All birth certificates prior to 1915 are public records. Most birth certificates after 1915 are public records, but there are a few exceptions (i.e., if your parents were not married at the time of your birth). If you are unsure whether your birth record is a public record, call the Town Clerk’s office at 413 339-5518, and she will be happy to check the status of your birth record. If your record is restricted, you will need to show identification when retrieving your birth certificate.
If you were born in Hawley, or your parents were residents of Hawley at the time of your birth, you may obtain your birth certificate from the Town Clerk. You can obtain your birth certificate in two ways:
- Come to the Town Clerk’s Office
If you call ahead, we can have it ready for your pickup. The fee is $10 per copy by cash or check.
- Request by Mail
Please send your completed application, a check for $10 payable to the Town of Hawley and a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Your birth certificate is also available in the city or town in which the hospital of your birth is located, or at the State Department of Vital Statistics:
Registry of Vital Records
Department of Public Health
150 Mt. Vernon Street
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
The Town Clerk can provide a death certificate for anyone who resided in Hawley at the time of his or her death, or for anyone who actually died in the town. The fee for each certified copy of a death certificate is $10. It is possible to order a copy of a death certificate from the state for an additional fee. Ask the Town Clerk about this process.
If you wish to marry within the state of Massachusetts, a certificate of marriage (license) must be obtained prior to the marriage. You can apply (take out an Intention of Marriage) for a license in any Town or City Clerk’s office in Massachusetts, regardless of where you live (residency of the state is not a requirement for marriage in Massachusetts, and you do not have to be a resident of the town in which you apply for the license).
Both parties to the marriage have to apply for the license together, and both must sign the Intention Paperwork under oath. Additionally, both parties to the marriage must be at least 18 years old to marry in Massachusetts. You may be asked to produce identification during the licensing process.
Marriage certificates (licenses) that are issued by a City or Town Clerk are valid for 60 days from the date the intentions are taken out by the couple. If your marriage does not take place within those 60 days, the certificate becomes invalid, and you must file again. In Hawley, filing marriage intentions costs $20; each marriage certificate costs $10.
Additionally, in Massachusetts there is a mandatory three-day waiting period that must be met before the license can be issued to you. Therefore, three days must pass from the date on which you fill out your Intentions Paperwork to the date on which you (or your designee) pick up your license (note: the certificate must be picked up in person; it cannot be mailed to you).
Your completed marriage certificate will remain on file with the town or city in which you file your intentions. Blood tests are no longer required for any couple applying for a Marriage License in Massachusetts.
If you live in Massachusetts but intend to marry in another state, you must file your marriage intentions in that state. The Massachusetts certificate is not valid outside of Massachusetts. Please contact the local officials in the city/town of the state in which your marriage will take place; marriage laws vary from state to state.
Licenses for Marriages in the Past
If you have a marriage license on file at the Town of Hawley and would like a certified copy of that license, contact the Town Clerk. The fee for a marriage certificate is $10. Please note that it may take up to ten days to process your request.
A business certificate is the registration of a business that is being conducted and is located within the Town of Hawley. It is commonly called a “DBA” (“doing business as”). Its primary purpose is to protect consumers or creditors by identifying the names and addresses of the owners of the business. Many banks consider it a requirement for opening a business banking account.
Any person conducting a business in Hawley, individually or as a partnership, under any title or name other than their own name must file a business certificate with the Town Clerk. The fee for a business certificate in Hawley is $20, and it lasts for four years.