Massachusetts public records are now available on many websites. While you can visit a nearby city records office or write to the state public records agency, going online is the easiest way to inspect a search for a public record and order a copy at the same time.
At Free Public Records, you can search for a Massachusetts public record by county. For a quick search, look at the right side of the page and you will see a search tool where you can type the name of the person and the city where the event occurred.
A website made only for this state's public records, the Massachusetts Public Records not only provides access to public records but also to state archives, government databases, archives and historic vital records. On the homepage you will see a long list of links that will direct you to the public record according to the specific record type.
PublicRecordsFind.us is another website where you can look for a public record. Here you will just have to key in the first name and last name of the person as well as his or her year of birth and your email address.
Sometimes the online method of searching for public records cannot give you favorable results. When this happens, you can always send a request to the official public record office of Massachusetts using the following mail address:
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon Street
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
You need to include documentation of your relationship with the person to whom the public record is associated. You are also required to include a photocopy of your identification card. For the proper format of the request letter, go here. The office does not have any public records prior to 1916. They recommend writing to another public records office using this address if you're looking for a record of a previous date:
Massachusetts Archives, Columbia Point
220 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125
To verify, you can contact their number: (617) 727-2816. If you still don't find the public record in their keeping, you should go to the proper public record office at the town or city level. Here are their contact numbers:
In line with the Freedom of Information Act for all the states, the Massachusetts Public Records or MPRL assures public access to records considered as "public". The general rule is that as long as the record does not have certain personally identifying information or any other data protected by any statutes, a record is publicly accessible.
To lookup Massachusetts public records information, contact:Massachusetts Office of the State Secretary
The Office of the State Secretary is the first place that you should look when you're doing a Massachusetts public records search. This is because it is at that location that all of the documents, pictures, certificates, case files, and other important sources of information. They are responsible for keeping them and maintaining them, and making them available to you upon your request.
According to the Guide for Massachusetts Public Records Law, public records in Massachusetts are defined as: "Every document, paper, record, map, photograph, etc., as defined by law, that is made or received by a government entity or employee is presumed to be a public record."
While there is a list of all exceptions and exemptions to the law, it also states that those exemptions are at the discretion of the records custodian who may without records from the general public. If the custodian withholds a record from public view, the burden falls upon them to explain why it should be withheld.
The Secretary of the Commonwealth explains that any public records in Massachusetts may be requested verbally in person but that it is always best to request Massachusetts public records in writing to avoid any confusion as well as to create a record of the documentation you are looking for.