Electronic Death Records

Now that the electronic death registration has become reality, the Town Clerk's Office and the Board of Health have jointly agreed that the Town Clerk and staff will now become the main Burial Agents for the Town of Needham with the Public Health Department staff serving as backup. As we become more familiar with the electronic burial permitting and death registration, we believe this will be a benefit to both the local funeral directors and the Town of Needham.

E-PERMTS: Beginning December 1, 2014, we will be "OPTING-IN". This means that we will allow the printing of E-permits for burial permits. This should make issuing burial permits easier – particularly on the weekends!

After you print your e-permit, the record will then be sent to the Burial Agent cue for review and subsequently released for registration. The E-Permit will not have a date or record number when you (the funeral home) print it. We will add the date and permit number prior to printing the burial permit for our records.

PAYMENTS: At this time we are not set up to accept on-line payments. This is something we are looking into and hope to have in place in the not-too-distant future. For the time being, the cost for Burial Permits AND Certified Copies is $15 each. Checks should be made payable to "The Town of Needham" and sent to the Town Clerk's Office, 1471 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA 02492. Please note that certified copies of a death record will not be released until payments for both the Burial Permit and the Certified Copies are received.

We will check the Virtual Gateway program every morning for pending deaths in the burial agent cue. However, it will be helpful in the beginning if you could call to alert us that a record is there – 781-455-7500 x 216 or 217.

CORRECTIONS: It is very likely that there will be records sent back to you for corrections when it reaches the burial agent cue. Up to the point of registration, corrections can be easily made. However, once the record is registered, an affidavit and corrections will be necessary to fix mistakes. This is costly and time consuming for all. The cost of the affidavit and correction is $50. It will be extremely beneficial for everyone if mistakes are caught early!

In Summary:

  • The Town Clerk's Office will be issuing Burial Permits
  • The cost for a Burial Permit is $15.
  • The cost for Certified Copies of a death record if $15.
  • Payment should be made to The Town of Needham and sent to or brought in to the Town Clerk's Office.
  • Records requiring a correction will be sent back to you. If the death record has been released and a mistake is found, the cost for an Affidavit and Correction is $50. We appreciate your working with us as we move forward with the electronic death registration program sponsored by the State Department of Vital Statistics. We are sure minor changes in the program will occur but I believe the end result will be a better more workable system for all concerned.

Thank you, 

Theodora K. Eaton, MMC
Town Clerk