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  • Plate Surrender in Maryland

    Registering a car?

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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.

    Moving to Maryland

    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.

    Moving from MD

    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:

    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.

    Selling a Used Car in Maryland

    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.

    Buying a Used Car in MD

    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.

    Leap over to Vehicle Title Transfers page for a list of needed documents when buying.

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