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Laws & Regulations

Agencies are Required to have a Records Management Program

The Annotated Code of Maryland State Government Article 10, sections 608-611 and COMAR 14.18.02 requires every state, county or local government agency to develop a program to efficiently manage its records. This includes the establishment and/or regular revision of records retention and disposition schedules. The head of each agency or office is responsible for ensuring that all records created or received by that agency are on an approved records retention and disposition schedule.

Permanent Records

A public record may not be disposed of without authorization from the State Archivist. This authorization must be obtained by filing a records retention and disposition schedule with the State Archives. The Retention Schedules page of this web site provides guidance on the development and approval of records retention schedules.

If you already have an approved records retention schedule and would like to arrange for the transfer of permanent records to the Archives, please visit the Records Transfer page of this website.

All records management forms and instructions are available on our Forms & Instructions page.

Non-permanent Records

If you are a State agency with an approved records retention schedule and would like to transfer non-permanent records, you would do so by working with the Department of General Services, not the State Archives. The Department of General Services: State Records Center handles non-permanent records. Please contact their Records Management Division at 410-799-1379. Agencies must complete and submit a Records Transmittal and Receipt Form (DGS 550-5) prior to transfer.

County, Municipal and other Local Authorities

County, municipal, and other local authorities may seek delegated authority from the State Archivist to develop and implement archival / records management programs at the local level consistent with COMAR 14.18.03. Delegated programs must comply with the records management statutes and regulations including Annotated Code of Maryland State Government Article 10, section 616 which requires public officials to offer records to the Archives prior to destruction. Delegated programs may be supplemented by local laws such as Baltimore City's Ordinance 41-659, Ordinance 54-1096, and Ordinance 78-916.


This web site is provided as a courtesy of the Maryland State Archives. As you develop your records management program, you should consult with your agency’s Records Officer.


This web site is presented for reference purposes under the doctrine of fair use. When this material is used, in whole or in part, proper citation and credit must be attributed to the Maryland State Archives. PLEASE NOTE: The site may contain material from other sources which may be under copyright. Rights assessment, and full originating source citation, is the responsibility of the user.


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