The Burial Permits Office issues the official disposition, removal or transportation permit for any person who dies within the City of Boston.
As of November 1, 2014 all Death Certificate and Permit information must be completed on-line. Paper Death Certificates cannot be accepted. Once the record is completed in the Vital Information Partnership site, Funeral Directors, Cremation Services, must pay for the permit, as The Boston Public Health Commission Burial Permit Office is an Opt-out community. Instructions on payment can be found at the link above "Death Certificate and Burial Permits Payment Site". The record is then checked to be accurate and complete by the staff, if corrections are needed or the appropriate e-certifications and attestations are not within the record, the record will be returned to the Funeral Director or Cremation Service through the on-line system with information contained in the comments field on what may be missing in the record. The Funeral Home or Cremation Service will be called.
Burial Permits are issued to record the final disposition of a deceased’s remains. Burial Permits are issued for the burial, cremation, or transportation of a person’s remains. Final disposition may be within the state of Massachusetts, USA, or any other place throughout the world. Permits are also issued for the exhumation and re-interment of any person’s remains within the City of Boston, to another location, in or out of the city, or out of the country.
REMOVAL OF REMAINS OUT OF THE COUNTRY
For more detailed information please speak to the Burial Permit Staff regarding removal out of the country.
FETAL DEATH CERTIFICATE
The PDF fillable version and instructions for the completion of the fetal death certificate can be found at key links and documents at the bottom of the page.
Once the record has been checked and is complete the Burial Permit will be released and can be printed on-site at your facility. The Permit must be returned to the Burial Permits Office after it is properly endorsed by the superintendent, cemetery or crematory. These can be faxed back to office at 857-288-7682.
BURIAL PERMIT FEES
The fee for the permit is $31.00 paid through the on-line payment site, directions can be found on this web page. This office cannot accept cash. Prepaid vouchers can be purchased at the Burial Permit Office, please check with the staff.
LOCATION AND PARKING
If you should need to visit the Burial Permit Office it is location at 860 Harrison Avenue, 2nd Floor, your parking will be validated for the 35 Northampton Street Garage only. It is important that you do not park in the CVS Parking lot as your vehicle will be towed.
The City of Boston Registry of Death issues a registration number to the death certificate through the on-line system. Once the record has been released to the Funeral Director or Cremation Service the record will then be released to the City of Boston Registry of Death Office at Boston City Hall. The record is also released to Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. You may only obtain a certified copy of death at Boston City Hall.
The Burial Permits Office is not able to provide certified copies of death, and cannot release any information concerning any person’s death certificate.
CERTIFIED DEATH CERTIFICATES
For a certified copy of a death certificate, persons should contact Patricia A. McMahon, Boston City Hall, Registry of Death, Room 213, Boston, MA. 02201. Phone: (617) 635-4175 Fax: (617) 635-3775. Please visit their site.
PENDING DEATH CERTIFICATES
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is also using the on-line system. For pending death certificates, the informant on the death certificate can check on the status of that certificate at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Headquarters, 720 Albany Street, Boston, MA. Phone: (617) 267-6767 (800) 962-7877 Toll Free. Please visit their site.
VITAL RECORDS AND STATISTICS
Please note that the staff of the Burial Permits Office cannot provide any information for genealogical research. Please contact the office below for genealogical research.
Vital Records and Statistics, and Death Certificate Information for the state you may contact Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics, 150 Mount Vernon St., 1st Fl. Dorchester, MA 02125-3105 Phone: (617) 740-2600 Please visit their site for their policies and hours of operation.
Key Links and Documents
City of Boston Registry
Department of Vital Records and Statistics
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Veterans New On-Line Resource for Funeral Directors
New Standard Operating Procedures
Exhumation Protocol - Boston Public Health Commission
Fetal Death Certificate - PDF Fillable
Fetal Death Certificate - Instructions