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Your Comprehensive Guide to Massachusetts Public Records

Massachusetts Public Records

Public records in Massachusetts consist of a wide range of documents and information maintained by state and local government agencies, accessible to the public by the Massachusetts Public Records Law. This law, codified in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 66, Section 10, provides guidelines for the public's access to government records, specifying certain exceptions for confidentiality and privacy. To explore the specifics of the Massachusetts Public Records Law, individuals can visit the Massachusetts Public Records Law.

Are Massachusetts Records Public?

Yes, records in Massachusetts are public. The Massachusetts Public Records Law ensures that most records held by state and local government entities are accessible to the public, with certain exceptions for privacy and security reasons. More information on this law and public records can be found on the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth's website.

What do Massachusetts Public Records Include?

Massachusetts public records include a variety of documents and information:

  • Vital Records: Such as birth, death, marriage, and divorce records maintained by the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. More details can be found at Massachusetts Vital Records.
  • Property Records: Information on property ownership, assessments, and taxes, accessible through local city and town assessor's offices, like the Boston Assessing Department.
  • Criminal Records: Managed by the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, providing criminal history and background checks. Visit Massachusetts Criminal Justice Information Services.
  • Court Records: These include records from civil and criminal cases, accessible through the Massachusetts Trial Court. Information can be found at the Massachusetts Court System.
  • Business Records: The Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth oversees business filings and registrations. Detailed information is available at the Massachusetts Corporations Division.

How to Find Public Records in Massachusetts

To locate public records in Massachusetts, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the Record Type: Determine the specific record you need, such as a birth certificate or a property record.
  2. Locate the Responsible Agency: Different records are held by various agencies. For example, vital records are available through the Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.
  3. Submit a Records Request: Most agencies have a formal process for requesting records, usually available online, in person, or by mail.
  4. Adhere to Agency Guidelines: Follow the specific requirements set by the agency, which may include completing forms and providing necessary identification.
  5. Pay Any Required Fees: Some records may involve fees for processing or copying.
  6. Wait for Processing: There may be a processing period before the records are available.

For additional assistance, the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth's Public Records Division offers resources and information.

Lookup Public Records in Massachusetts

Key departments in Massachusetts related to Public Records include:

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