Plate Surrender in Maryland
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Maybe it’s because the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is upset with you for leaving. Whatever the reason, you cannot keep your Maryland license plates. You must surrender your plates to the MVA after registering in your new state.
For more on this and other plate-transferring scenarios, read on.
After establishing Maryland residency, you have 60 days to register your car with the MVA. Surrendering your old license plates is not required with the MVA, but may be with your former state’s DMV.
For more on Maryland, check out our relocation guide.
After establishing residency in your new state and registering your vehicle, you must surrender your Maryland license plates to the MVA. You can return the plates:
- In person, at any MVA branch office.
- By dropping them off in any of the plate return boxes found at the following office locations: Baltimore City, Columbia, Essex, Gaithersburg, Glen Burnie, Salisbury and Waldorf. The Essex and Waldorf drop boxes are accessible during normal business hours. All others are open 24/7.
- Mailing the plates, along with the registration certificate, to:
- 6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
- Glen Burnie, MD 21062
If your license plate’s expiration date is more than 12 months away, you may be eligible for a refund. If you return the plates in person, inquire with an MVA agent. Or include with the license plates when mailing, a completed Application for Registration Plate Refund.
For additional relocation information, visit our Moving Out of Maryland page.
After agreeing to sell, remove the plates from the vehicle. You then have the option to transfer the plates to another vehicle under your name, provided its of the same type.
If you don’t transfer, surrender the license plates to the MVA. Do this first before cancelling your car insurance.
Our Title Transfers page provides detailed information on what documents are needed when selling.
The license plates remain with the seller. The plates stay with the owner, not the car. You’ll need to register the vehicle to obtain permanent Maryland license plates. In the interim, consider applying for a temporary registration, valid for 30 days.
Leap over to Vehicle Title Transfers page for a list of needed documents when buying.
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