when ordered online, are charged a fee of $51 for the first copy and $42 for each additional copy. To have your application expedited, the fee is $59.50 for the first copy and $50.50 for each additional copy. This does not include postage, which varies depending on which shipping method is chosen. VitalChek accepts all major credit cards and debit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover Card.

To order a Massachusetts birth certificate by phone, you should call VitalChek at (617) 740-2606 or (866) 300-8535. The fees for phone orders are $51 for the first copy and $42 for each additional copy. To have your application expedited, the fee is $59.50 for the first copy and $50.50 for each additional copy. This does not include postage, which varies depending on which shipping method is chosen. VitalChek accepts all major credit cards and debit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover Card.

To order a copy of a Massachusetts record of birth by mail, you should mail your completed application along with your check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to:

The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mt. Vernon St.
1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125

The fees for mail orders are $32 for each copy by standard mail request and $42 per copy for an expedited mail request.

To obtain a copy of a Massachusetts birth record in person, you may visit the Registry counter Monday through Friday (except for holidays) from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.:

Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mt. Vernon St.
1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125

You may also contact the Registry Counter by phone at (617) 740-2600. The cost for in-person copies of Massachusetts birth certificates is $20 per copy, which may be paid by check or money order. For older records, you should contact the Massachusetts State Archives department.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Death Certificate in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts death records

Massachusetts death certificates are public records, and anyone may obtain a copy at the clerk of court's office where the death occurred, either online or in person. You can locate the correct clerk of court's office.
You may also obtain a copy of a Massachusetts death certificate from the Massachusetts Office of Vital Records. To order online, you should contact VitalChek. Copies when ordered online are charged a fee of $51 for the first copy and $42 for each additional copy. To have your application expedited, the fee is $59.50 for the first copy and $50.50 for each additional copy. This does not include postage, which varies depending on which shipping method is chosen. VitalChek accepts all major credit cards and debit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover Card.

To order a Massachusetts death certificate by phone, you should call VitalChek at (617) 740-2606 or (866) 300-8535. The fees for phone orders are $51 for the first copy and $42 for each additional copy. To have your application expedited, the fee is $59.50 for the first copy and $50.50 for each additional copy. This does not include postage, which varies depending on which shipping method is chosen. VitalChek accepts all major credit cards and debit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover Card.

To mail in your order for a copy of a Massachusetts death certificate, you should mail your completed application along with your check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to:

Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mt. Vernon St.
1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125

The fees for mail orders are $32 for each copy by standard mail request and $42 per copy for an expedited mail request.

To obtain a copy of a Massachusetts death record in person, you may visit the Registry counter Monday through Friday (except for holidays) from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.:

Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mt. Vernon St.
1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125

You may also contact the Registry Counter by phone at (617) 740-2600. The cost for in-person copies of Massachusetts death certificates is $20 per copy, which may be paid by check or money order.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Massachusetts Marriage Certificate?

Massachusetts marriage records

Marriage certificates are accessible by anyone unless it is restricted. Restricted marriage certificates are those of a person who was born to unwed parents. If one of the parties to a marriage certificate was born to unwed parents, then only the following person may obtain a copy of that person's marriage certificate:

  • The married parties.
  • The parents of the married parties.
  • A legal guardian of one of the married parties.
  • A legal guardian of one of the parties with documentation of proof.

If the marriage certificate is not restricted, anyone may obtain a copy either online, by mail, by phone, or in person.

You may also obtain a copy of a Massachusetts marriage license certificate from the Massachusetts Office of Vital Records. To order online, you should contact VitalChek. Copies when ordered online are charged a fee of $51 for the first copy and $42 for each additional copy. To have your application expedited, the fee is $59.50 for the first copy and $50.50 for each additional copy. This does not include postage, which varies depending on which shipping method is chosen. VitalChek accepts all major credit cards and debit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover Card.

To order a Massachusetts marriage certificate by phone, you should call VitalChek at (617) 740-2606 or (866) 300-8535. The fees for phone orders are $51 for the first copy and $42 for each additional copy. To have your application expedited, the fee is $59.50 for the first copy and $50.50 for each additional copy. This does not include postage, which varies depending on which shipping method is chosen. VitalChek accepts all major credit cards and debit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express, or Discover Card.

To order a copy of a Massachusetts marriage certificate by mail, you should mail your completed application along with your check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to:

Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mt. Vernon St.
1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125

The fees for mail orders are $32 for each copy by standard mail request and $42 per copy for an expedited mail request.

To obtain a copy of a Massachusetts marriage record in person, you may visit the Registry counter Monday through Friday (except for holidays) from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.:

Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mt. Vernon St.
1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125

You may also contact the Registry Counter by phone at (617) 740-2600. The cost for in-person copies of Massachusetts marriage certificates is $20 per copy, which may be paid by check or money order.

 

How Can I Get a Copy of a Divorce Record in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts divorce records

Divorce records in Massachusetts are maintained by the clerk of court in the Massachusetts county where the divorce was granted. You will need to locate the correct Massachusetts family and probate court to obtain a copy of a Massachusetts divorce certificate.

Helpful State Resources