How to Get a Birth Certificate from Massachusetts: A Step-by-Step Guide

Birth Certificate Apostille

Obtaining a birth certificate in Massachusetts is a straightforward process, but knowing the steps and requirements can save you time and hassle. Whether you need a birth certificate for identification, legal purposes, or personal records, this guide will walk you through the process of ordering a birth certificate in Massachusetts, ensuring you meet all the necessary requirements.

Why You Might Need a Birth Certificate in Boston, MA

A birth certificate is a crucial document for various purposes:

  • Proof of Identity: Essential for obtaining passports, driver’s licenses, and other forms of identification.
  • Legal Requirements: Needed for marriage licenses, adoption procedures, and other legal processes.
  • Personal Records: Important for genealogical research or personal documentation.
How to apostille MA Birth Certificate
How to apostille MA Birth Certificate

What You Need to Order a Birth Certificate

Before you start the process, gather the following information:

  • The Subject’s Name: The name of the person whose birth certificate you are requesting.
  • Date and Place of Birth: Exact date and location of the birth.
  • Proof of Identification: A government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport.
  • Relation to the Subject: If you are not the person named on the certificate, you may need to provide proof of your relationship.

Steps to Order a Birth Certificate

  1. Online Ordering
    • Visit the VitalChek website.
    • Fill out the required information and upload your identification.
    • Pay the fee of $54 for the first copy and $42 for each additional copy.
    • Orders are typically processed within 7-10 business days, with expedited options available.
  2. By Phone
    • Call the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics at (617) 740-2606 or toll-free at (866) 300-8535.
    • Provide the necessary information and pay the fee over the phone.
    • Note that research services are not available via phone.
  3. By Mail
    • Download and complete the vital records mail order form.
    • Include a check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
    • Mail the form to: Registry of Vital Records and Statistics 150 Mt. Vernon St., 1st Floor Dorchester, MA 02125
    • Orders will be processed within 30 business days. For expedited service (7-10 business days), mark your envelope for “Expedited Mail Service”.
  4. In Person
    • Visit the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics at 150 Mt. Vernon St., 1st Floor, Dorchester, MA.
    • Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
    • Pay the fee of $20 per copy by check or money order.

Fees for Ordering a Birth Certificate

The fees for ordering a birth certificate vary depending on the method:

  • Online or by Phone: $54 for the first copy, $42 for each additional copy.
  • By Mail: $32 per copy.
  • In Person: $20 per copy.

Make checks payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. For more detailed fee information, refer to the Vital Records Service Fees.

What to Do if You Can’t Find Your Record

If the Registry cannot locate your birth record, they will send you a Negative Statement. This document is necessary for establishing delayed records or further inquiries.

Important Considerations

  • Restricted Access: Access to certain birth records, such as those of unwed parents or pre-adoption records, may be restricted to specific individuals or legal representatives.
  • Genealogical Research: If you’re conducting genealogical research, you can access the State Archives for records from 1841-1930.


Obtaining a birth certificate in Massachusetts is a crucial process for many legal and personal reasons. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure a smooth and efficient experience. Whether you choose to order online, by phone, by mail, or in person, make sure to have all the necessary information and identification ready.

For more information and to begin your request, visit the Massachusetts Vital Records page.

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