Saturday, June 2, 2012

Records Access in Massachusetts - The Registry of Vital Records

Recently I have seen discussions on various boards and blogs about access to records in various states. For the purposes of this post, I am strictly referring to BMD (Birth, Marriage & Death) records in the state of Massachusetts.

The state of Massachusetts has some of the most extensive BMD records in the US, however they are not free!

All BMD records from 1921 to present* are located at the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records (MA RVR) in the Dorchester section of Boston, MA. All records are available for public viewing in the research room, however they charge $9 per hour to use their research room and the hours are limited to just a few hours  per day. There are no research hours on Wednesdays or weekends. All of the indexes are open for inspection and the staff will pull your records for viewing and transcribing the records.

If you want a copy of a record at the MA RVR, you have to pay the $18 fee for a certified copy. Photography and scanners are not permitted at the MA RVR.

*An exception to the 1921 to present is that cities and towns have a period of time before they are required to send the records to the state. So records that are within 3 months of their occurrence may only be found at the local town clerk's office.

In my next posts I will cover records that are restricted, records from the cities and towns and the MA Archives.

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