Maryland Genealogical Society
Maryland Genealogical Society

Finding MD Birth Certificates Online

Researchers with Maryland ancestors are fortunate that Maryland birth certificates over 100 years old are available online. They begin in 1875 for Baltimore City and 1898 for the counties. The records are available on both the Maryland State Archives website and the Internet Archive website. The following discussion offers advice on locating the birth record that you're looking for. Step one is checking the online indexes, then step two is locating the online certificate.
Before checking the original indexes, try searching the Baltmore County Genealogical Society's statewide birth index databaseBe aware however, that this database is not yet complete. However, new information continues to be added toward the ultimate goal of a comprehensive searchable database of Maryland's birth certificates.
While the original birth certificate indexes are available on the Internet Archive website (here for the counties and here for Baltimore City records), the following indexes as posted on the Maryland State Archives website are easier to navigate. Note that earlier records are indexed by the name of the parents, not of the child. For any index entry of interest you locate, be sure to record the names, date, county/city, and certificate number (if any).
Maryland Counties Indexes (Baltimore City births are indexed separately from births in the Maryland counties - see indexes below.)
Baltimore City Indexes 
  • 1875-1941: CM1134 
  • 1942-1949: No index is available at the Maryland State Archives. 
  • 1950-1972: T1344 
The Maryland State Archives has developed tutorial videos to explain two indexing systems used in some of the indexes, the vowel indexing system and the soundex indexing system. Also see, "Types of Indexes Found at the Maryland State Archives."
Using the following Maryland State Archives website links, find the batch of records that contains the certificate you need based on the date, county/city information, and certificate number (if any) you found in the index. You can view available birth certificates on either the Maryland State Archives website or the Internet Archive website. If you want to view the certificate on the Internet Archive website, be sure to note the "MSA Citation number" for that batch of records. (Example MSA Citation numbers include S1963-873 and CM1135-61.)
Maryland Counties Certificates
  • 1898-April 1910: S1963 
  • May 1910-1913: S1988  
  • 1914-[1922]: SM35 (Additional years are being added as the records reach 100 years old.)
Baltimore City Certificates 
  • 1875-[1923]: CM1135  (Additional years are being added as the records reach 100 years old.)
The Maryland State Archives website page on Birth Records provides further in-depth guidance about locating records, the history of birth records in Maryland, and FAQs.
Viewing Certificates on the Maryland State Archives Website
Batches of certificates will have a "Links" hot link that you can select to move on to viewing the certificates. There will be options for viewing the certificates as part of large PDFs or as individual certificates. 
Viewing Certificates on the Internet Archive Website
If you prefer to view the certificate on the Internet Archive website, follow one of the following links depending on the date and place of the birth.
From the resulting list of files, choose the link for the time period you are interested in. 
You'll then have access to batches of PDF files identified by MSA Citation number. The links will appear in the left-hand navigation bar, as shown in the illustration. Select the correct MSA Citation number for the certificate you're seeking. (In the illustration, for example, MSA Citation number CM1135-058 - outlined in blue - has been selected.) Finally, scroll through that PDF to locate the certificate you need.