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Massachusetts Public Records

Massachusetts Public Records

How to Make a Request for Massachusetts Public Records

In the state of Massachusetts, the process for accessing Massachusetts public records is fairly simple. According to Massachusetts public records law, any records that are created by or in the custody of any government body in the state are required to be made available, unless they are considered a danger to public safety (as well as a few other exceptions). To access these records you can do either of the following:

Contact the Records Keepers

You have the option of contacting the record keepers directly for Massachusetts public records. You do not need to provide the reason for your request, but you may need to explain the exact documents or records you need in order to help the process move forward. You can also request that any fee over $10.00 be notified to you before the request is completed, so that you have the option to decide if the fee is worthwhile for you.

Use Data Aggregators

In many cases - especially for information on people and businesses - the information is already available online from companies that have already requested the information. Massachusetts public records have no limitations on what you can use the data for, so many companies requested the information so that they could put it on websites that make it easy to search. Either way, accessing Massachusetts public records is no longer that difficult a process for those that are seeking specific information.

Massachusetts Birth Records

The history of recording Massachusetts Birth Records started from 1841; no official records were made before then by the state. If you need to search for them anyway then your best chance is to contact the town or city in which you were born.From 1941 till 1920 the records were maintained and stored properly at the Massachusetts State Archives. They can be accessed at any stage from the archive which is located at 220 Morrissey, Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125 via mail or personally; Telephonic and online requests for copies of the birth records are not entertained. Most of the records present there are on microfilm but you can also get a copy of it on a certificate.Starting from 1921 the storage for Massachusetts birth records was shifted from Massachusetts State Archives to the Department of Health. To obtain copies of the birth records you would have to contact the Registry of Vital Records & Statistics, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 120 Mt. Vernon Street, 1st floor, Dorchester, MA 02125-3105; where the procedure to obtain the records remains the same.The latest updates to the record of Registry of Vital Records & Statistics are made after 90 days of the report of a birth, so it is highly unlikely that a new record can be found there before 3 months of the submission of birth report.

Massachusetts Death Records

The State of Massachusetts keeps death records under their Health and Human Services, as The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics; they are responsible for maintaining birth, marriage and death records from 1921 into the present. However, vital records have been kept in Massachusetts dating back to 1635, though it wasn’t at the State level until 1841. For Massachusetts death records that date 1841-1920, you’ll need to turn to the State archives.

The Archives Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealths Office is responsible for records created by state government. If you are looking for death records that predate 1841, you will need to know the city or the town in which the death occurred, as from that point, and previously it was the town or cities responsibility to create and maintain death records.

The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics maintains no form of online records, they are only available on site, at the public office or in the town or city in which the event occurred. You can however order certificates online through a third party site, as well as by telephone and fax.

The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics only handles certified copies, they do not offer photocopies or informational only copies. However, they are open for genealogical or public research at their primary office.

Additional Massachusetts Resources

The links listed below lead to government agencies that provide free online access to public record information. 

For the MOST COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE  describing all access methods, restrictions, fees, and search procedures on over 28,000 government and private agencies visit the Public Record Research System (PRRS-Web).  We provide the extensive details and in-depth data you will not find doing a Google search!


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