Amendments or Corrections to Vital Records

In certain cases, amendments or corrections to vital records can be made. These amendments can be made at the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. The fee for amending a record at the Registry is $50.00.

Before you come in to the Registry offices for an amendment or correction, you must speak with a Registry representative first. That way, when you come in, you will be prepared with the necessary evidence or paperwork that will allow the correction to be made. Call: (617) 740-2600 or email: vital.regulation@state.ma.us

Two types of delayed records may be established: birth records and marriage records.

Establishing a Delayed Record of Marriage in Massachusetts

A Delayed Record of Marriage is required when a marriage that occurred in Massachusetts is not registered with the city or town clerk more than 365 days from the date of marriage. To establish a delayed record of marriage, the bride and/or groom must:
 

  • Go to the city or town clerk in the community where they applied for their license (Notice of Intention of Marriage) or to the State Registry. If you were married in Massachusetts without completing this process or obtaining a license, call the Registry telephone number listed below before continuing.
  • Request a search of the records of the Commonwealth for a record of the marriage. You may have obtained your license from a different community. The charges for this search are currently $20.00 at the Registry Office or $32.00 by mail. If no record is found, a certified copy of a Negative Statement is sent to you. This negative statement along with other evidence described below is given to the city or town clerk where your intention was filed or the State Registry.
  • Documentary evidence establishing the fact that the marriage took place. This evidence may include:
    • Certified copy of the marriage from the records of the individual performing the marriage.
    • Notarized statements from at least two witnesses to the marriage plus a statement on why records are not available from the individual performing the marriage.
    • Other evidence could include newspaper reports of the event.
  • Payment of $50.00 fee to the community or State Registry for establishing the record.

If the request to establish the record is rejected, the bride or groom may petition the probate court to establish the record.

Contact the city or town clerk in the community where the intention to marry was filed with any questions. Additional information is available from:

Registration Unit,
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon St.
Dorchester MA 02125-3105
617-740-2600

*Note: If both the bride and groom are deceased, an order of the probate court in Massachusetts is necessary to establish the record.

Establishing a Delayed Record of Birth in Massachusetts

A Delayed Record of Birth is required when a birth is not registered with the city or town clerk more than 365 days after the child was born. To establish a delayed record of birth, a parent or the child (if he or she is not an adult) must:

  • Request a search of the records of the Commonwealth for a record of the birth. The birth may have been recorded with a date or place different from your recollection. The charges for this search are currently $20.00 at the Registry Office (address below) or $32.00 by mail. If no record is found, a certified copy of a Negative Statement is sent to you. You will need this statement to proceed with subsequent steps.
  • Go to the city or town clerk in the community where the birth occurred or the State Registry of Vital Records and Statistics with evidence establishing the birth as described below.
  • Documentary evidence establishing the fact that the birth took place. This evidence may include:
    • Certified copy of hospital records, notarized affidavit from a midwife or physician who attended a home birth,
    • Certified copy of marriage license for the parents.
    • Proof of residence for the year of the birth for the parents if the birth occurred in a private residence.

Payment of $50.00 for establishing the record. This fee does not include the issuance of a certified copy.

If the request to establish the record is rejected, the person seeking to establish the record may petition the probate court in Massachusetts to establish the record.

Contact the city or town clerk in the community where the birth occurred or the State Registry with any questions. Additional information is available from:

Registration Unit,
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon St.
Dorchester MA 02125-3105
(617) 740-2600

*Note: If an individual has been dead for more than five years, an order of the Massachusetts probate court is necessary to establish the record.

 


This information is provided by the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics within the Department of Public Health.