Frequently Asked QuestionsClick on a department name to the left to find answers to common questions, or use the Search box at the bottom of this page to find answers anywhere on the site.
How do I get a birth certificate?
We will probably have your birth certificate if you were born in Easthampton or your parents were living in Easthampton when you were born. We need to know your name (maiden name if female) and date of birth. Certain records require ID. The cost for a certified record is $10.00.
How do I pay?
We accept cash or checks made payable to the City of Easthampton. Our mailing address is 50 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, MA 01027.
How do we apply for a marriage license?
You will need to come together to our office to complete the necessary paperwork for your marriage license. The cost is $40.00 (by cash or check). After completion of the forms, there is a 3-day waiting period before you can return to pick up the license. You must get married within 60 days of issuance of the marriage license. If your ceremony is being conducted by someone not authorized to perform a wedding in Massachusetts, including out-of-state clergy, please contact the Secretary of the Commonwealth's Commissions Division at (617) 727-2836.
How do I license my dog?
Please bring in an up-to-date rabies certificate from your veterinarian (not just the tag). If your pet is altered, please bring proof of spaying or neutering. The cost for an unspayed or unneutered dog is $15.00; a spayed or neutered dog is $10.00. Please call (413) 529-1460 if you have questions about kennel licenses. Licenses must be renewed each year—the license year runs from April 1st to March 31st.
If you would like your dog's license mailed, please send payment, proof of rabies vaccination and a self-addressed stamped envelope to: City Clerk, 50 Payson Ave., Easthampton, MA 01027.
Do I need a permit to have a tag sale?
Yes. The City of Easthampton requires a tag sale permit in accordance with the City Ordinances, Chapter 5, Article III. The cost is $5.00 for up to two consecutive days (ie. for the weekend). You may apply any time up to the day of the sale. You may print out the tag sale application from this site and bring it into our office.
Can I buy a hunting or fishing license in your office?
Yes. The City Clerk's Office continues to be a license agent for the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses. All licenses are now issued from an on-line system, through the website address www.mass.gov/massfishhunt. We accept only cash or checks for purchases of licenses in our office. In addition to freshwater fishing licenses, you may also purchase saltwater fishing licenses.
How do I get a business certificate?
If you have a business which is being conducted under a name other than your own personal name, you should complete a business certificate, often called a DBA (doing business as). The cost is $40.00 and the certificate is good for 4 years. The form may be downloaded from this site. The Building Inspector (or City Planner in his absence) must sign-off on the certificate before it can be filed in our office. All business owners should be present to sign the certificate. Please bring ID as the document is notarized (or you may have the certificate notarized by another notary and then file the completed certificate). Please be aware that the business certificate IS NOT a license and does not supercede other city requirements (zoning, building, health, etc.) which may be required.
I am a funeral director – where do I file for a burial permit?
Our office serves as a Health Agent and issues burial permits. The charge is $20.00.
Where can I get a sticker for the recycling center at the Highway Garage off Northampton Street?
You can purchase a sticker for the Northampton Street recycling center/brush dump at the PUBLIC WORKS OFFICE in the Municipal Building at 50 Payson Avenue. The cost is $30.00 for the fiscal year (July 1st to June 30th). A second sticker in the same household is $5.00. Please bring your car registration when you come to purchase your sticker. You may also purchase punch-cards to dispose of certain metal and electronic items. The center is open the first and third Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. Please note that this is NOT a dump or transfer station and doesn’t take household trash, wood, mattresses, furniture, etc.
Where do I register to vote?
You can register to vote in person in our office or you may request a mail-in voter registration form be sent to your home. The deadline to register is 20 days prior to any election or primary. If you move within Easthampton, please let us know your new address. If you move to another community In Massachusetts you must re-register to vote in your new city or town. Please remember to answer your annual census each year so that we know that you are still living in Easthampton!
Why do I have to return the local census? Nothing’s changed from last year!
Even if nothing has changed in your household since last year, we still need to know you live in town—especially if you are a voter! Massachusetts state law requires that each community conduct an annual census to update their voter’s lists and to provide accurate information for the Jury Commissioner. The census information is also used by other city agencies, including the School Department. From the census we are required by state law to publish a “street listing”. Only certain people (certain public safety officials, etc.) are exempt from appearing in the street listing.
Where do I vote?
When you register to vote, we will tell you what your voting precinct is. It won’t change unless we contact you in writing. If you forget, call (413) 529-1460 (prior to election day if possible) and we’ll look it up for you. You can also go to www.wheredoivotema.com to look it up. Precincts #1, 2 and 5 vote at White Brook Middle School, 200 Park St. and Precincts #3 and 4 vote at Easthampton High School, 70 Williston Avenue. Polls are open for all elections from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
I’m going to be out of town on election day – how do I get an absentee ballot?
There are two ways—you can come to our office and vote in person prior to noon the day before the election. Or, if you’d like the ballot mailed, we’ll need a request in writing. Absentee ballots are for voters who are physically unable to go to the polls, will be absent from Easthampton on election day or are prevented from voting in person due to religious reasons.
Who can run a raffle?
Not businesses. Not political organizations. Not a well-meaning group of people wanting to raise money to help a friend injured in an accident. Raffle licenses are necessary for any fundraiser where you buy a ticket for a “chance” to win and there are only certain organizations which are eligible, including non-profit organizations, religious and veterans organizations, groups organized for recreation, etc. The organization must have been in existence for at least 2 years. The cost for a raffle permit is $10.00 for a one year period. Forms are available in our office and must be approved by the City Clerk and the Police Chief. Please call (413) 529-1460 for more information.
I need something notarized—can you help?
We can notarize documents. Please bring some form of ID with you and don’t sign the document until you are in the office. The person making the statement is the person who should come before the notary. The cost is generally $1.00.
How do I know what kind of license is required on a job?
The State Board of Building Regulations and Standards have a table of activities requiring (or not requiring) a construction supervisor (CSL) license and/or a Home Improvement Contractor Registration and building permit. You can click HERE to see that table.
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How do I know when I need a permit?
If you are doing work that opens or alters walls in all probability you will be required to apply for a permit. Additionally, construction of sheds, fences, decks, pools all require permits.
Can I apply for my own permit?
If you are a licensed contractor or the owner of one or two family home that you occupy, you are eligible to apply for your own permit. Homeowners are cautioned however, if they have been requested to obtain the permit by their contractor they may wish to contact this office to discuss the full ramifications of this.
You can search the state list of licensed construction, repair & maintenance companies by clicking HERE.
Are there any rules other than the State Building Code?
Easthampton does not have any regulations in excess of CMR 780, State Building Code. There are, however, dimensional issues such as setbacks that are governed by City’s Zoning Ordinance. Further information is available by contacting the office.
What are the rules regarding sheds?
Sheds under 120 square feet in size do not require a permit. Any structure in excess of 120 square feet will require a building permit. Additionally, the Massachusetts State Building Code (CMR 780) requires that any structure over 120 square feet require footings and any structure over 400 square feet requires frost protection.
Where can I see a copy of the Building Code?
Most public libraries have a copy. You can view and download chapters of the Massachusetts State Building Regulations and Standards - 780 CMR in Acrobat PDF format by clicking HERE. You may purchase a copy at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Online Bookstore by clicking HERE.
How long will it take to get my permit?
You should allow at least one week for your permit. The more involved your job, the longer you should consider for review.
How will I receive my permit?
You will be called when the permit has been approved and prepared and is available to be picked up at the office.
Can I have an inspector from the Inspectional Services Office do a home inspection for me?
No. Homeowners should contact a registered home inspector for such services. They can find a list from the local yellow pages.
Are contractors licensed by the City?
No. Contractors such as builders, electricians, plumbers and gas fitters are licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. You can click HERE to check on any licenses.
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Is the Zoning Ordinance available on-line?
Yes. The Zoning Ordinance can be found under "Documents" on the City Planner and the City Clerk department pages. The subdivision regulations for the Planning Board are also available.
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How do I dispose of an old computer?
You may dispose of an old computer at the Highway Department on Northampton Street. There is a fee for this service. Call the Department of Public Works at 413-529-1410 for more information.
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