Requirements for Free MD Birth Certificates for Homeless Persons


Listed below is a copy of the text from a memorandum from MHD (formerly DHMH) that was shared with us by a non-profit.  The memorandum describes the procedures required to obtain free MD birth certificates for homeless persons.  For eligible homeless persons, there is no longer a fee for this service as per HB 280.

The intent of this Memorandum is to bring clarity on the issuance of birth certificates to homeless individuals.

As you know, §4-217 (a)(6)(ii)1.2.3.4., of the Annotated Code of Maryland provides that DHMH accept as proof of homelessness, a signed written statement from a homeless services provider located in the State of Maryland that:

- Affirms the individual is homeless; and
- Includes the mailing address to which the copy of the birth certificate requested may be sent; and
- A homeless individual may receive one copy of his/her birth certificate without a fee in a single transaction.

In addition, the homeless individual must provide a valid photo ID to be Issued a birth certificate on the same day. However, if the homeless individual is unable to produce a valid photo ID, then one (1) other alternative identification will be accepted and the birth certificate must be mailed to the Maryland homeless shelter. Alternative forms of identification include: hospital bills, MVA card, benefits letter, MTA card, detention release card, etc.

If a provider/representative, acting on behalf of the homeless individual, is requesting the birth certificate, then they must provide a release letter from the homeless individual; show the homeless individual's affiliation with the Maryland homeless shelter; and provide alternative identification from the homeless individual.

Should you have additional questions regarding birth certificate issuance to homeless individuals, you may contact me at 410-764-3186, or geneva.sparks@maryland.gov 

Thank you.

GGS/gvt