Back to top

Still have questions for the Registry?

Last updated: 7/6/16

Still have questions for the Registry?

You can always contact us if you don’t find an answer to your question.

Keep in mind
  • When you make a request for a birth, death, or marriage certificate by mail, you will receive the copy in about two weeks.
  • If you email us about records, please include specifics on the people listed on the record, dates, and your contact information. This allows us to contact you after we do the research.
Still have questions? Contact:
Registry: Birth, death, and marriage
1 City Hall Square
Room 213
Boston, MA 02201-2006
United States

Records outside Boston

For births, marriages, or deaths that occurred in another Massachusetts city or town, you can contact that local community directly or the Massachusetts State Office of Vital Records.

Restricted Records

Massachusetts General Law only allows certain people to get a copy of a restricted birth, marriage, or death certificate.

If you are listed as a person who can get a restricted record, you’ll need to show a valid ID and you may need other paperwork.

If you want to get a restricted certificate but you are not one of the people who can, you need a court order. We will not give you a copy of a certificate if you only have a letter from someone on the certificate saying you can have one.

Birth Certificates

Legal guardians and name changes

Legal guardians can get a copy of a child’s birth certificate by showing their court order and a valid ID. If you legally change your name, that does not change your name on your birth certificate.

Adoptions

If you were adopted, your birth certificate after your adoption is the only copy we can give you. Cities and towns can not share pre-adoption information. See Mass State Vital Records regarding Access to Birth Records Prior to Adoption.

Fixing a birth certificate

Want to fix or add information on a birth certificate? Call the Registry Depositions and Corrections Office at 617-635-4182 for more information. They’re open weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For any other questions, you can check the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records.

Marriage Certificates

Correcting or adding information

Call the Registry Depositions and Corrections Office at 617-635-4182 for more information. They’re open weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

you or your partner under 18 years old?

You need to get a court order from the probate or district court when the underage person lives. A parent of the underage person needs to join them at court, and you and your partner need to have valid IDs.

If a judge lets you get married, you, your partner, and a parent of the underage person needs to apply the marriage license at the Registry.

waiving the three-day waiting period for a marriage license

There is a Marriage Without Delay waiver, but a court needs to give you the waiver and will charge you a $195 fee. When you file your Marriage Intention form in Boston, ask us about which court you need to go to.

getting a married after a divorce

You should check your divorce decree first, but you can’t apply for a license until at least one day after the divorce is final. In Massachusetts, a divorce is not considered complete until after 90 days. We don’t have divorce records. The court where your divorce was finalized will have them.

If you apply for a new license too early, we’ll reject your application and you’ll need to start all over again and pay another $50 application fee. If you're a resident of Massachusetts and recently got divorced outside of the state, please contact us at 617-635-4175.

Annulments

If you had a court annulment, you need to bring a certified copy of your annulment papers when you're applying for a marriage license.

How long is the marriage license valid?

The license is good to use for 60 days, starting on the day you filed your Marriage Intention form. If your license expires, you need to start all over again and pay another $50 application fee.

Want to register or end a domestic partnership in Boston?

The City Clerk’s office created guides to register a domestic partnership and a end a domestic partnership

Death Certificates

If the final results of a Medical Examiner’s autopsy haven’t been determined, the death record is considered pending.

Some companies won’t accept a death certificate if it is still pending. If you mail your request, please let us know if you don’t want a certificate while the death is pending.