Open Public Record Act:

The Maryland Public Information Act grants the people of the state the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records provided these are not in conflict with the protection of legitimate government interests or the privacy of individual citizens. A public record is any documentary material that was created or received by a government body that is connected to the conduct of public business.

Birth Records:

A certified copy of a birth certificate can be obtained from the Maryland Department of Health Division of Vital Records. Only the following individuals are eligible to request for a copy:

  • person named on the record
  • parent named on the record
  • court-appointed guardian named on the certificate
  • surviving spouse of the person on the record
  • representative of any of the individuals mentioned above
  • To be able to receive the certificate, you must preset a valid, current government-issued photo ID or two different pieces of alternative documentation:

  • Pay stub
  • Current car registration
  • Bank statement
  • Letter from a government agency requesting a vital record
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Utility bill with current address
  • Copy of income tax return/W-2 form​
  • At least one of the alternative documents must contain your current mailing address. Requests for copies of a birth certificate can be submitted by mail. You will be required to submit a completed application form, a $10 payment, a self-addressed envelope, and a photocopy of your ID. The processing time is 6-8 weeks. When submitting your request in person, you may be able to receive the record within the same day. Payment methods include cash, check, or money order made payable to the Division of Vital Records. Online requests are handled to VitalChek. Please note that an additional shipping and processing fee will be charged. Requests made by phone (410-764-3038) will also include an additional processing fee.

    Marriage Records:

    The Division of Vital Records can provide certified copies of marriage certificates of marriages that occurred on or after January 1, 2007. Any records of marriages that occurred before that date will only be available in the Circuit Court in the county where the marriage took place. Only the following individuals are allowed to apply for a marriage certificate:

  • either spouse name on the record
  • representative of either spouse named on the record
  • attorney representing either spouse named on the record
  • To be able to receive the certificate, you must preset a valid, current government-issued photo ID or two different pieces of alternative documentation:

  • Pay stub
  • Current car registration
  • Bank statement
  • Letter from a government agency requesting a vital record
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Utility bill with current address
  • Copy of income tax return/W-2 form​
  • At least one of the alternative documents must contain your current mailing address. Requests for copies of a birth certificate can be submitted by mail. You will be required to submit a completed application form, a $12 payment, a self-addressed envelope, and a photocopy of your ID. The processing time is 6-8 weeks. When submitting your request in person, you may be able to receive the record within the same day. Payment methods include cash, check, or money order made payable to the Division of Vital Records. Online requests are handled to VitalChek. Please note that an additional shipping and processing fee will be charged.

    Divorce Records:

    The Division of Vital Records can provide verification of divorces and annulments that occurred on or after January 1, 1992. A Verification of Divorce form contains the names of the parties involved, the county where the divorce took place, the date of the decree, and the type of divorce action. For a copy of the actual Decree of Divorce and Annulment of Marriage, you will need to visit the Circuit Court where the divorce or annulment was granted.

    The Verification of Divorce form is only available to the following individuals:

  • either spouse named on the record
  • representatives of either spouse
  • attorney representing either spouse
  • To be able to receive the certificate, you must preset a valid, current government-issued photo ID or two different pieces of alternative documentation:

  • Pay stub
  • Current car registration
  • Bank statement
  • Letter from a government agency requesting a vital record
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Utility bill with current address
  • Copy of income tax return/W-2 form​
  • At least one of the alternative documents must contain your current mailing address. Requests for copies of a birth certificate can be submitted by mail. You will be required to submit a completed application form, a $12 payment, a self-addressed envelope, and a photocopy of your ID. The processing time is 6-8 weeks. When submitting your request in person, you may be able to receive the record within the same day. Payment methods include cash, check, or money order made payable to the Division of Vital Records. Online requests are handled to VitalChek. Please note that an additional shipping and processing fee will be charged.

    Death Records:

    The Division of Vital Records can provide certified copies of death certificates of individuals who died in Maryland going as far back as 1969. For deaths that occurred prior to 1969, copies can be obtained from the Maryland State Archives.

    Only the following individuals are eligible to receive a copy of a death certificate:

  • surviving relative of the deceased
  • authorized representative of surviving relative
  • funeral director in charge of final disposition of the body of the deceased
  • an individual who has a proven legal need
  • To be able to receive the certificate, you must preset a valid, current government-issued photo ID or two different pieces of alternative documentation:

  • Pay stub
  • Current car registration
  • Bank statement
  • Letter from a government agency requesting a vital record
  • Lease/rental agreement
  • Utility bill with current address
  • Copy of income tax return/W-2 form​
  • At least one of the alternative documents must contain your current mailing address. Requests for copies of a birth certificate can be submitted by mail. You will be required to submit a completed application form, a $10 payment (additional copies of death certificates cost $12 each), a self-addressed envelope, and a photocopy of your ID. The processing time is 3-4 weeks. When submitting your request in person, you may be able to receive the record within the same day. Payment methods include cash, check, or money order made payable to the Division of Vital Records. Online requests are handled to VitalChek. Please note that an additional shipping and processing fee will be charged.

    Missing People:

    The Maryland State Police, Center for Missing and Unidentified Persons maintains a list of all missing person cases reported within the state. You can view the list of individuals reported missing from their Facebook page. You can also access information on missing children in the state by visiting the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

    Elected Officials:

    If you want to obtain information regarding the elected officials in Maryland, you can visit the Maryland Government website where the different branches of government in the state are listed along with the officials serving in each branch. For example, under the Executive Branch, the constitutional officers listed include the current governor, Lawrence J. Hogan, Jr., as well as all the officials and agencies functioning under him. You can also obtain the governor’s contact information and website.

    Court Records

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    Recorder

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