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  • Special Vehicles in Maryland

    SUMMARY: How to Register Your Special Vehicle in Maryland

    For certain vehicle types, including custom-built cars and RVs or motorhomes, your registration requirements or fees will be different than what you would do or pay for a standard car or truck. Make sure to have any proof of ownership documents for the vehicle you're trying to register, as well as inspection forms, if required.

    ATVs, Off-Road Motorcycles, and Snowmobiles

    Maryland requires that off-road vehicles such as ATVs and snowmobiles, as well as vehicles such as mopeds and scooters, are titled and have a decal.

    If you purchase from a dealer on or after this date, in most cases the dealership will handle the titling and issue you an off-road vehicle (ORV) decal. Otherwise, if you purchase from a private party you must title the vehicle at a title service office.

    Bring with you:

    • Proof of ownership. This may include the original Certificate of Origin (if purchased new) or the vehicle's title (if purchased used). If you buy a used vehicle without a title, you must present the previous owner's Certificate of Origin and a bill of sale. If you cannot produce proof of ownership, submit a completed Affidavit of Ownership Moped, Motor Scooter & Off-Road Vehicle (Form VR-450).
    • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005).
    • A competed Application for Title Decal for Motor Scooters, Mopeds, ATV’s, Off-Road Motorcycles and Snowmobiles VR-450).
    • Proof of purchase. If the vehicle was purchased from an out-of-state dealer, you'll need to provide a bill of sale. If it was purchased from a private party, show a bill of sale (only if there's no room on the title to include the purchase price) that includes the signatures of the buyer(s) and seller(s), the vehicle's make, identification number and purchase price. A notarized bill of sale will be required if any of the following conditions apply:
      • The vehicle is 7 years old.
      • The purchase price is at least $500 below the vehicle's book value.
      • You, the new owner, want to base the excise tax calculation on the purchase price rather than the book value.
    • A completed odometer disclosure statement.
    • Lien information, if applicable.
    • Lien release information, if applicable.
    • Payment for excise tax, the $5 decal fee.

    RVs and Motorhomes

    RVs and motorhomes follow the same titling and registration procedures as regular vehicles. However, you should be prepared for a higher registration fee, depending on how much your recreational vehicle weighs.

    Registration fees in Maryland are as follows:

    • Passenger cars: 
      • 3,700 lbs. and under: $135.
      • Over 3,700 lbs.: $187.
    • Multi-purpose vehicles:
      • 3,700 lbs. and under: $135.
      • Over 3,700 lbs.: $187.

    Other fees can be found on the MVA's registration fees page. For steps to register your recreational vehicle, please see our page on Car Registration in Maryland.

    Registration for Trailers

    If you're looking to tour the scenic beauty of the Maryland landscape with trailer in tow, you may have to register and title it before you can make way. MVA has various requirements for different kinds of trailers.

    Office Trailers and Mobile Homes

    If your office trailer or mobile home doesn't exceed 35 feet in length, you may be exempt from Maryland registration laws.

    However, you can title the trailer if you'd like. Currently, all you need to pay is the state retail sales tax.

    Submit your receipt with your Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005) for a title to a local MVA office.

    Homemade Trailers

    If you're handy enough to make your own trailer, you can register and title it with Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005). You will have to provide photos of the trailer from the side and from the rear. If MVA approves your application, you'll receive a vehicle identification number (VIN) for the trailer.

    Boat, Camping, Tent, or Travel Trailers

    These types of trailers are golden tickets to the wonderful world of camping. You must obtain a title for them by submitting an Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005) with all required documents listed on the form.

    You can obtain a new registration for your trailer when you complete the Maryland title application. These types of trailers are governed by the same laws as class A passenger vehicles. 

    You may be required to complete an Application for New Plates/Stickers (Form VR-008). 

    If your trailer is used, it will require a safety inspection to register it. 

    For more information, please contact the Maryland MVA.

    Freight and Semi-Freight Trailers

    These hefty trailers may be bigger, but this doesn't make them exempt from titling requirements. In addition to submitting a Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005), you'll have to provide proof that the trailer meets motor vehicle liability insurance.

    If you're not sure if your trailer meets minimum requirements, call a Maryland approved insurance company to double check.

    Custom-Built Cars

    Registering your custom-built car is the same as registering a regular vehicle in Maryland. You will first however, need to apply for a certificate of title. To do this, bring the following to a Maryland MVA office:

    • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005).
    • Receipts for all parts used.
    • Proof that you own the frame.
    • A safety inspection certificate.
    • A completed Application for Assigned Vehicle Identification Number (available at the MVA office), if applicable.

    Once you have your certificate of title, you can register your car following the steps on our Maryland Vehicle Registration page.

    MD Moped and Scooter Registration

    Mopeds and scooters are generally required to have a title and ORV decal, just like off-road vehicles. See "Titling for ATVs, Off-Road Motorcycles, and Snowmobiles" above for more information.

    To help determine your vehicle's classification, the state defines mopeds and scooters:

    • A moped is a vehicle with:
      • A motor AND bicycle pedals for propulsion.
      • 2 to 3 wheels.
        • 1 wheel must have a diameter over 14 inches.
      • An engine size of up to 50 cc (for gas-powered engines) AND no more than 1.5 HP.
    • A motor scooter must have:
      • A seat.
      • A chassis that you can pass through.
      • 2 wheels.
        • 1 wheel must be have a diameter of at least 10 inches.
      • A motor with no more than 2.7 HP OR size of up to 50 cc if it has a gas-powered engine.
      • An automatic transmission.

    NOTE: Scooters that exceed power and engine size limits are registered as motorcycles.

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