Massachusetts (MA) Vital Records

Vital Records Online (VRO) offers a safe, secure, and convenient method for ordering Massachusetts vital records online. With VRO, you can effortlessly request Massachusetts birth, death, and marriage certificates from the comfort of your home. Your vital records will be delivered to your address securely, and rest assured that your private information will remain confidential.

History of Vital Records in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Government-Issued Vital Records

Massachusetts, “the Bay State,” has a population of nearly 7 million. America’s first health board was established by the Massachusetts Legislature in Boston in 1799, with Paul Revere as president. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), headquartered in Boston, is related to public health within that state.

The Registry of Vital Records and Statistics (RVRS) administers and issues copies of vital records that occurred in Massachusetts from 1926 to the present. RVRS also provides birth, fetal deaths, divorces, and marriage statistics. Massachusetts vital records are open to the public, and records for events from 1841 to 1925 are available from the State Archive. The individual ordering a certified copy of a vital record must prove the relationship to the registrant on the certificate. If the parents were not married at the time of the birth or if an adoption took place, these records are restricted for 50 years to those mentioned on the record.

When doing a genealogy project, the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics may help, or you can try many public archives. Find out what information they contain, where to obtain them, how they are used, and how to get certified copies.

Start your application online for MA vital records

Official Birth Certificate
Massachusetts Birth Certificate

Request a certified copy of live birth for your baby or child.

Official Marriage Certificate
Massachusetts Marriage Certificate
Obtain marriage records for yourself or a family member.
Official Death Certificate
Massachusetts Death Certificate
Get an original copy of a death certificate replacement for a lost record.

Why Do I Need Certified Copies of My Massachusetts Vital Records?

Birth, death, and marriage certificates are essential for many life events, like marriage, enrolling in school, joining the military, or traveling. Vital records can help settle legal disputes, claim an inheritance, and investigate family history. They can provide key details about your ancestors, such as their full names, dates of birth and death, and locations. If you lost a birth, marriage, or death certificate, you should file a police report and request a certified replacement as soon as possible. In the birth, death, and marriage certificate FAQs, you can find other beneficial uses for vital records.

Where to Get Massachusetts Vital Records

There are multiple options for ordering Massachusetts vital records. You can order them online, in person, or via mail. In the United States, vital records are maintained at the county and state levels. Each county is responsible for certifying and issuing vital records that take place within its jurisdiction. You can find a complete list of Massachusetts County vital record issuing agencies, which includes locations, contact information, and access to online applications for requesting birth, death, and marriage certificates.

❗️If you’re seeking ancestral records for genealogy research in Massachusetts, they are freely available from various public archives.

Visiting the Vital Records Office

  • Required in-person application
  • Waiting in line
  • Complex and tedious application process
  • Strict business hours and closed during holidays
  • Phone line may be busy
  • No trackable application
  • Only checks and money orders

Visiting the DPH-RVRS office location

Ordering Vital Records Online

  • No waiting in long lines
  • Simplified and streamlined application process
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Online assistance by specialists
  • Verification and error-checking
  • Custom trackable application interface
  • Convenient fee payment by credit card
    • Additional service fee
    • Remote Processing time

Get Started Online

How to Order Massachusetts Vital Records

Massachusetts residents have multiple options for requesting vital records from their home state. Whether ordering online, in person (walk-ins), or by mail, each method has its own set of requirements, costs, eligibility criteria, and processing times. The Massachusetts DPH-RVRS is responsible for producing and certifying vital record copies, and they provide detailed instructions for each type of vital record – birth, death, and marriage certificates. Understanding the specific requirements for each type of certificate is essential, as it ensures a smooth and straightforward process. Carefully review the steps and conditions before requesting a certified vital record copy from the DPH-RVRS, and ensure that your documents, application, and fee payment are sent to the correct vital record location that can provide a certified copy of the original record.

Ordering Online

Ordering Massachusetts Vital Records online is quick and effortless and involves two simple steps:

  1. Complete the online application, upload your documents, and
  2. process your order.

(Choose additional options if you need to insure, expedite, or obtain premium customer support for your application.)

If you are authorized and meet the eligibility requirements, you can apply online to order a Massachusetts birth, death, or marriage certificate. Be sure you have the required documents on hand and be prepared to upload copies of them during the secure online application process. Vital Records Online offers a simplified system that helps you quickly gather and generate the necessary documents. It also guides you to the appropriate application and submits your packet to the health department’s vital records office which issues the certified record. The application process is easy to complete from any device with an internet connection and can be done in as little as five minutes. By following Vital Records Online’s process, you can minimize the chances of your application being rejected due to common errors or missing documents.

✔︎ Our $29 processing fee includes your automated document processing and first-class shipping & handling.

✔︎ Additional copies of your certified vital records can be purchased for the state’s fee during the online application to save future costs.

✔︎ If required, a notarized sworn statement is included when ordering a Massachusetts birth, death, or marriage certificate through VRO.

✔︎ Vital Records Online’s support team manages scanning, printing, and providing an online notary for your application and documents. Learn more about how the online ordering and premium handling process works.

Ordering In-Person or By Mail

Ordering online can be the most convenient method for residents living abroad or those who prefer to avoid potentially long queues at the local vital records office. Applying in person may be convenient for those who reside within travel distance to the state health department office that issues certified copies of the original vital records. Ordering via mail or online can be a more efficient approach to avoid difficulties when applying in person. Mail is also suitable for those living out of state. Be mindful to confirm if the office is open to the public for walk-ins, as you may encounter long queues upon arrival. The steps for applying for vital records are generally the same whether you apply in person or by mail.

If you choose to apply in person at the vital records office, prepare to complete the following steps:

  • gathering your documents,
  • getting photocopies of your documents,
  • completing the correct form, and;
  • presenting everything to the health department during regular business hours.

Additionally, when ordering by mail, you will need the following: 

  • purchasing an envelope,
  • including a physical check or money order,
  • issuing it to the Massachusetts DPH-RVRS.

Vital Records Online can help simplify the process of replacing birth, death, or marriage certificates for you or a family member. Each certificate type has unique requirements for who can request a certified replacement. By ordering online through Vital Records Online, you can reduce mistakes and ensure quicker processing time.

❗️ To avoid your application being denied due to mistakes or incomplete information, review the requirements for each vital record before mailing it.

❗️ Be certain that your documents, application, and payment are submitted to the correct health department that issues certified copies from the preserved original record.

❗️ If you choose to mail your application and documents, we recommend purchasing mail tracking to confirm their arrival at the correct office.


Before gathering the documents for your vital record application, it is essential to understand the conditions and requirements.

Proof of Identity for Verifying Authorization: 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health – Registry of Vital Records and Statistics requires applicants to provide the necessary information and documents when ordering certified copies of Massachusetts vital records. To verify your identity, you must provide a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license, state-issued photo ID, or passport. Driver’s licenses are preferred, even if they are expired. When you request a certified birth, marriage, or death certificate, you must provide a government-issued ID to verify your identity.

What Documents Are Required to Order Vital Records in Massachusetts?

Check the specific conditions and requirements defined by the Massachusetts DPH-RVRS for each type of certificate and personal circumstance. Review the details and ensure you meet the criteria for obtaining certified Massachusetts birth, death, and marriage replacements.

❗️ Without proper ID and a fully completed application, your request will be returned, causing considerable delays in processing your order.

Certificate Required Information ID Requirements Options Secondary IDs
Birth Certificate Date of Birth,
Father's Name,
Full Name of Person of Record,
Mailing Address,
Mother's Name,
Place of Birth,
Your Address,
Your Relationship to the Person of Record,
Your Signature
Driver's License,
Valid Government ID
Death Certificate Date of Death,
Father's Name,
Full Name at Birth,
Full Name of Person of Record,
Mailing Address,
Mother's Maiden Name,
Mother's Name,
Place of Death,
Spouse Maiden Name,
Spouse Name,
Your Address,
Your Relationship to the Person of Record,
Your Signature
Driver's License,
Valid Government ID
Marriage Certificate Bride Name,
Bride's Name Before Marriage,
Date of Marriage,
Groom Name,
Groom Name Before Marriage,
Mailing Address,
Place of Marriage,
Your Address,
Your Relationship to the Person of Record,
Your Signature
Driver's License,
Valid Government ID

Who is Authorized to Order

Who can request vital records in Massachusetts?

To request a birth, death, or marriage certificate on someone else’s behalf, it is essential to ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria specified by the Massachusetts DPH-RVRS. Authorized third-party applicants, such as family members or legal representatives, can legally request a copy of a vital record if they can establish a familial or legal relationship with the individual on record and provide proof of eligibility. Individuals can also request certified copies of their vital records by providing proof of identity. Remember that additional documentation may be required to demonstrate eligibility as a third-party applicant.

Certificate Authorized People
Birth Certificate Children, Legal Guardian, Legal Representative, Parents, Person on Record
Death Certificate Not Restricted
Marriage Certificate Legal Guardian, Legal Representative, Person on Record

✔︎ If you can provide documentation of legal interest or hold a Power of Attorney from the person on record, you are eligible to request the vital record for that person.

Notarized Sworn Statement

Do I need a notary with my application?

The Massachusetts DPH-RVRS does not require applicants to obtain notarized statements when requesting certified copies of their birth or marriage certificates, regardless of whether the request is ordered online, by mail, by telephone, or in person. Notarized statements are only required when requesting certain amendments to a record. An online notary is included with your order when ordering through Vital Records Online.

❗️ A Notarized sworn statement may be required under the following circumstances: 

  • When amending a certificate in certain situations, such as sex reassignment
  • When requesting a non-certified record of birth prior to adoption

You can also find more information about unique circumstances that may require a notary with your application on the DPH-RVRS website at Under certain conditions, notaries are necessary for apostilles, corrections, or amendments to vital records. Additional details regarding these conditions can be found in other FAQs below.

✔︎ A notary is generally not required to obtain authorized copies of Massachusetts vital records. A photocopy of your ID is sufficient to verify your identity.

✔︎ Vital Records Online includes an online notary service in your application packet. Otherwise, you must bring your ID when creating this document using a local public notary.

Costs and Fees

The costs for vital record replacements vary depending on the fees set by the DPH-RVRS for each type of certificate. When ordering birth, marriage, divorce, or death records through Vital Records Online, the online Application Assistant starts at $29. It is important to note that the DPH-RVRS charges a $15.00 fee for a certified copy of a birth, marriage, or death record. There is an extra $6.00 fee for each additional certified copy.

Certificate Fee Additional Copy
Birth Certificate $32.00 $32.00
Death Certificate $32.00 $32.00
Marriage Certificate $32.00 $32.00
Divorce Certificate $0.00 $0.00

✔︎ Additional copies can be requested in the same order to save future costs in case your vital records are lost, destroyed, or stolen.

Vital Records Online Logo processing fee is $29.

Processing and Delivery Times

How long will it take to receive my vital records from Massachusetts?

The processing and replacement times for birth, death, or marriage certificates may vary. The total time it takes to receive your vital record in the mail can also be influenced by the method you use to submit your application and documents.

The process is simplified when ordering through Vital Records Online, as it helps you gather documents and submit your application packet. Additionally, it offers options for expedited processing of your order. It’s important to note that these processing times are subject to change based on the volume of requests received by the DPH-RVRS.

Certificate Processing Time Rush Processing Time
Birth Certificate 2 to 4 weeks 7 to 10 days
Death Certificate 2 to 4 weeks 7 to 10 days
Marriage Certificate 2 to 4 weeks 7 to 10 days
Divorce Certificate N/A N/A

❗️ The processing and replacement duration of birth, death, or marriage certificates by the DPH-RVRS may increase based on a high volume backlog of orders.

❗️ A simple error, typo, or missing document can cause wait times to double, repeat shipping costs, or expose personal information.

How to Track My MA Vital Record?

After submitting your application through Vital Records Online, you can track the order status and processing status. You can also monitor the progress of your application packet to the Massachusetts DPH-RVRS by using the prepaid mail postage included with your order. If you prefer to mail the application packet manually to the vital records health department, it is recommended to purchase first-class mail tracking to ensure successful delivery.

Please note that the Massachusetts DPH-RVRS ships all vital records to your home via USPS first-class mail for added protection. However, they do not take responsibility for any misdirected or lost certificates. In case of a lost birth certificate, it is essential to file a report immediately. Be cautious to avoid any simple errors or typos that could expose your personal information if the certificate is sent to the wrong address.

Find more frequently asked questions below the Massachusetts counties office locations directory.

Massachusetts (MA) Vital Record Office Locations

Local Vital Records offices may be closed to the public.

Online Applications are available 24 hrs, 365 days per year.

Search (A-Z) Massachusetts vital records issuing agencies in your county.
Address Hours Application

Department of Public Health – Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, 
150 Mount Vernon St., 1st Floor,
Dorchester, MA 02125

Phone: (617) 740-2600

Mailing Address:

Executive Office of Health and Human Services
Department of Public Health, 

150 Mount Vernon Street, 1st Floor,
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105

8:45 am-4:45 pm Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Barnstable County
PO Box 427
Barnstable, MA 02630
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Berkshire County
76 East Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Bristol County
9 Court Street
Taunton, Massachusetts, 02780
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Dukes County
81 Main St., P.O. Box 1267
Edgartown, MA 02539
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Essex County
Essex Town Hall
30 Martin Street
Essex, MA 01929
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Franklin County
43 Hope St.
Greenfield, MA 01301
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Hampden County
1600 E. Columbus Ave
Springfield, MA 01103
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Hampshire County
15 Gothic St., P.O. Box 1119
Northampton, MA 01061
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Middlesex County
15 Commonwealth Avenue
Woburn, MA 01801
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Nantucket County
16 Broad Street
Nantucket, MA 02554
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Plymouth County
44 Obery Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Suffolk County
24 New Chardon St
P.O. Box 9660
Boston, MA 02114
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Worcester County
1 West Market Street
Snow Hill, MD 21863
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate
Norfolk County
Birth Certificate Death Certificate Marriage Certificate

Other Frequently Asked Questions


An apostille is required for vital records submitted to a foreign government, which are issued by the Secretary of the Commonwealth for vital records initially filed with the DPH-RVRS.

How can I get an apostille for a vital record?

The apostille services for vital records can be obtained through the Secretary of the Commonwealth or Vital Records Online. Vital Records Online is a trusted provider of apostille services across all 50 US states, with legal validity in over 100 countries. They offer professional assistance for apostilles on birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates. The process, which starts at $149 (plus government fees), can be conveniently completed online in just three steps.

  1. Complete the Apostille Express online application.
  2. Submit the required documents for approval.
  3. Receive your apostille document.

In most cases, you can complete the procedure online without needing a physical copy of your documents. After completing the apostille documentation, it will be delivered to you using FedEx or DHL, regardless of your location. We rely on reputable courier services for global delivery, ensuring that the package will reach your doorstep whether you are in the US or any other location.

You will need to provide the following information: 

  • Authentication Submittal Form
  • Certified vital record certificate
  • A fee of $6.00 per document, checks/money order only, made payable to the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Self-addressed, stamped envelope or prepaid express shipping label and envelope (not necessary if picking up in person)

You can mail or hand-deliver requests for vital record apostilles to the Secretary of the Commonwealth at one of the following addresses:

Secretary of the Commonwealth,
Commissions Section,
One Ashburton Place, Room 1719,
Boston, MA 02108

Secretary of the Commonwealth,
436 Dwight Street, Room 102,
Springfield, MA 01103

Secretary of the Commonwealth,
218 South Main Street, Suite 206,
Fall River, MA 02721

You can reach the office at (617) 727-2836 or online at

Correcting or Amending Vital Records

The Massachusetts DPH-RVRS provides a straightforward process for correcting or amending birth certificates, marriage certificates, or a family member’s death certificate as authorized by law. Specific forms are required when a vital record needs to be changed, and the requirements for requesting changes or amendments vary depending on the particular vital record. Supplemental changes are treated as addendums to the original record, but no entity can alter the original document. In Massachusetts, many amendments require a court order, which typically involves the assistance of an attorney.

Correcting or amending vital records usually will require the following: 

  1. A completed amendment application;
  2. Supporting documentation;
  3. Appropriate fee(s);
  4. A notarized sworn statement completed by an authorized person (only required in particular cases, such as amending a birth record for the purpose of sex reassignment).

Learn more about correcting or amending birth, death, and marriage certificates.


  • The DMV prefers a birth certificate when verifying your identity for the REAL ID;
  • The deadline to obtain a Real ID has been extended to May 7th, 2025.

The REAL ID Act is a new federal law regarding driver’s licenses that may affect those individuals whose vital records do not match their driver’s licenses. To prevent delays when applying for your Real ID driver’s license, you are encouraged to review your birth and/or marriage to ensure your name, sex, and date of birth are listed correctly.

Search Public Records

Where can I search for free public records?

Massachusetts Vital Records provide valuable information for various life events. Most vital records in Massachusetts are accessible to the public except for restricted records. Birth certificates are considered restricted if the child is born out of wedlock, while marriage certificates are restricted if the bride or groom’s parents were not married at the time of their birth. However, death certificates have no restrictions. While finding free public records in Massachusetts can be challenging, many vital records are available to the public. You can search through the archives of birth, marriage, and divorce records in Massachusetts, although it may require significant time and effort to review the records thoroughly.

Are Massachusetts Vital Records Open to the Public?

Most state records in Massachusetts are public; access to these records depends on the types and years of birth, death, or marriage events. When conducting research on specific vital records, it can be helpful to refer to third-party websites that provide a convenient way to access and research records, regardless of geographic location. However, it is important to understand that the information on these third-party sites may vary from official government records.

To find a record on a third-party website, the person requesting must provide the following information:

  • The location of the record you’re looking for, including the city, county, or state where it was recorded.
  • The name of the person on record, if it is not a minor.

How to Verify if Your Vital Record is Official

To ensure you have the official certified copy, you can check what the documents look like depending on which municipality or agency issued your Birth, Death, or Marriage Certificate. Each state, county, and municipality has different vital records. If you want to confirm that your certificate is a certified copy, you can refer to the official, certified documents in the county where yours was issued. A stamp or large print can recognize informational copies of vital records across the face of the document that reads “Informational, Not a Valid Document to Establish Identity” or something similar.

What Are the Differences between Authorized Copies Versus Informational Copies?

In Massachusetts, authorized copies of vital records are legal documents used for official identification, while informational copies are unofficial and cannot be used for official purposes. Only certified copies are issued by the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, and Massachusetts does not offer informational copies of vital record certificates.

Authorized Copy:

Authorized (certified) copies of vital records are legal documents that can be used for official identification. They are only issued to individuals with a “direct and tangible interest” in the document. Informational copies, on the other hand, cannot be used to establish identity. Regardless of intended use, the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics only issues certified copies of records. If you are looking for vital record information for genealogical research but do not need a certified copy, you can find more information on how to order a birth, marriage, or death certificate on the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website.

Informational Copy:

Massachusetts only issues certified copies of vital record certificates, regardless of intended use. In compliance with the Massachusetts Public Records Law, citizens have the right to inspect or obtain copies of public records. Massachusetts does not offer any form of keepsake certificates or informational copies of birth or marriage certificates, referred to as “short-form,” “unofficial” (non-certified), “heirloom,” or “commemorative certificates.” Informational copies are not official legal documents intended only for display or personal reference. They cannot be used for official purposes such as establishing identity, obtaining a passport, or proving eligibility for benefits. Informational copies are typically used for personal record-keeping or genealogical research. Non-certified copies are only available in cases of adoption.

Find more references regarding birth, death, and marriage certificates in the resources section.

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