Boston Expands Web App to Include Birth, Death Certificates

The city’s Registry Department has seen an uptick in requests for birth and death certificates as federal Real ID Act deadlines loom. Mayor Marty Walsh announced the new functionality Tuesday.

by Kristin LaFratta, MassLive.com / March 19, 2019
Boston City Hall Shutterstock/Kit Leong

(TNS) — In the city of Boston, both death certificates and birth certificates are now available to order online.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced on Tuesday that his office had expanded a web application launched in March 2018 that allowed users to order death certificates online.

Prior to the web application, the city used a third-party service contracted by the state to find personal records. According to a statement by the city, each request could cost more than $40 without shipping fees, and orders could take more than two weeks to process.

The online orderings system is now the most popular way residents order certificates, and requests are often processed the same day, according to the city. The cost of one birth certificate copy, with shipping, is $14 in Boston.

The Registry Department has observed a sharp increase in requests for birth and death certificates as deadlines loom closer for mandates written under the REAL ID Act, a federal law passed in 2005 that requires citizens to possess either an “enhanced driver’s license" or a passport to enter some federal buildings and fly domestically.

In Massachusetts, residents need to show their birth certificate to obtain an enhanced license. The state requires all residents to obtain a “REAL ID” by October 1, 2020.

Walsh says the quicker online ordering process is part of his mission to use technology to make residents’ lives “simpler” and make public documents more accessible.

©2019 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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