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Maryland Public Records
Public records in Maryland are administered by a number of different divisions and departments. Some records are maintained at the state level and some at the county or city level. Generally, though, Maryland's public records are easy to find and access; many of them are available online.
Your local library is a good place to start a Maryland public records search. Knowing what government agency or office is responsible for the records you are interested in is essential and librarians have been helping patrons do just that for a very long time. This includes everything from genealogy research to requesting election data.
In Maryland, vital records - including records of birth, death, marriage, and divorce - are administered by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, thorough the Vital Statistics Administration. They are available for order online, by mail, or in person.
The online search database is operated by a third party processor, VitalChek, which maintains similar databases for several U.S. states. The search page is here. To order records by mail or in person, download the appropriate order form from the right side of this page, and follow the instructions on the form.
The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation maintains business records for corporations and limited liability companies in Maryland. Entity records include the name and file number of the business, the names of officers and agents, as well as the date of formation. The document search page is here.
For more information call the Department of Assessments and Taxation at (410) 767-1184.
Maryland property records are also maintained by the Department of Assessments and Taxation. There is an easy-to-use online search system available here. Simply choose the appropriate county and method of search.
Tax collection and billing in Maryland are functions of local offices. A list of relevant office contact information can be found here.
The Maryland Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Administration (the "MVA"), in is charge of driving records in Maryland. As of this writing, the online search page is down for maintenance, but there is a lot of helpful information on the MVA's main page.
To order by mail, print and fill out the request form and send it in to:
Motor Vehicle Administration
6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
The fee is $12.00 for each certified record, $9.00 for non-certified. The MVA customer service number is (410) 768-7000.
Criminal records in Maryland are maintained by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (the "DPSCS"). There are different rules for criminal background checks depending upon the reason for the request. For general purposes, individuals can order their own records in person, by visiting any authorized fingerprinting services location. A list of locations can be found here.
The DPSCS also operates a searchable database of Maryland inmates. The search page is here.
For more information, call the DPSCS at (410) 653-6320.
Public access to the case records of the Maryland Judiciary is available for search based on name or case number. Court records will include basic, general information such as party names and addresses, relevant event dates, and case disposition. The search feature is free and easy-to-use. Start here.
Judgments and liens can be searched for at this website.
For other court information, it is necessary to contact the relevant court directly. A directory of Maryland courts can be found here.