How to Get A Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Maryland
A divorce can be a complicated and stressful mess. It's not uncommon to realize some time later that you don't have a copy of your divorce certificate. This is not the same as the divorce decree, but there are circumstances when you may want it or a copy of it.
Remarriage is one common reason why you might realize you no longer have your divorce certificate and need to get hold of a copy. If you find you need a copy of your divorce certificate in Maryland, this guide can show you how to obtain one by yourself and how DoNotPay can make it easier for you.
Divorce Certificate vs. Divorce Decree
Both your divorce certificate and your divorce decree serve as proof that you are divorced.
Your divorce decree also contains a lot of other information, such as child support and custody arrangements, retirement account division, etc. Meanwhile, your divorce certificate is a much shorter document. Divorce certificates are issued, in Maryland, by the Maryland Department of Health Division of Vital Records.
You might want to use your divorce certificate instead of your decree for two reasons:
- It's generally a single page, thus easier to copy, scan, etc.
- It doesn't contain as much information, and you might not want the person requesting proof of divorce to know how much alimony you are paying or receiving.
You would typically use your divorce decree to demonstrate to creditors that you are no longer married, apply for a marriage license or certificate, or to apply for a name change if you changed your name on marriage and now wish to change it back.
Who May Request a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Maryland?
First of all, in Maryland, this is called "divorce verification." It means the same thing. The verification you receive will be accepted by most people as proof of divorce or annulment.
The only people who can request a copy are:
- Either spouse
- A representative of either spouse who can show written permission from that spouse, which must be notarized.
- Either spouse's attorney, who also must present proof.
In most cases, you will be requesting a copy yourself. Note that to get a copy of your divorce decree you need to go to the circuit court in which your divorce was finalized.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Maryland?
You can obtain a divorce certificate from the Maryland Vital Records office.
|City/County/State Office||Contact Address and Phone Number||Divorce Certificate Processing Fee|
|Maryland Vital Records||6764 B Reisterstown Road
Reisterstown Road Plaza
Baltimore, MD 21215
|First Copy: $12.00
Additional Copies: $12.00
Fees may be paid by check or money order if you are requesting a copy by mail. Major credit cards are accepted for in-person and internet orders. It is unclear whether cash is accepted in person.
How Long Does It Take to Get A Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Maryland?
Typically, it takes 3 weeks to get a copy online, or 4 weeks by mail (to allow time for the request to reach them). You can get a copy within two weeks if you pay for expedited shipping.
If you are in a real hurry, you can sometimes get same-day service by going to a vital records office and making your request in person. This is obviously a less convenient option for many people but can work in an emergency.
What Documents Do I Need to Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Maryland?
To get a copy of your divorce certificate, you need to prove your identity. This means you need to present either:
- A valid, unexpired government-issued photo ID, such as your driver's license or passport OR
- Two forms of identity, at least one of which must have your current mailing address. Acceptable documents are a pay stub, current car registration, bank statement, letter from a government agency requesting the record (that is, if an official agency has asked to see your divorce certificate, that letter itself counts as a form of identity), lease, utility bill, or W2.
How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Maryland On Your Own
There are several ways to get a copy of your divorce certificate by yourself. First, you need to make sure you have the appropriate proof of identity. If you have a driver's license, this is easy.
Next, you need to decide how to make your request. In Maryland, you can request a copy by mail, using the internet, or in person at one of their offices.
The process for getting a copy by mail is as follows:
- Download the application form from their site.
- Make photocopies of your required identification.
- Write a check or money order to cover the fee, made payable to the Division of Vital Records.
- Mail it to the Division of Vital Records, P.O. Box 68760, Baltimore, MD 21215-0036. You must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.
Maryland uses VitalChek, a third-party company to handle online orders. You will need to go to their website and follow the instructions, which require that you provide the city and date of the divorce.
You will also need to scan and upload your required identification. If you are using a driver's license, this will require you to use a flatbed scanner. You may also have to pay additional processing fees.
Your last option is to go to the department of vital records and do it in person. Currently, this involves making an appointment online, which requires that you provide your cellphone number so you can be contacted.
As you can see, there is no good option for those who have limited computer or internet access.
Next Steps for Getting a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Maryland If You Can't Do It Yourself
If you can't handle any of these methods, the best way to do it is to arrange for a representative or an attorney.
If you already have an attorney, even if they are not a specialist divorce attorney, they may be able to help you with this. Otherwise, you will need to employ a trusted friend or family member to act as your representative.
They will need a written, notarized letter authorizing them to act on your behalf. They can then use the methods above to order a copy and mail or hand-deliver it to you.
How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate Instantly in Maryland with DoNotPay
As you can see, the process can be a real pain. DoNotPay can help you overcome obstacles of not having good computer access, frustration with the system, etc.
If you want to get a copy of a divorce certificate in Maryland but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 7 easy steps:
- Go to the Certificates of Divorce product on DoNotPay.
- Select whether the certificate belongs to you or a relative/loved one. If it belongs to someone else, enter the details of both people on the certificate, and select/upload evidence that proves your relationship with them. If the certificate is yours, enter the details of your spouse.*Please note: some states only allow people named on the certificate to apply.
- Enter the city, state, and county where the divorce certificate and original divorce certificate were issued as well as the dates they were issued on.
- Indicate what you will be using this certificate for, and choose whether you need an authorized or certified copy.
- Enter your contact information and shipping address. Upload copies of your government-issued identification, such as a driver's license.
- Choose whether you would like to electronically sign this form or not. Once we generate the form, verify that all of the information is correct.
- If you need the document to be notarized, schedule a notarization appointment using our Notary product. Otherwise, proceed to our Mail Checks product and let DoNotPay mail-in your request form with a check on your behalf.
Why Use DoNotPay to Get a Copy of a Divorce Certificate in Maryland
Overall, DoNotPay is fast, easy, and successful. It doesn't add to processing time and removes a lot of the headaches you might have. We file everything on your behalf and we can mail a check for you, meaning you only have to give out your bank information once.
If you need to use a representative (let's say you are in a hurry and want to do it in person but live on the other side of the state from Baltimore and want your relative in Baltimore to do it), we offer virtual notary services which can get you set up fast.
We can also help get divorce certificates and other legal documents in other states, such as