About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.

Statute Text

Article - General Provisions
(a)   In this title the following words have the meanings indicated.
(b)   “Applicant” means a person or governmental unit that asks to inspect a public record.
(c)   “Board” means the State Public Information Act Compliance Board.
(d)   “Custodian” means:
(1)   the official custodian; or
(2)   any other authorized individual who has physical custody and control of a public record.
(e)   “News media” means:
(1)   newspapers;
(2)   magazines;
(3)   journals;
(4)   press associations;
(5)   news agencies;
(6)   wire services;
(7)   radio;
(8)   television; and
(9)   any printed, photographic, mechanical, or electronic means of disseminating news and information to the public.
(f)   “Official custodian” means an officer or employee of the State or of a political subdivision who is responsible for keeping a public record, whether or not the officer or employee has physical custody and control of the public record.
(g)   “Person in interest” means:
(1)   a person or governmental unit that is the subject of a public record or a designee of the person or governmental unit;
(2)   if the person has a legal disability, the parent or legal representative of the person; or
(3)   as to requests for correction of certificates of death under § 5–310(d)(2) of the Health – General Article, the spouse, adult child, parent, adult sibling, grandparent, or guardian of the person of the deceased at the time of the deceased’s death.
(h)    (1)   “Personal information” means information that identifies an individual.
(2)   Except as provided in § 4–355 of this title, “personal information” includes an individual’s:
(i)   name;
(ii)   address;
(iii)   driver’s license number or any other identification number;
(iv)   medical or disability information;
(v)   photograph or computer–generated image;
(vi)   Social Security number; and
(vii)   telephone number.
(3)   “Personal information” does not include an individual’s:
(i)   driver’s status;
(ii)   driving offenses;
(iii)   five–digit zip code; or
(iv)   information on vehicular accidents.
(i)   “Political subdivision” means:
(1)   a county;
(2)   a municipal corporation;
(3)   an unincorporated town;
(4)   a school district; or
(5)   a special district.
(j)    (1)   “Public record” means the original or any copy of any documentary material that:
(i)   is made by a unit or an instrumentality of the State or of a political subdivision or received by the unit or instrumentality in connection with the transaction of public business; and
(ii)   is in any form, including:
1.   a card;
2.   a computerized record;
3.   correspondence;
4.   a drawing;
5.   film or microfilm;
6.   a form;
7.   a map;
8.   a photograph or photostat;
9.   a recording; or
10.   a tape.
(2)   “Public record” includes a document that lists the salary of an employee of a unit or an instrumentality of the State or of a political subdivision.
(3)   “Public record” does not include a digital photographic image or signature of an individual, or the actual stored data of the image or signature, recorded by the Motor Vehicle Administration.