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New to Maryland

SUMMARY: New Maryland Residents

If you've just moved to Maryland, there are a few things you need to take care of with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) soon after your move. These include applying for a Maryland driver's license, registering your out-of-state vehicle, and updating your voter and organ donor registrations. If you're a military member recently stationed in Maryland, some licensing and registration requirements may not apply to you.

Maryland State Departments

It's always smart to familiarize yourself with the agencies that you may interact with as you establish residency in a new state.

In Maryland, the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is responsible for a majority of the vehicle and licensing services listed below throughout the rest of this guide.

Other agencies you may have transactions with include:

  • The State Board of Elections: Oversees voter registration and elections.
  • The Department of Natural Resources: Handles boat licensing and registration, as well as other permits.

Register Your Vehicle in Maryland

If you've brought your out-of-state vehicle with you to Maryland, you have 60 days to register it with the MVA before you risk being penalized. Contact your previous state's DMV to check whether you need to return your license plates to them or notify them of your new address.

For more information, visit our Car Registration in Maryland page.

Special Vehicles

If you have a special vehicle, such as a recreational vehicle (RV), trailer, moped, or off-road vehicle, your registration process may vary quite a bit. Find more information on our Maryland Special Vehicle Registration guide.

Required Car Insurance

Before your car can be registered in Maryland, you must first have adequate auto insurance coverage. Moving states can be a great time to compare quotes from different providers and make sure you're getting the best deal for the coverage you need. Visit our Car Insurance section for more information.

Emissions Inspections

The MD MVA is on top of their game when it comes to cleaning up the air. They currently enforce a Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) that requires you to have your car pass an emissions inspection every 2 years. If you drive an eco-friendly car, you may be exempt from this rule.

For more information, visit our Car Inspections page.

MD Driver's License & ID Cards

Adult Drivers

Once you move to Maryland, you'll need to transfer your out-of-state non-commercial driver's license over within 60 days. Visit your local MD DMV office in person with the required documents and also surrender your out-of-state driver's license. For more information, visit our Applying for a New License page.

NOTE: If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL), you only have 30 days to transfer your license over to Maryland. For more information, see our Applying for a New CDL page.

Teen Drivers

New teen residents of Maryland will need to satisfy the state's graduated driver's licensing (GDL) requirements before you can obtain a Maryland driver's license. Visit our Applying for a New Teen License page for details.

Identification Cards

If you don't wish to drive, you may still want to apply for an identification card from the Maryland MVA. You can use an ID card to prove your address, age, and identity, and can be useful in many situations. For application details, see our Maryland Identification Cards page.

Organ Donor & Voter Registration

When you move to a new state, it's important to remember that your organ donor and voter registration information aren't automatically updated. While both of these things can be updated when you apply for a MD driver's license or ID card, you can also make the changes separately.

Organ Donor Registration

Each state has its own organ donor registry, so you'll need to re-register in Maryland once you become a resident. For more information and to learn more about how being a donor can touch many lives, visit our Organ Donation page.

Voter Registration

If you want to be eligible to vote in the next election, you'll need to register before the deadline date. For more information, visit our page on Voter Registration.

Military Members Stationed in Maryland

If you're not a resident of Maryland, but temporarily in the state fulfilling your military obligations, visit our Drivers in the Military page for some helpful information. There are some rules that you and your family may be exempt from in regards to continued use of your out-of-state driver's license and vehicle.

MD MVA Offices & Resources

If you're ready to visit your local MVA office, our handy office finder tool can help you find your closest location.

Before you get on the road with your new MD driver's license, be sure to read the MVA's helpful manuals and get to know the rules of the road:

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