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BPHC permits

BPHC’s Board of Health issues yearly licenses and individual project permits to businesses and individuals to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents.

Contact Us

Area Contact information
General Permits including Burial
617-534-5965
ehpermits@bphc.org
 

Tobacco

617-534-4718
tobaccocontrol@bphc.org

Burial

860 Harrison Ave., 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02118

617-534-4758 (Brityan Andrews)
617-534-2361 (Doris Reynolds)
857-288-7682 fax
burialpermits@bphc.org

Hours of Operation:

Mon - Fri
8:00 am - 12:00pm
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Weekends
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Holidays
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Office hours may be affected by inclement weather.

Burial Permits

The Burial Permits Office issues permits for the transportation, burial, or cremations of the remains of individuals who have died in the City of Boston.  Special circumstance permits are also issued for the disinterment/reinterment of remains and for fetal death/stillbirth.

Funeral directors: Follow this link to pay online for a Burial Permit:

Online burial permit payments

Beginning September 1, 2021, the online payment processor will begin assessing a small processing fee directly to the payor at the time of payment. This will be in addition to the usual Burial Permit fee. It is not collected by or remitted to the Boston Public Health Commission, but is instead paid directly to the processor.

Please note:

Special Circumstance Permits cannot be processed through the online VIP system and must be handled by the office via email.  After paying the associated permit fee online, please send the following to the office at burialpermits@bphc.org.

EXHUMATION, DISINTERMENT, OR REINTERMENT PERMITS

The following documents are required for processing a Burial Permit for exhumation, disinterment, or reinterment of remains.

  1. Certified Copy of Death
  2. Letter from the Funeral Director that includes the following information:
    • The decedent's name
    • Date of demise
    • Funeral home name and address
    • Funeral director name and license number
    • Means of disposition (i.e., burial, cremation)
    • What crematory / cemetery
    • Date of final disposition
FETAL OR STILLBORN PERMITS 

The following documents are required for processing a Burial Permit for fetal and stillborn remains.

  1. Fetal death certificate
  2. Letter from the hospital that includes the following information:
    • The patient name(s)
    • Approximate weeks of gestation
    • Date of demise
    • Name(s) of parents
    • Address of parent(s)
    • Funeral home name and address
    • Funeral director name and license number
    • Means of disposition (i.e., burial, cremation)
    • What crematory / cemetery
    • Date of final disposition

Permits and Licenses by category

Permits and Licenses by category

Asbestos is a mineral that was used commonly in a wide variety of building materials and insulation. When broken or damaged, it can release microscopic fibers that, when breathed in, can cause cancer and asbestosis. It is not illegal to have asbestos in good condition in a building, but defective or damaged asbestos materials must either be repaired or removed by a Licensed Asbestos Contractor working under a permit issued by the Boston Public Health Commission. Asbestos contractors seeking a permit can use the links below to download application documents or apply online.

Questions? Contact the EOH at 617-534-5965 or EHpermits@bphc.org.

To protect the health of artist and clients, businesses that tattoo, pierce, and perform other body art must get an establishment permit from BPHC. This includes visiting businesses. Individuals performing body art in Boston need a practitioner license from BPHC. Practitioner licenses are required for permanent or temporary artists, such as visiting artists or artists providing body art at a convention.

Questions? Contact the EOH at 617-534-5965 or EHpermits@bphc.org.

We implement and enforce the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure’s regulations for funeral directing. These regulations set requirements for safety procedures in funeral establishments. Funeral directors must have an annual funeral director license from the BPHC for funeral services in the city of Boston.

Questions? Contact the EOH at 617-534-5965 or ehpermits@bphc.org.

Every operator of an indoor ice skating rink in Boston must apply for and receive a permit from BPHC if they use fossil fuel-powered ice surfacing equipment.

Questions? Contact the EOH at 617-534-5965 or EHpermits@bphc.org.

Junk Yards, Solid Waste Facilities (including transfer stations, incinerators, and landfills), Container Storage Lots, and Recycling Facilities need site-specific installation permits and operating permits from both BPHC and the MA Department of Environmental Protection.

Questions? Contact the Environmental Health Office at 617-534-5965 or EHpermits@bphc.org.

In November 2012, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot question legalizing medical marijuana use. Registered Marijuana Dispensaries (RMDs) can legally sell marijuana for medicinal use. RMDs are under the purview of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) and local regulation.

Once approved by the state, RMD’s in Boston need to go through a local permitting process. In addition to zoning relief and building permits, RMDs need to apply for a permit from the Environmental & Occupational Health Division (EOH) at BPHC. In addition to zoning relief and building permits, RMDs need to apply for a permit from BPHC.

Do you want to know more about the health effects associated with marijuana use? Visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's website. Do you want to get resources or support around marijuana or other substance use? Call Boston 311.

Adult use retail marijuana businesses are regulated separately from medical dispensaries. To learn more about requirements for these businesses, visit the City of Boston Marijuana Legalization page.

The law allows those certified by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition, to use marijuana. These individuals can possess up to a 60-day supply of medical marijuana. A debilitating medical condition is further defined as "HIV/AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn's Disease, Parkinson's, MS and other conditions as determined by a physician. State regulation determined 10 ounces is a 60-day supply.

To register, a patient must get a letter from their physician and submit an application to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. More details on the patient registration process are available here.

Patients may name a caregiver to help them use medical marijuana. Caregivers must be 21 years old and may buy, grow and assist patients in using medical marijuana.

Do you want to know more about the health effects associated with marijuana use? Visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's website. Want resources or support around marijuana or other substance use? Call Boston 311.

Do you have questions about permits? Contact the EOH at 617-534-5965 or EHpermits@bphc.org.

All businesses offering nail services need an establishment permit from BPHC.

Questions? Contact the Environmental Health Office at 617-534-5965, visit the Safe Shops Program's website, or email EHpermits@bphc.org.

BPHC implements and enforces the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations governing facilities that provide tanning services. All businesses offering tanning must get an annual permit from BPHC. 

Questions? Contact the EOH at 617-534-5965 or EHpermits@bphc.org.

To sell tobacco or nicotine delivery products you need a BPHC Permit for Location and Sales of Tobacco Products.

Submit all completed forms with check or money order IN PERSON to the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program located at 1010 Massachusetts Avenue 2nd Floor Boston, MA 02118​.

To apply for a permit: 

  1. Review the Clean Air Works Workplace​ and Youth Access Regulations​
  2. Contact the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program for a Permit Application
  3. Sign and submit the Retail Establishment Owner/Operator Statement
  4. Submit a Copy of your Massachusetts Department of Revenue Retailers License for Sale of Cigarettes (Form CT-3A)​ or receipt indicating that you have applied for a license. The DOR license must be secured to issue a permit
  5. Submit the permit fee as a check or money order payable to the Boston Public Health Commission. Contact the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program for applicable permit fees
  6. You may need additional information such as proof of purchase of retail location, lease agreement, business utility bill, and purchasing sales agreement to complete permit application processing

Permits are non-transferable. If you move your business to a different location or sell your business to a new owner, you cannot transfer the permit. You must report the change in your business status immediately to the Boston Tobacco Prevention and Control Program.​

You must get a permit from BPHC before constructing an industrial, irrigation, geothermal, or human consumption water well. You also need an annual permit to operate a well. Certain wells, such as monitoring wells, are exempt from these requirements.

Questions? Contact the Environmental Health Office at 617-534-5965 or EHpermits@bphc.org.

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