A young family moves from Pawtucket, Rhode Island to Arizona. Their ten-year old son, Rick, wants to play on the local soccer team but he cannot, because the family forgot to get a copy of Rick’s birth certificate before they left Rhode Island. Before February 24, 2016, unless there were immediate family members still in this area, there was no easy way to get the birth certificate. Since then, if a vital record (birth, death, marriage or civil union certificate) is on file in the Pawtucket City Clerk’s Office, it may be requested on-line.
Working with the RI Department of Health’s Division of Vital Records and with RI.gov, which created the program that allows for the on-line requests, Pawtucket became the first city or town in Rhode Island to accept orders and payments for vital records in a secure on-line environment. Now, instead of mailing in all of the required information, which can take days depending on where you are located, you can order a certified copy of your child’s birth certificate, your marriage certificate or your grandparent’s death certificate, from anywhere that has internet access in only a few minutes.
Once it is determined that all the necessary information is received, the certificate will be ready for sending to the applicant within 24 hours, and often on the same day it is received. And while the only way to send out the certificate currently is through regular mail, once RI.gov completes its negotiations for an overnight delivery contract, it is possible that if the request from Rick’s parents in Arizona for his birth certificate is sent on Tuesday, the certificate could be received by them on Wednesday, the very next day.
“Finding ways to improve the delivery of services to our residents and other customers is a charge we have all received often from Mayor Grebien during his time as mayor.” noted City Clerk Richard Goldstein, “I believe that the ability to order vital records on-line will be a big improvement for those people who have a hard time for whatever reason getting to city hall.”
People wishing to request vital records on-line may do so by going onto the city of Pawtucket website at pawtucketri.com, and clicking on “City Clerk,” under “Departments,” and then clicking on the icon that says “Order Vital Records HERE.” You will receive instructions and the opportunity to request and pay for your vital record. Anyone with questions may call the City Clerk’s Office at (401) 728-0500 ext. 225.
Goldstein had praise for those people who worked on this project. “Anytime you bring a new project to fruition, it requires a lot of work and collaboration by some very dedicated people. I want to thank everyone who helped on this project, especially Deputy City Clerk Michelle Hardy; Director of Marketing and Project Management for Rhode Island Interactive (RI.gov), Nicole Scaramuzzi Courtemanche; and the recently retired Registrar of Vital Records at the Rhode Island Department of Health, Colleen Fontana.”
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