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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Maryland - Executive Branch - Administrative Code and Regulations

This entry covers:

I. Proposed and Final Regulations

Proposed and final regulations are published by the Maryland Division of State Documents in the Maryland Register. The Division posts the eight most recent issues for free and sells older issues.

The full text of proposed regulations back to November 1997 are searchable on Lexis (MD;RGALRT); final regs and related documents back to January 2000 are searchable in the Lexis "Maryland Register" database (MD;MDRGST). Proposed and final regulations are on Westlaw back to mid-2002 (MD-REGTXT).

Regulations are also available from the issuing agency - first check the agency Web site; if that doesn't work, call.

You can get older regulations from the Maryland Register back to 1974, when the Register was first published. Back issues are available in Maryland academic and government libraries. Back issues are also available in PDR, CD and DVD format from the Division of State Documents (410-974-2486 or 800-633-9657).

II. The Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR)

After enactment, Maryland Regulations are compiled in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR).

The Division of State Documents posts a free online edition of COMAR. For better searching and printing, use the electronic editions on Lexis (MD;MDADMIN) or Westlaw (MD-ADC).

Note: Some regulations are "incorporated by reference" into COMAR but not actually published with it. Many of these are Model Codes and Standards, which may be available from the Maryland Codes Administration. Otherwise, copies should be available from designated Depository Libraries.

Relation to Statutory Code: The annotations after each section in the West version of the Annotated Code of Maryland lists related sections of the Code or Maryland Administrative Regulations (COMAR). Alternatively, the COMAR Deskbook (R.T. Associates; LaVale, MD) includes an "Authority" table that lists the COMAR sections enacted under each section of the Annotated Code.

III. Updating COMAR

The "Cumulative Table of COMAR Regulations Adopted, Amended, or Repealed" in the most recent Maryland Register issue (also available online) will list all the regulations that have been changed since the last time COMAR was updated. The regulations are listed in numerical order, by their COMAR number, followed by a citation to that issue of the Register in which the regulations were affected.

You can double-check the Cumulative Table (a) by searching under your subject in the Register's quarterly and annual indexes (b) by searching in a Maryland Register database (discussed above).

IV. Historical Regulations

You can get old regulations from back issues of the Maryland Register. For regulations issued before 1974, contact the Maryland State Law Library.

COMAR is a looseleaf service, and apparently no one keeps outdated annual volumes prior to 2011, but the Maryland State Library started a COMAR collection (possibly in PDF format) starting that year. Westlaw has historical editions of COMAR going back to 2002.

To go farther back, you have to look up the individual regulations in the "Administrative History" printed at the end of a COMAR section, retrieve the regulations from the Maryland Register, then piece the regulation together as best you can. As mentioned above, contact the Maryland State Law Library for copies of regulations prior to 1974.

Note: The Maryland State Law Library keeps the pre-2011 pages from COMAR, but they are not dated, and it is very difficult to assemble a Section as it existed at a particular time.

Note: For pre-COMAR tax regulations, see the Tax Section of "Maryland - Executive Branch - Agencies and Offices."

V. Emergency Regulations

Emergency Regulations are published in the Maryland Register. The Division of State Documents posts a list of the Emergency Regulations in Effect.

See Also
Maryland - Executive Branch - Agencies and Offices
State Regulations and Administrative Codes

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman