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Montgomery County would have to perform a detailed cost study to determine if their charges should increase, Ms. Edwards said. The study includes an examination of the costs per certificate, including staff time, maintenance of files and copy machines and mailing expenses.

In Howard County, the accompanying county death certificate fee will rise from $8 to $11 per first certificate, making a first certificate cost $33. Lisa de Hernandez, Howard County public information officer, said this covers the administrative and paper costs. She said the fees were increased to the same price as birth certificates in order to provide uniformity.

Once the county was made aware of the increase, the department let funeral homes know.

Ms. de Hernandez said the county had not seen a drop in the number of birth certificates obtained since the price increase.