If birth parents were not married at the time of birth, or, if an adoption took place and the name changed, the original birth record is restricted. Some agencies or city clerks also refer to these as impounded birth records.
These records are restricted to the individual named on the record, the birth parent(s) named on the record or a legal guardian.
Certificates can still be obtained directly by the subject named, or the birth parent named on the record, or legal guardian, but this record type is not open to the public.
How do I get a copy of my restricted Massachusetts birth certificate?
Well, it depends.
It's not difficult. It just depends on why you need the record and, where you currently live, as some states and agencies will only accept state certified copies and not city or town copies.
If you need the certificate for any official purpose, such as obtaining a passport, processing "REAL ID" applications, updating a driver's license, applying for dual citizenship or for social security benefits, you need a state certified birth certificate.
Some of the larger cities, such as Worcester and Boston, have online birth order forms on their websites, but many of the smaller towns, such as Granby, still only accept mail in or walk in applications.
The biggest plus of city/town certificates - they are generally less expensive than state certified copies. The biggest minus - they can take longer to obtain and are obviously less offical appearing than state copies.
Most importantly, they are not acceptable by some state agencies or for applying for drivers license and passports, especially if you live in Colorado or California or if you live outside of the country.
Pluses for Enhanced Security of State Certified Birth Records
Embossed with Official Raised Massachusetts State Seal
Signed by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics
Contains the Original Date of Issue
Stamped with Current Date of Issue
Printed on Secure, Watermarked, Heavyweight Paper
Embedded with a Scannable, Digital Bar-Code for Tracking
Recorded Information Highlighted on State Certified Birth Records
Note: All data related to father's information is usually missing on restricted birth certifcates.
First, middle (sometimes, just an initial) and last name of child
Place of birth including address, hospital (depending on time frame - hospital name not always recorded) and town or city
Month, day and year of birth
Time of birth - began in early 1950's but not always recorded by staff
Name, age and address of father and depending on era of recording, his exact date of birth
Name, age and address of mother and depending on era of recording, her exact date of birth
Birthplace of father (city, town, state, country; sometimes just state or country)
Birthplace of mother (city, town, state, country; sometimes just state or country)
Occupations of father and mother (not always filled in - stopped being recorded in mid 1990's)
Number of previous children of mother (again, not always filled in and no longer recorded)