Town Clerk's FAQ

How do I obtain a copy of a Birth or Death Certificate?

How do I obtain a Marriage License?

How do I obtain a Business Certificate?

How do I register to Vote?

How do I apply for an absentee Ballot?

How do I place a question on our local election ballot?

How do I get information about my family in Wendell long ago?

How do I petition to have an issue put on the Town Meeting warrant?

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Birth & Death Certificates

Certified copies of Birth and Death Certificates are $5.00 each. Birth and Death Certificates are filed in the community where the birth or death occurred, and in most cases in the community the person resided in at the time of the event.

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Marriage Licenses

The filing fee for a Marriage License is $15.00 and includes a certified copy of the record after the marriage.

NOTICE OF INTENTIONS:  The couple must file intentions together. The marriage license is valid for 60 days. There is a three-day waiting period from the day the intentions are filed until the day the marriage license can be picked up.

ONE DAY SOLEMNIZER:  If you plan to use a non-clergy member to perform the ceremony, check the State public records division for detailed instructions.

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Business Certificates

WHAT IS A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE?  Commonly referred to by the name D.B.A. (doing business as), a business certificate creates a public record of the name and address of the owner(s) of a business. Consumers are entitled to this information as it may not otherwise be readily available.

WHO MUST FILE A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE?  Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 110 sections 5 & 6 state that any person conducting business in the Commonwealth under any title other than the real name of the person conducting the business must file a certificate.

A business certificate is not required if a corporation is doing business in its true corporate name, or if a partnership is doing business under any title which includes the true surname of any partner. Certain other associations and partnerships may also be exempt. Refer to the following web site for more information:

HOW DO I FILE OR RENEW A BUSINESS CERTIFICATE?  Forms are available in the Town Clerk's Office. Each person named on the certificate must sign the form in person at the Town Clerk's Office. Proper identification is required. The filing fee is $20.00 for a new filing and $4.00 to renew.

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Register to Vote

Do it now. Don't wait for an election. There are three ways to register:

  1. Call the Town Clerk to have a Mail-In Voter Registration form sent to your home address,
  2. Stop in at the Town Clerk's office to register in person, or
  3. Register at the Registry of Motor Vehicles when you renew your driver's license.

Only residents of Wendell may be registered voters here. New residents may register immediately at any time. Registration closes 20 days before all primaries, local elections and town meetings and 10 days before special town meetings. If you change your name or place of residence in Wendell, you need to notify the Town Clerk immediately.

The Annual Street Listing is used to move names from the list of active voters to the list of inactive voters. Voters whose names have been placed on the inactive voter list will be restored to the active voters list by signing an affirmation of current and continuous residence. Respond promptly to the Annual Street Listing to avoid delays on election day.

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Absentee Voting

You can vote by absentee ballot if you will be absent from your city or town on election day, and/or have a physical disability that prevents your voting at the polling place, and/or cannot vote at the polls due to religious beliefs.

Apply in writing to the Town Clerk including your name, address as registered, address where you wish the absentee ballot sent, in a primary, the party ballot you want, and your signature.

Refer to the following web site for detailed information and downloadable forms:

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Ballot Questions

Local ballot questions are two types either binding or non-binding. To get non-binding public policy questions on the ballot requires a two step process. The initial petition is signed by 10 registered voters and must be presented to the Selectboard well before a 90-day deadline for the SB's action. The SB may accept the question or reject. Then the petition must go again, this time with signatures from at least 10% of the registered voters (or 20 signatures), presented and certified at least 35 days before the Town Elections. The Town Clerk then puts the question on the ballot. Refer to MGL chapter 53, Section 18A.

The other type is binding and these rules are going to be in the applicable statutes, such as that for the Community Preservation Act.

Please see the Town Clerk for more information.

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Questions regarding Wendell genealogies and history may be directed to Pam Richardson at (413) 657-3621. She is glad to assist where she can.

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How do I petition to have an issue put on the Town Meeting warrant?

Anyone can petition to have an issue put on the warrant for the Annual Town Meeting or for a Special Town Meeting.At this time, a petition can be brought to the Selectboard for review as long as the warrant is still open.Speak with the Town Clerk or Town Coordinator about possible deadlines. The language of your petition is important. If you submit your petition ahead of the deadline, the Selectboard will have the time to review it and help you reword it as needed. A petition must include the following information:

  1. If a petition seeks to modify an existing bylaw, it must clearly cite the bylaw which is being modified and whether it is a general or zoning bylaw.

  2. If the petition seeks to add a new bylaw, it must clearly state the information needed to place it within the town's existing bylaws.If the petition amends a zoning bylaw, it must clearly identify the parcel(s) which are subject to the petition by street address, map, block, and lot designation.

  3. Printed name, signature, and address of those signing the petition. Those signing must reside in and be registered to vote in Wendell.

The time between the close of the warrant and the date of town meeting should be used to provide information to town residents and officials about the proposed article. The town meeting discussion will be much easier if the people attending town meeting have heard the idea and have received some information. As the petition sponsor, you are expected to appear at town meeting, make a motion for adoption of the article, provide a succinct explanation, and answer questions.Modifications to the language of the article may be proposed at town meeting. However, any changes need to be within the scope of the original article or they will not be entertained by the Town Moderator. Any changes need to be in writing and submitted to the Town Clerk at town meeting. Informational handouts may be distributed at town meeting and should be brought to the sign-in table at least 30 minutes before town meeting begins. A more detailed handout on the petition process in Wendell is available at the Town Clerk's Office.

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