Registration Renewal in Maryland
Vehicle registration fees pay for the building and maintaining of roads, making it important for residents to renew their registration every 2 years, as required by the MD Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
New Maryland Resident?
If you're registering your car for the first time in Maryland, visit our MD Car Registration page.
MD Registration Renewal Notice
The MVA will send you a registration renewal notice approximately 60 days prior to the expiration date of your registration certificate. This applies to all vehicles, including motorcycles and company-owned cars.
On the renewal notice you'll find:
- Your renewal fee.
- Renewal deadline date.
- Emissions check requirements, if applicable.
- List of red flags, if applicable, that will prevent the MVA from renewing your registration. This might include lack of car insurance, or an unpaid parking ticket.
NOTE: You can now receive your notification via e-mail. Register for this option at any MVA Office.
Didn't Receive a Renewal Notice?
If you didn't receive a registration renewal notice, call the MVA at 800) 492-4575. Or, if out-of-state, dial (301) 729-4550. Even if you do not receive a notice, you are still responsible for renewing your registration before its expiration date.
If you move, notify the MVA of your new address. This will help guard against future lost registration renewal notices.
The MVA gives you several options for renewing your registration. Before you can proceed, make sure the information on your renewal notice is correct. If you notice any errors―incorrect vehicle type, wrong name, different address―contact the MVA at (410) 768-7000.
To renew online, you'll need:
- The car's eight-digit title number.
- The car's license plate number.
- A valid credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express).
If your registration is close to expiring, print a receipt after registering online. This will serve as your temporary registration certificate until your permanent one arrives in the mail within 10 days.
You can visit any one of the following four offices:
- County treasurer’s office (charges an extra processing fee).
- Title service agent (charges an extra processing fee).
- MVA mobile office.
- Full-service MVA office. You must use this office if you have any outstanding issues―unpaid traffic tickets, car insurance coverage questions― listed on your registration renewal notice.
Have with you when you arrive:
- A completed emissions test certificate, if required.
- Your registration renewal notice. If you don't have one, bring your current registration certificate.
- Proof of car insurance coverage.
- Cash, check, credit or debit card to cover registration renewal fee. Call before visiting to make sure credit/debit cards are accepted. Not all offices accept them.
Registering at a kiosk is similar to registering online. You'll need:
- Current registration card or registration renewal notice.
- Proof of car insurance coverage.
- Your eight-digit title number and license plate number.
- Check, Visa, MasterCard or American Express to pay registration fees.
Kiosks can be found at all MVA office locations.
Dial (410) 768-7000 and have at the ready:
- Your registration certificate or renewal notice.
- A valid credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express).
Expect your new registration documents to arrive in the mail 10 days.
Follow the instructions on your registration renewal notice and:
- Enter any corrections or changes, if applicable.
- Double-check that the listed car insurance information is correct.
- Complete any included certifications.
- Submit all documents and payment (check or money order) in the provided envelope. The check must include your preprinted name and address. The MVA requests that you write your driver's license number and work phone number on the check.
- Passenger cars/Multi Purpose vehicles up to 3,700 lbs: $135
- Passenger cars/Multi Purpose vehicles over 3,700 lbs: $187.
- ¾ ton trucks: $161.50
- Low-speed motorcycle: $104
- Additional fees: review your renewal notice to verify how much you must pay
MD renewal fees are based on the weight and classification of your vehicle. For example:
Late Fees and Penalties
There are no late fees if you miss your registration's expiration date, but it is illegal to drive with expired plates.
Maryland Tax Deduction
According to MVA officials, you cannot claim your vehicle registration cost as a tax deduction.
If you are temporarily stationed in Maryland, you do not need to obtain Maryland plates as long as your vehicle is registered in your home state.
If you're a Maryland resident serving outside the state , you may renew:
- By phone
- By mail
- By obtaining a power of attorney to have a designated person register your vehicle in your absence
- Fees and fines starting at $150 and possibly reaching as high as $2,500
- Loss of your driver’s license and current registration
- Court imposed punishments
- Proper identification
- The car's title
- A completed registration application
- Payment for registration fees
Any required emissions testing must be completed and liability insurance minimums must be kept up-to-date.
View our Drivers in the Military page for more information.
MD law requires testing 2 years. You must provide proof of passing a smog check before renewing your registration.
When arriving for an exam, have the emissions test notice you received in the mail or your current registration certificate. The cost for emissions testing is $14.
Need additional smog test information, including inspection site locations? Visit our Emissions Testing page.
Maryland law requires all registered vehicles to be covered by liability insurance. Failing to meet the state's minimum insurance coverage requirements, or allowing your policy to lapse, may result in:
Our Car Insurance Center has the full scoop on Maryland's auto insurance requirements.
Before taking your car off the road, turn in the license plates to the MVA before canceling your insurance coverage. If you cancel the insurance first, you risk being fined driving without coverage.
When you're ready to resume driving your vehicle again (or parking it on a public street), visit your local MVA office with:
If your license plates get damaged or stolen, order duplicates as quickly as possible.