Maryland Vehicle Registration

Maryland Vehicle Registration: Complete Guide

Maryland Vehicle RegistrationWhen purchasing a used vehicle, ask for the history of the vehicle. One easy way to know the history of a car is to obtain a used car report that will indicate if the vehicle has been in a major accident, or if it is listed as stolen by the authorities.

Run a Free Vehicle Report:

Maryland law requires you to register your car with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) before you can legally drive on state roads. You must carry a valid vehicle registration on you at all times.

Check out all the information you need here at if you want to:

How to Register your Vehicle as a New Maryland Resident

The State of Maryland requires a new resident to register their vehicle within 60 days of establishing their residency. Both the registration and title of the vehicle will be processed at the same time. Keep in mind that a safety inspection is required to be completed before the new resident starts the registration process.

Registration of the vehicle can be processed either by mail or in person, and the documents needed will be the same either way:

  • The title of the vehicle from your previous state identifying you as the owner
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title which will be used for both the titling and registration process.
  • Proof of auto insurance by a Maryland-approved agent
  • The Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate for used vehicles, which will be provided by a licensed MD inspector (valid for 90 days only after it is issued)
  • If there is an existing lien on your vehicle after moving to Maryland, the lienholder will have to send the title of the vehicle to the Motor Vehicle Administration.
    • Contact the MVA customer service center at (410) 768-7000 and they will provide you with an Out-of-State Lienholder Letter to send to the lienholder.
    • The letter should have the following information:
      • Name of vehicle owner (that’s you)
      • Your new address in Maryland
      • Your phone number
      • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
      • Year and make of the vehicle
      • Lienholder’s name and address
      • Lien account number
      • The state where the vehicle is currently registered
    • After the lienholder sends the letter to the Maryland MVA, the MVA will then contact you on the vehicle registration fees to be paid.

If you are registering in person, you can bring the documents to any of the MVA’s branch offices. If you are registering by mail, you can send the documents to the MVA’s Out-of-State Unit:

6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

If you need more information, you can visit the Maryland MVA webpage here.

How to Register an Out-of-State Vehicle in Maryland

Registering an out-of-state vehicle in Maryland basically follows the same process outlined above. If you have purchased a vehicle from out of state, you can ask if the state provides a transport tag to allow you to drive the vehicle to Maryland. Otherwise, you can obtain a Maryland 30-day temporary registration that you can use to drive the vehicle from the state you purchased it to Maryland.

You will then need to submit the following documents:

  • Proof of ownership – this can be a certificate of origin for a new vehicle, or the vehicle’s title if it is used.
    • The bill of sale or registration document from the previous state can be used only if the state where the vehicle was purchased does not issue titles as proof of ownership.
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title
  • Proof of auto insurance by a Maryland-approved agent
  • Information about existing liens and the lienholders, if applicable
  • Odometer disclosure statement
  • The Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate for used vehicles, which will be provided by a licensed MD inspector (valid for 90 days only after it is issued)
  • A completed Bill of Sale if you purchased the vehicle from an out-of-state dealer and you are registering the vehicle yourself

A 6% excise tax will have to be paid on all vehicles titled in the State of Maryland, with the actual payable amount based on the fair market value of your vehicle. We suggest contacting your local Maryland MVA branch office for more information regarding fees and taxes.

How to Re-register a Salvaged Vehicle in Maryland

The State of Maryland considers a vehicle as a “total loss” or a salvage vehicle if it is so damaged that the costs of repairing the vehicle would exceed 75% of its fair market value before incurring damage. Generally, the auto insurance company would retain ownership of a salvage vehicle as part of your settlement, but sometimes you can retain ownership of the vehicle (depending on certain conditions).

If you retain ownership of a vehicle carrying a salvage certificate and want to re-register it so you can legally drive it, you will need to rebuild it first and have it pass a salvage vehicle inspection plus a safety inspection. If the vehicle was issued a rebuilt salvage or flood damaged certificate, it only needs to pass a safety inspection.

This can get confusing, so for further clarification, we recommend discussing it with your insurance provider and also calling the Maryland MVA Salvage Unit at (410) 768-7000.

For vehicles that need to pass a salvage vehicle inspection, you need to make an appointment with an inspector from the Maryland State Police. The inspection is required to make sure that the parts used to rebuild the vehicle were not stolen, as well as to confirm that all serial numbers haven’t been illegally removed or tampered with. Bring the following to your inspection appointment:

  • The printed-out appointment confirmation
  • Your personal identification
  • The branded title of the vehicle to be inspected
  • Proof of purchase of all the parts or components that were used to rebuild the vehicle. This includes bills of sale, receipts, etc.

Upon passing the inspection, you can now apply for a temporary 30-day title and registration so that you can legally drive your vehicle to the vehicle safety inspection appointment.

For your vehicle safety inspection, you need to make an appointment with the inspection station nearest you. Upon passing this inspection, you will be given two copies of the inspection certificate. You can take the MVA copy of this certificate to the nearest MVA branch when you apply for the re-registration of the vehicle.

So now you can re-register your previously salvage vehicle. The process is similar to the basic titling and registration process required by the Maryland MVA. Along with the basic documents, you just need to prepare the following as well:

  • The properly-assigned salvage title
  • Proof that your vehicle passed the salvage inspection and/or safety inspection (where applicable)
  • Bill of sale if you purchased the vehicle

Submit all the documents for your new title and registration at your local full-service branch office, or you can mail them to:

Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
Mail-In Title Unit
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

If you need more information, contact the MVA at (410) 768-7000.

How Do I Change My Address with Maryland DMV?

If you move to a new address within the State of Maryland, you are required to provide notification to your local MVA branch within 30 days of the move. You can go online to change your address, or you can do it by mail, in person, or by phone.

If you want to change your address online, go to the Maryland MVA FastTrack System and enter the following details:

  • Your driver’s license number or ID card number
  • Your date of birth
  • Either of the following: your 4-digit MVA PIN, the last 4 digits of your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

If changing your address by mail, you should first complete the Change of Address form and then mail it to:

Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

If changing your address by phone, just call the Maryland MVA Customer Service Center at (410) 768-7000.

If you want to change your address in person, you can go to your local full-service MVA branch office or an MVA-approved tag and title service, and submit a completed Change of Address form.

NOTE: Changing your address through these methods will only update your records with the Maryland MVA. If you want to get a new driver’s license or ID card with your new address on it, you will need to apply for a replacement at your local MVA branch or online on the MVA website.

How to Transfer a Vehicle Between Family Members

Transferring a vehicle between family members means the ownership of the vehicle changes, therefore a title transfer is required. This includes the sale or gifting of the vehicle to a family member, as well as an inheritance.

If ownership of the vehicle is being transferred to an immediate family member, payment of the excise tax is waived. Assuming that the vehicle is titled and registered in Maryland and there are no existing liens on it, the process of transferring the title is similar to when you are selling the vehicle to a private party.

  • The previous owner should sign and date the title as the “seller”.
  • The odometer reading should be written on the title, or a completed Odometer Disclosure Statement should be submitted.
  • For the purchase price, you can put in “gift”.
  • The new owner should also fill up, sign, and date the title as the “buyer”.
  • Both the seller and buyer should complete an Application for Maryland Gift Certification. If the transfer involves an uncle or aunt, a completed Certified Statement should also be submitted.
    • Depending on the conditions of the transfer, you might need to submit a Certificate of Inspection, as well as obtain a 30-Day Temporary Registration.
    • Some counties in Maryland will require the new owner to submit proof that the vehicle has passed a Smog Check.

NOTE: If the two parties involved in the title transfer are not immediate family members, the 6% excise tax will have to be paid by the new owner.

Military Vehicle Registration in Maryland

If you are an active military personnel stationed outside of Maryland and purchased a vehicle, you can title and register it temporarily without having to undergo a Maryland Safety Inspection until you return to Maryland. When you apply for the vehicle’s title, you must complete Sections A and B of the Maryland Temporary State Inspection Waiver (Form VR-129) and submit it to any MVA office in person, or mail it to the Glen Burnie Office.

If you are a resident of another state but are stationed in Maryland, you do not need to register your vehicle in Maryland if the out-of-state registration is current.

Vehicle Registration Renewal in Maryland

Your vehicle registration expires every two years. About 60 days before its expiration date, you will receive a vehicle registration renewal notice by mail.

You may renew your registration in person, online, by mail or by phone.

How to Renew Your Maryland Vehicle Registration in Person

To renew your registration in person, provide the following items at a county treasurer’s office, a title service agent office, an eMVA kiosk, or a full service office.

  • Emissions test certificate (if required)
  • Renewal notice or current registration certificate
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Payment for fees

How to Renew Your Maryland Vehicle Registration Online

You can renew your registration online thru eMVA website. You will need the following:

  • Vehicle title
  • License plate number
  • Payment of fees (Credit card or check)

How to Renew Your Maryland Vehicle Registration By Mail

To renew your registration by mail, submit the following information to the MVA in the pre-addressed envelope provided:

  • Renewal notice
  • Auto insurance information
  • Completed certifications, if required
  • Check or money order

How to Renew Your Maryland Vehicle Registration By Phone

To renew by phone, call the MVA at (410) 768-7000 and provide the following:

  • Car registration certificate and registration renewal notice
  • Payment of fees (Visa, American Express, Discover Card, or MasterCard)

Maryland Vehicle Registration Fees

The fees for registering a vehicle in Maryland are the following:

  • Passenger Cars or Multi Purpose Vehicle (3,700 lbs.or less) – $135.00
  • Passenger Cars or Multi Purpose Vehicle (over 3,700 lbs.) – $187.00
  • Motorcycles – $104.00
  • Historic Vehicles – $51.00
  • Street Rod Vehicles – $50.00
  • Limousine – $404.00
  • Registration transfer – $10.00