PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

Massachusetts law (G.L. Chapter 31, Sec. 58) permits cities and towns to ask that residents be placed on entry-level police and firefighter eligible lists before nonresidents. A "resident" is a person who has lived in the same city or town for the full year before the date of the examination. For example, if you took an examination on April 27, 1996, .you would have to live in a single city or town from April 27, 1995, to April 26, 1996, to claim residency.

  • Your residence, for the purpose of civil service law, is the place where you actually lived and intended as your permanent home. A temporary living place, such as a summer cottage, a school dormitory, a relative's or friend's house or apartment, etc., is not a residence.
  • If you live at college during the school year, you may claim as your permanent residence that place where you reside during the rest of the year.
  • If you were in the military, you may use the city or town where you lived when you entered the military if you returned to that city or town after you left the military, or, if you are still in the military, you intend to return to that city or town.
  • If you move to another city or town at any time during the year before the examination, you do not qualify for residency preference in any city or town.

    CONSIDER THIS CLAIM AS PART OF THE EXAMINATION. DO NOT MAKE A MISTAKE IN YOUR RESIDENCE PREFERENCE CLAIM. IF YOU DO NOT FILL OUT THIS QUESTION CORRECTLY, YOUR NAME WILL NOT APPEAR ON CERTIFIED LISTS FOR APPOINTMENT, AND YOU MAY MISS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES. WE MAY NOT ADD YOUR NAME TO AN OUTSTANDING CERTIFIED LIST IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE. CITIES AND TOWNS INVESTIGATE APPLICANTS FOR FIRE AND POLICE POSITIONS. IF THEY FIND YOU ARE A NON-RESIDENT, THEY WILL NOT HIRE YOU AS A RESIDENT AND WILL REQUEST THAT YOUR PREFERENCE BE CANCELED.

The way that non-resident names appear on Firefighter and Police Officer Open Entry-Level Lists will be changed in MaCS. Applicants will no longer be limited to a total of 3 non-resident location selections, which will eliminate the need for candidates to switch location selections in order to be considered for a vacancy. Instead, a statewide Eligible List of applicants will be used to certify eligible* non-resident names. If a municipality has certified all their Residents on the Eligible List and requests additional names, an email Notice of Interest (NOI) will be sent to eligible* applicants according to their ranking on the statewide Eligible List. Applicants can simply reply to the NOI email to confirm their interest, and will then be certified to the municipality. Both Residents and non-residents still must sign any certification that they appear on to indicate to the Appointing Authority their willingness to accept a position.

*NOTE – Not all candidates will be eligible for appointment in all municipalities; please review all the eligibility requirements at the following locations:  

Please also see: Certification Order of Lists

Please also note that, for each municipality, the current Firefighter and Police Officer Open Entry-Level Eligible List of Residents only will be available to view in MaCS.

*Please Note: Changing your mailing address does NOT change/update your Residency Preference claim.  They are separate entities in your Civil Service account.


This information provided by the Human Resources Division .