Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but in Massachusetts, very few records are restricted. According to the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records Website (on 6 June 2012) the following information is supplied regarding records access and restrictions:
"Access Policy for Massachusetts Vital Records
Access to restricted birth and marriage records is limited by §2A, Chapter 46, M.G.L. For those persons with access to restricted records, proof of identity (a photo ID) is necessary, and in some cases additional documentation is also necessary. Access to persons other than listed below require a court order.
Access to non-marital (out-of-wedlock) births is limited by §2A, Chapter 46, M.G.L. to the following:
Subject of the record (child)
Parents listed on the record
Father not listed on the record with documentary proof that he is the father (such as a paternity adjudication, stipulation or properly completed Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage)
Legal guardian of the child
Legal representative of the child
Marriages of Person Born Out-of-Wedlock
Access to marriage certificates when the bride or groom was born out-of-wedlock is limited by §2A, Chapter 46, M.G.L. to the following:
Bride or groom
Legal representative of the bride or groom
Parent or guardian of the bride or groom
This information is provided by the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics within the Department of Public Health."
(From: http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/consumer/basic-needs/vitals/access-policy-for-massachusetts-vital-records.html )
Please note that there does not appear to be any restrictions of death records, and from my own experience I have never been denied a death record. (Death certificates may contain restricted information on the back of them, and I encountered this on one occasion.)
My series on Massachusetts BMD records continues next week.