Maryland Public Records
Maryland’s freedom of information act is the Maryland Public Information Act, which can be found at §§ 10-611 to 10-628 of the State Government Article in the Maryland Annotated Code. The Maryland Public Information Act is modeled after the federal Freedom of Information Act and guarantees broad access to public records in the state of Maryland.
Under the Public Information Act, a public record is defined as “the original or copy of any documentary material in any form, to include written materials, books, photographs, photocopies, films, microfilms, records, tapes, computerized records, maps and drawings created or received by the Department in connection with the transaction of public business.” Anyone can submit a request under the Public Information Act; unlike some states, it is not restricted to Maryland residents.
Most records in Maryland are considered public information, but there are some exemptions. Exemptions include attorney-client privileged information, inmate records, medical records, financial information, and personnel records. Some information is also withheld from the public record.
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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Maryland
More About Maryland
Maryland is located in the Mid-Atlantic region of the eastern seaboard of the United States. It is the 19th most populated state, but only the 42nd largest state. The result is that Maryland is one of the most densely populated states in the United States. It also happens to be one of the country’s wealthiest states. It has the nation’s highest household income. Part of this is due to the fact that most of the state is considered a bedroom community for Washington, D.C., with many of its residents working in the capital or in government-related capacities. Maryland is also an industrial leader, with manufacturing, biotechnology, and services forming the base of a thriving economy. Maryland’s population is constantly in flux and its proximity to D.C. lends itself to people traveling outside of the state in the normal course of their daily lives. Therefore, if you are running a background check for a resident of Maryland, you want to check other states and may even need to check other countries, as well, to get complete information.
Public Records in MD
Although Maryland has a very comprehensive freedom of information type law, it does not have a single repository of public records. Instead, to get public records in Maryland, you need to seek them from the department or office that compiled the record. In some instances, that is a local office. For example, the Court of the Circuit Clerk where a marriage or divorce occurred is responsible for those records. In other instance, the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Division of Vital Records may maintain the record. The state does maintain a central database for property and property information searches.
In Maryland, the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation maintains a real property data search database, where you can search for real property in Maryland counties, by searching for address, property account identifier, map or parcel number, or property sales. In addition, there are three types of land records in Maryland: land records, property tax records, and deed records.
The Maryland Judiciary, the Court Clerks of Maryland, and the Maryland State Archives provide access to all verified land records in Maryland. You must apply for an account before you can use the free online service. It includes land records, which is a term used to describe an original conveyance of land to an individual and from the state, country, or colony that originally held it.
Property Tax Records
In Maryland, you can find information about property tax records at the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation’s a real property data search database. Using this database, you can search for real property in Maryland counties, by searching for address, property account identifier, map or parcel number, or property sales
While Maryland deed records are recorded by the Court Clerks of Maryland, they are available through the Maryland State Archive’s collection of all of the verified land records in Maryland. You must apply for an account before you can use the free online service. This archive is kept up-to-date and includes deeds for property that has recently been conveyed.
MD Vital Records
Vital statistics is a term that refers to the public records that detail significant life events. In Maryland, the following vital statistics are kept by the Maryland Department of Health: births, deaths, marriages, and divorces.
In Maryland, you can find birth certificates by requesting them from the Maryland Department of Health. Only certain people may request birth certificates, including the named person, a parent, or a legal guardian. You may order them by mail or in person.
Only certain individuals may request birth certificates, including legal relatives of the deceased or people who have proven a legal need for them. You can access death certificates by requesting them from the Maryland Department of Health, which may be ordered via mail or in person.
In Maryland, you can request marriage certificates by mail or in person from the Maryland Department of Health. Only certain people may request marriage certificates, including either of the spouses, the spouses’ representatives, or attorneys representing the spouses.
You may request divorce verification from the Maryland Department of Health in person or by mail. Only certain people may request marriage certificates, including either of the spouses, the spouses’ representatives, or attorneys representing the spouses.
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MD State Agency Websites
- Attorney General
- Birth Records
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- Crash Reports
- Criminal Records
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- Divorce records
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- Election Related Records
- GED and HiSET Records
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- Sales Tax Registration
- Sexual Offender Registry
- State Archives
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