Buying and Selling FAQs in Maryland
If you're not familiar with the ins and outs of buying or selling vehicles, or have arrived at a situation you've not experienced before, the experience may seem daunting.
However, here at DMV.org we've answered some of the most common questions about buying and selling vehicles in Maryland to help you along your way.
What should I do if I want to buy a vehicle from another state?
Buying a vehicle in Maryland can be a tricky business, so buying a vehicle from another state might seem like a gigantic task. In actuality, it's not very different.
Follow the same procedures as you would to buy a vehicle in Maryland, making sure that you have the seller sign over the title to you. Since the vehicle is coming from another state, you will need to get a safety inspection in Maryland at a full-service MVA office.
If you don't have tags for the vehicles, you can apply for temporary tags at an MVA office. Temporary tags are $20 and are valid for 30 days which should be enough time for you to inspect, register, and insure your vehicle.
What if I want to sell my vehicle in another state?
This process is exactly the same as selling a vehicle in Maryland. If you don't transfer your original tags to another vehicle, make sure to surrender your tags to the MVA.
Note: Cancel your insurance after you've turned in your tags to avoid insurance compliance penalties.
I'd like to buy a vehicle from another country. What steps should I take?
This process can be somewhat more time intensive, but you'll just want to follow the same steps as buying a vehicle from out-of-state.
However, some countries may not have the same titling systems as the U.S., so you should obtain a bill of sale to prove that you bought the vehicle from another country.
Are there any additional fees and taxes I'll have to pay for buying a vehicle out-of-state or out-of-country?
The only additional fees involved in out-of-state or out-of-country transactions are associated with inspections that may not be involved with transactions in Maryland.
How do I apply for temporary tags?
If you're buying a vehicle without tags, you'll probably have to apply for temporary registration. This will give you 30 days to get your vehicle safety inspected, registered, and titled.
- Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
- 6601 Ritchie Hwy., Room 30
- Glen Burnie, MD 21062
I'm buying a used vehicle and want to trace its history. Is there any way to do this?
Yes. In fact, this is always a good idea if you're buying used cars, and for multiple reasons. You can confirm ownership of the vehicle, check the odometer reading, and see if the car may have potential problems (this occurs sometimes when the vehicle has been salvaged at some point in its history).
You can request a title's history by completing an Request for Motor Vehicle Administration Records.
You'll have to know a couple of things to apply:
- Vehicle's title number
- License plate number
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
If you're buying from another state, MVA most likely will not have the vehicle's history. In such cases, you can contact the state's department of motor vehicles to obtain the history.
When do I need a bill of sale or notary?
Getting a notarized bill of sale agreement is always a good idea if you're buying a used vehicle. You can download a copy of MVA's bill of sale form.
You'll need a notarized bill of sale if you buy the vehicle for less than blue book value and the vehicle newer than seven years old. Call (800) 950-1MVA to verify the blue book price for the vehicle.
Otherwise, it's just good sense.
How do I handle a title transfer following the death of the vehicle owner?
This varies with the situation; the MVA provides instructions on how to deal with the different scenarios.
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