TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE
MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW DO I REGISTER TO VOTE?
Anyone 18 years of age or who will be 18 years of age by the next Election is eligible to vote provided they are citizens of the United States. Registration forms are available at the Town Clerk’s Office and can be filled out during regular business hours or at the times that the Registrars of Voters are required to hold special registration hours prior to an election. Mail- in registration forms are also available.
*Residents may also register to vote at the Registry of Motor Vehicles office or other State Agencies.
WHAT PRECINCT AM I IN AND WHERE DO I VOTE?
Depending on where you live in the Town, is how your voting precinct is designated. If you are unsure
of your precinct and polling place, you may call the Town Clerk’s Office for the information.
There are seven locations in the Town :
Precinct. One Town Hall, 26 Bryant St
Precinct Two Riverdale School, 143 Needham St.
Precinct Three The OLD Avery School, 123 High St.
Precinct Four The OLD Avery School 123 High St * 6/25 Election only
Precinct Five Greenlodge School, 191 Greenlodge St.
Precinct Six The OLD Avery School 123 High St * 6/25 Election only
Precinct Seven Greenlodge School, 191 Greenlodge St.
HOW DO I OBTAIN AN ABSENTEE BALLOT?
You may vote by absentee ballot ONLY IF YOU WILL BE UNABLE TO VOTE AT THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY because: (1) you will be absent from your city or town during the hours the polls are open , or (2) you are unable to cast your vote by reason of a physical disability,or (3) religious belief.
You must complete an application for an absentee ballot available at the Town Clerk’s Office and return same to the
Town Clerk. Only one application is needed to obtain absentee ballots for all elections held during the calendar year.
Absentee voting can also be done over the counter at the Town Clerk’s Office from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM prior to an election. The application must be filled out first before a ballot can be issued. These ballots usually become available approximately three (3) weeks before an election.
PERMANENTLY DISABLED: Upon receipt of a doctor’s note to the Town Clerk’s office, an application will automatically be mailed to you. When your application returns to the office of the Town Clerk, a ballot will be mailed to you. If you do not have a doctor’s note on file at the office of the Town Clerk, you may apply for a ballot simply by writing a request to the Town Clerk;. Apply for your ballot early in order to receive it an return it in time of the election. ALL BALLOTS S MUST BE MAILED TO THE RECIPIENT. They can be hand carried back to the Town Clerk’s office.
STUDENT ABSENTEES: A student who is a qualified registered voter may send a written request to the Town Clerk’s office in advance of an upcoming election, or a family member can fill out a request application at the Town Hall. A ballot will
be mailed out to you provided the request is within the time ballot will be received back to us. Ballots have to be back to the Town Clerk’s office by the close of the polling on the day of an election. Anyone requiring an absentee ballot due to disability, or legitimately absent from The Town on the day of an election, can send a written request in advance.
Your request must have your voting address, your signature and the address where The ballot should be mailed.
ILLEGAL ABSENTEE VOTING, INCLUDING MAKING A FALSE APPLICATION, IS PUNISHABLE BY A FINE OF UP TO $10,000 AND UP TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON.
WHEN AND WHERE CAN I GET NOMINATION PAPERS FOR THE TOWN ELECTION?
Nomination papers for both Major Offices and Town Representatives are available the last week in January . For Major offices at least 50 qualified signatures are needed Candidates for Town Representatives must obtain at least ten (10) signatures within their respective precincts. Nomination papers must be turned into the Town Clerk’s office for certification of signatures before being placed on the ballot.
The Town Election is held on the Second Saturday in the month of April
The Annual Town Meeting is held on the Third Monday in May at the Dedham High School Auditorium.
HOW CAN I GET A BIRTH CERTIFICATE?
You can obtain a birth certificate in the city or town where you were born or in the city or town where the parents were living at the time of the birth. The fee for a certified birth certificate is $10.00 (which is required to obtain a passport ) and $5.00 for a short card form (which is used for almost any other purpose.) By calling ahead your birth certificate will be ready for you when you come in to pick it up. If you are requesting your birth record by mail, we will mail it out to you the day we receive your written request and check. A self addressed stamped envelope is appreciated .
HOW CAN I GET A DEATH CERTIFICATE?
A death certificate can be obtained in the Town of Dedham if the decedent lived in the town at the time of death and in the city or town where the individual died. The fee is $10.00 per certified copy. You can request by mail or pick it up at the office . We will mail your request back to you the day we receive it and , if you call ahead we will have it ready for you when you come into the office.
HOW CAN WE GET A MARRIAGE LICENSE?
In order to obtain a marriage license, both parties must appear together to fill out the Marriage Intention at ANY CITY OR TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE in Massachusetts as long as the marriage is taking place in Massachusetts. All that is required is a valid form of identification (drivers license, birth certificate, picture I.D. passport, etc). There is a three day waiting period for your license and it is valid for sixty (60) days from the date you file. Either party can pick up the license. The filing fee is $30.00. The hours for filing are 9:30am until 11:30am and 2:00pm until 4:00pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday's filings are from 3:30pm until 6:00pm, all filings are By appointment only. A certified copy of your marriage after you are married can be obtained in the city or town where you filed or at the Registry of Vital Records in Boston. Certified copies of your marriage are $10.00 each. By calling ahead it will be ready for you when you come in to pick it up. If you are requesting a copy by mail, we will send it to you the day we receive your request.
Vital records for the Town of Dedham are on file at the Town Clerk’s office. Abstract versions of births, deaths and marriages are dated from 1635 to 1844. Longer versions of births, deaths, and marriages are dated form 1845-current
day. Search fees are $10.00 and another $10.00 for each requested certificate. Response time for genealogy requests is ten (10)days from the date of your written request.
WHAT IS A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE?
A business certificate is the registration of a business that is being conducted and is located within the Town of Dedham. It is often referred to as a ”DBA” or “Doing Business As” or “Sole Proprietorship. Its purpose is primarily for consumer protection and public information.
DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO FILE A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE IN THE TOWN?
No. Businesses who file with the Secretary of State’s Office do not need to file in the town.
Corporations doing business in their Corporate name, or if a partnership is doing business under any title which includes the surname of any partner are the exemptions from filing.
HOW DO I OBTAIN A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE?
Business certificates can be obtained at the Town Clerk’s office of the city or town where the business is being conducted. If you are using your residence as your business address then you must first obtain a Home Occupancy Approval letter from the Building Department. This can easily be obtained provided that the owner filing for
the business certificate is proven to be a resident at that address. After obtaining the Home Occupancy Approval letter from the Building Department, you can then obtain a business certificate at the Office of the Town Clerk after presenting your letter. The fee for a business certificate is $40.00 and is valid for four years. Renewal fee is also $40.00.
Click here for Business Certificate Application
WHAT DO I DO IF I AM NO LONGER IN BUSINESS OR I MOVE?
If you are no longer in business or you move out of the town, you should file a withdrawal from business form obtained at the office of the Town Clerk. The fee for withdrawing from a business is $10.00. This should be done as soon as possible as personal property taxes on your business cannot be adjusted until the Assessor’s receive your withdrawal form. It is effective from the date that you file this form not the date you ended your business. You should file before the date of expiration.
Click here for Business Certificate Change Form
LICENSES AND PERMITS
RAFFLE / LAS VEGAS NIGHT
Raffle permits are issued on the completion of the application for a permit. The permit fee is $10.00 and the permit is valid for a year from the date approved by the Chief of Police and the Town Clerk Las Vegas Night permits are issued on the completion of the application for a permit. The permit fee is $25.00 and the permit is valid for one year from the
date approved by the Chief of Police and the Town Clerk. ONLY THREE LAS VEGAS NIGHTS FOR THE YEAR ARE PERMITTED.
UNDERGROUND STORAGE PERMITSVoted at a meeting of the Board of Selectmen on Oct. 29, 1991, the following fee
Schedule for underground storage is as follows:
$ 25.00 for the first 5,000 Gallons and
$ 3.00 for each additional 1,000 gallon.
BOARD OF APPEALS APPLICATIONS
The fees for filing a Board of Appeals application are:
$175.00 - Commercial
$ 50.00 - Residential
THE ANNUAL TOWN CENSUS
The annual Town Census is conducted on January 1st as required by Massachusetts State Law. Data collected from the census is used to publish an annual street list of residents containing information on residents over the age of seventeen. Resident books can be purchased at the Town Clerk’s office for $5.00. Individuals wanting to obtain a List of Residents book that do not reside in the Town are charged a fee of $10.00.
The Census is mailed out in the month of January and should be returned to the Town Clerk’s office no later
than JANUARY 31ST. Failure to return the census can result in inactive voter status and loss of proof of residency should you require it.
HOW MUCH IS A DOG LICENSE?
The licensing fee for dogs that are altered (spayed or neutered) is $10.00 . Unaltered dogs are $15.00.
WHEN ARE DOG LICENSES DUE?
Dogs licenses are due by April 30th yearly. The Town Clerk’s office begins issuing licenses for the new year as early as January 2nd. Dogs 3 months or older MUST be licensed no later than April 30 in order to avoid fines.
Fines for late dog licensing are $25.00(Per Household) plus the license fee from May 1st to the end of the calendar year. ( In accordance with the provisions of Sec. 137 of Chapter 140 of the General Laws,).
WHAT DO I NEED TO OBTAIN A DOG LICENSE?
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires a current rabies certificate in order to obtain a license. The actual certificate (proof of rabies) or a copy by the veterinarian will suffice. The By-laws for the Town of Dedham requires all dogs to be on a leash. Dogs are not allowed on playgrounds or parks in Dedham or the Endicott Estate property, unless they are a service dog. Dog owners are responsible for picking up after their dogs.
A copy of the complete by-laws on Dog Control for the Town of Dedham is available at the Town Clerk’s Office. These by-laws include rules on disturbing the peace, annoyances, restraints and the penalties.
MAIL IN REGISTRATION FOR A DOG LICENSE The Town Clerk’s office will accept any mail in request for a license by sending a copy of the rabies certificate , the licensing fee and the following information:
Your dog’s new license will be mailed out to you upon receipt of this information, required documents and licensing fee. Your check should be made payable to the Town of Dedham.