Submit an Application
Maryland Roadside Historical Markers are located on a state-owned property and cannot be placed on private, county, or other municipal land. Most locations are within the Maryland state road rights of way to facilitate marker maintenance. The marker nominator should provide a preferred location of the marker; however, the final location will be determined by MDOT SHA for safety reasons. After the narrative has been agreed upon by the marker nominator, MDOT, and MHT, the review process, fabrication, and installation of the markers may take up 6 months. Please notify MDOT if you would like to hold an unveiling event associated your marker. They can time the installation for your event and provide a cover for the marker.
The Maryland Roadside Historical Marker application deadlines are January 1st and July 1st. Up to five markers will be selected during each cycle. To propose a new Historical Marker, the nominator must submit the marker application before the deadline, or it will be considered for the following cycle. The nominator must complete an online application that will be reviewed by MDOT who will coordinate with the MHT. If selected, the MDOT staff will contact the nominator and work with them to finalize the 70-word text for the sign and coordinate any commemorative event. Applications can be prepared by private individuals, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, or businesses. Each applicant is responsible for all required documentation. An applicant does not have to be a state resident.
The Maryland Roadside Historical Marker program is reserved for places, people, and events that hold state-wide significance that can be tied to the national stage. The commemorated subject must be an influential person, place, thing, trend, or event that occurred within the state. A subject can be considered to have statewide significance if it satisfies the same criteria used when evaluating sites or resources for historical significance. This standard guides agency decision making and is designed to consider a broad range of resource characteristics and to recognize the accomplishments of all people that contribute to state history and heritage.
Significant resources associated with Maryland history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture, should be at least 50 years or older, and must be associated with one or more of the following:
- Events that have contributed to broad patterns of history; or
- Persons who were significant to our past; or
- Built resources that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values; or
- other resources that have yielded, or that may yield information important to the understanding of history (this category often pertains to archaeological sites).
- Traditionally disenfranchised individuals or communities.
- Although applicants may nominate any person, place, or event for a Historical Marker, MDOT encourages submissions on underrepresented historic events, unique places, and diverse people and communities.
Evaluation Criteria Exceptions
Generally, cemeteries, religious institutions, moved buildings or structures, recently reconstructed historic buildings, commemorative properties, or resources under 50 years of age are not considered eligible for a marker. Please note that some of the resource types may qualify if they can be included in the following criteria exceptions.
- A religious property (such as a church or synagogue) featuring significance due to architectural distinction or historical importance.
- A building or structure removed from its original location, but which is significant for architectural value, or is a surviving building or structure associated with a historic person or event.
- A birthplace or grave of a historical figure of outstanding importance.
- A cemetery that is significant due to the presence of graves of historically important individuals, distinctive architecture, or that is associated with a historic event.
- A cemetery with unique and creative markers.
- An accurately reconstructed historic building or structure, in a suitable environmental setting, when no other building or structure with the same associations survives.
- A commemorative property featuring significant design, age, tradition, or symbolic value that has invested it with its own historical significance.
- A property under 50 years old if it is of exceptional historical importance.
The Importance of Accuracy
Since each Historical Marker is a highly visible public document, each must be highly accurate in the information presented. If the application is accepted, MDOT will review the submitted research and text in each application and provide the applicant with guidance, recommendations, and edits. It is possible an application will be returned if it is limited in or does not contain historical references.
Click Here to Access the Application Form