Maryland Background Checks and Public Records

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The State of Maryland 

Maryland, located in the eastern seaboard of the United States, is one of the most densely populated states in the country. It is also one of the wealthiest states, being a bedroom community for Washington D.C. and an industry leader. Its population is continuously in flux hence a Maryland background check must be done simultaneously with checks on other states.

Counties in Maryland 

AlleganyCarrollHarfordSt. Mary’s
Anne ArundelCecilHowardSomerset
Baltimore CityDorchesterMontgomeryWashington
CalvertFrederickPrince George’sWicomico
CarolineGarrettQueen Anne’sWorcester

Where To Get Public Records In Maryland 

Criminal history records may be obtained from sources like the courts, police departments, and the Maryland Sex Offender Registry in the case of sex offenders. All information in the Criminal Justice Information System Central Repository is only available with proper authorization.

Inmate record information may be obtained from the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. A record check on court records may be done through Maryland’s Judiciary Case Search site. Some records though, like juvenile and adoption cases are exempt from the Maryland Public Information Act. Additional information on a specific case may be requested in writing to the clerk of court but toll-free telephone requests are not accepted.

Vital records are obtained through the Division of Vital Records. Some record requests may require filling out an Identity Verification Document. 

Real property records are obtained from the Department of Assessments and Taxation. Land records are obtained from Maryland Judiciary, the Court Clerks of Maryland, and the Maryland State Archives. Deed records are obtained from the Court Clerks of Maryland.

Accessing and Acquiring Public Records in Maryland 

A detailed list of Public Information Act representatives can be found on the Maryland Attorney General’s website. The state has 30-days to respond to a record request. Agencies are however expected to produce records promptly observing guidelines akin to great customer service. Fees may be required depending on the agency and amounts may vary.

Records are provided through various government departments and agencies. Information may be accessed via online databases. You may also use third-party people search engines.

Maryland Background Check Reports

To initiate general or criminal background checks in Maryland, the proper form must be submitted to the Criminal Justice Information Service via fax or mail together with the corresponding fee. A State Background Check costs about $18 while State and Federal Background Checks cost $31.25.

The State of Maryland adheres to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Ban-the-Box Policy.

Private employers are among those that often request a background check. They need to fill out a “Private Party Petition Packet” and submit that to the Maryland Criminal Justice Information Service Authorization Administrator. Agencies providing adult dependent care, child care, criminal justice, government employment/licensing must use the Application to Receive Criminal History Record Information for Employment or Licensing Purposes. The job applicant or person whose criminal history will be checked needs to provide the agency authorization number to any authorized fingerprinting services location.

Background check reports in Maryland may also be accessed through third-party background check services.

Maryland Official Websites

Frequently Asked Questions About Maryland Background Checks

How do I get a Maryland background check?

To receive a background check in Maryland, you must go through the Maryland Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services and the Criminal Justice Information System. The background check process depends on if you live in the state and if is for an employment or personal purpose. All information can be found on the Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services website. 

How far back do background checks go in Maryland?

In the state of Maryland, Criminal Background Checks go back 7 years unless the person’s salary is equal to or greater than $20,000.

How much does a background check cost in Maryland?

A Maryland State Background Check costs $18. This may vary if fingerprinting is needed, if it’s for employment, or if a Federal check is needed. 

How do I check my criminal record in Maryland?

Certain felony and misdemeanor charges and appeals related to Maryland courts may be viewable via To check your full criminal history in the state, you can do so through the Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services. There is no fee for requesting such information.

Other than this, you could look up your criminal records using third-party services like Kiwi Searches

How do I look up court cases in Maryland?

You can search court cases and records in Maryland by using the Maryland Judiciary Case Search. However, certain records are not for public view without a court order such as adoption, guardianship, juvenile delinquency, marriage license, income tax returns, and more.