How to Find Lost Vital Records
Vital records include birth certificates, death certificates, marriage records, and divorce records. The records are maintained by the state or local government where the event took place. Getting copies of these records can be a lengthy, frustrating, and even costly process. This is especially so if you need to hire someone to find them for you. Here is information about how to do it yourself.
Maryland - For information about finding vital records (and obtaining certified copies) for events that have occurred in Maryland visit the Vital Statistics Administration.
Outside Maryland - For births, divorces or other events that occurred elsewhere in the United States, check out the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Where to Write for Vital Records webpage. You must first select a state or a territory. Then, the website will display a list of the applicable record-keeping offices for each type of vital record.
Asking for a “certified” copy - In many instances, you must provide an original document or a “certified” copy of the original. Usually a “certified” copy is available for a small additional fee. Always ask for a certified copy if you must use the copy as a replacement for the original.
Changing a Name - This list of sources contains all you need to know in order to change your name in Maryland. This also includes a step by step process, links to official name change forms, and relevant laws.