Registering a General License Device - Information

Persons who possess a general license device are required to (1) register your general license device(s), and (2) pay an annual fee, which is adjusted each January in accordance with the Consumer Price Index.

Why Are General License Devices Registered?

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) along with the NRC Agreement States have determined that there is a need for greater accountability of all radioactive material sealed sources. A generally licensed item usually contains radioactive material within a shielded device such as a gas chromatograph, or portable or fixed gauge. Such devices are designed with inherent radiation safety features so that persons with little or no radiation safety training or experience can use them. It has been shown that mishandling and improper disposal of generally licensed devices have in some cases led to expensive investigations and cleanups. Maryland has implemented, by regulation, a requirement to register certain generally licensed radioactive material devices. The registration of this radioactive material greatly improves the accountability of these devices in Maryland.

For further information on the need to improve security of general license devices, see NUCLEAR SECURITY - Federal and State Action Needed to Improve Security of Sealed Radioactive Sources.


What General License Devices Require Registration?

General license devices requiring registration, in accordance with COMAR, Regulations for the Control of Ionizing Radiation (1994), Section C.22, include:
  • Devices used to detect, measure, gauge, or control thickness, density, level, interface location, radiation, leakage, or chemical composition, or for producing light or an ionized atmosphere
  • Static elimination devices
  • Ion generating tubes
  • Luminous safety devices for aircraft
Note that tritium exit signs are exempt from registration. 

Requirement for Certain Licensees

General licensees with sealed devices containing certain isotopes in quantities equal to or greater than the amounts listed below must obtain a specific Maryland Radioactive Materials License in accordance with Section C.26(c):

  • At least 370 MBq (10 mCi) of cesium-137, or
  • At least 3.7 MBq (0.1 mCi) of strontium-90, or
  • At least 37 MBq (1 mCi) of cobalt-60, or
  • At least 3.7 MBq (0.1 mCi) of radium-226, or
  • At least 37 MBq (1 mCi) of americium-241 or any other transuranic element (i.e., element with atomic number greater than uranium (92), based on the activity indicated on the label).

Instructions for Registering a General License Device


In accordance with Section C.22(k) of the Regulations for the Control of Ionizing Radiation (1994), all possessors of a general license device must provide specific information about each device to MDE's Radiological Health Program. This is done by means of GENERAL LICENSE DEVICE REGISTRATION. Please use the following procedure to complete and submit a registration form:

a.  Press this link for Instructions for Completion of General License Device Registration Form. The information in these instructions will assist you in filling out the General License Device Registration Form.
b.  Complete the General License Device Registration Form in accordance with the instructions for completion above.  The completed form should be e-mailed as an attachment to


If not already being invoiced annually, make your initial fee payment. There is an annual fee for possession of a general license device(s). The fee is assessed based on the physical location of the device(s), not on the number of devices at each location (i.e., one regirstration and one fee is required for each location at which general license devices are stored). Please click the following link for the Current Annual Fees​​​
When you register, you must send a Payment Transmittal Form with a check for above amount times each location at which general license devices are stored, to the address listed on the form. You may download this form by right-clicking General License Payment Transmittal Form, click "Save Target As", select location on your computer, save, open form.
REMINDER: If you are already making annual payments, do not submit payment at this time. You will be invoiced for the fee at the applicable annual payment month.

Contact Info

If you have questions about whether the device you possess is a general license device, how to fill out the Registration Form, what to do if you no longer possess a general license device, or if you require any other assistance, please call Mr. Atnatiwos Meshesha at (410) 537-3300 or e-mail 
​Mr. Meshesha at

Additional Information on General Licenses






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