The Great Seal of Maryland   Digital Image Reference System for
Land Survey, Subdivision, and Condominium Plats

Beginner's Guide to is a system developed by the Maryland State Archives, the Administrative Office of the Courts and Maryland Circuit Court Clerks to preserve and make accessible all plats filed with the Land Office and the Circuit Courts of Maryland.

Plats are cartography relating to land ownership. They represent in graphic and pictorial terms the metes and bounds of properties as described in deeds. As such, plats are crucial to understanding and documenting the conveyance of land title in Maryland. Attorneys, realtors, surveyors, title searchers, and private citizens need to consult plats recorded in the circuit courts when researching property boundaries and land conveyances.

Beginning in 1945 copies of subdivision plats recorded with the circuit courts were filed with the Land Office. In 1965, the Hall of Records, now called the State Archives, assumed the functions and responsibilities of the Land Office, including the preservation and storage of the state copies of plats. The Archives began microfilming these documents and providing aperture cards (plats on microfiche) to most jurisdictions in 1993. During this process, the Archives recognized the need for a more comprehensive appraisal and accessibility of all plats. By 1997 the Archives, Administrative Office of the Courts, and Circuit Court Clerks had determined that an online system for plats reference and retrieval could meet this need.

The first step to locate a plat online is to visit the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) Real Property Search website. Follow the directions on the Real Property Search to search for the address of the plat you wish to research. The page returns the deed reference, name of the subdivision, lot number, and plat reference among other information. Once you have obtained the plat reference, go back to the website and search by the plat reference.

If the SDAT site does not include a plat citation, use the "advanced search" option on to search by subdivision name. If you are still unable to find a plat by looking for the subdivision name, you can go back through the deeds and check if there is any plat reference cited in earlier land records.

If you are looking for a Prince George's County or Montgomery County plat, the SDAT site may provide a plat citation beginning with the letter "A." There is a guide at the county circuit court land records office for Montgomery County that cross references the "A" number with the county's plat citation. See cross references for Prince George's County plats.

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