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.


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.

Birth Records

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.

Death Records

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.

Marriage Records

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.

Divorce Records

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.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States


Learn about Maryland criminal records, MD Property Records, or read about public records in another state from the list below: