Paperwork When Selling a Car in Maryland

Paperwork Required to Sell Your Car in Maryland

Identify the rules and regulations, sketch out your strategy, and be upfront, honest, and direct—these are the tricks of the trade for selling a car in Maryland. You'll also need to make sure you provide the buyer with all the right paperwork as required by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

Selling a Vehicle in Maryland

Before you start the process of selling your car in Maryland, consult our useful guide. It includes useful tips and strategies for the early stages, including coming up with a reasonable purchase price and—of course—attracting a likely buyer. It's a good idea to review these guidelines before getting into the more technical details we're offering up here.

Once you've connected with a buyer, you'll follow a few simple but important steps, such as:

Required Documents

To successfully sell your car in Maryland, there's only a modest amount of paperwork to take care of. Here's what you need, depending on the situation:

  • The certificate of title. You'll give this to the new owner after filling out a few critical details:
    • You'll sign your name and record the buyer's name and address in the “Assignment of Ownership" section on the back.
    • Note the vehicle's mileage to clearly satisfy the odometer disclosure requirements.
    • If there's space on the title to record the purchase price, list that as well, along with the purchase date.
  • If the car in question is 7 years old or newer and it's being sold for less than the book value, you'll also need to provide a Bill of Sale (Form VR-181). You'll need a notary to witness both the buyer's and your own signature.
  • In the event your vehicle had a lien, you'll need to render a Notice of Security Interest Filing (Form VR-217 ) to prove the liens has been satisfied. You can find out more details about handling a paid-off lien at the Maryland MVA website.

Duplicate Maryland Title

If your car title has been damaged or misplaced, you'll have to get a hold of a duplicate before you can sell your vehicle. You can do so online or at certain offices (check the list on the application form itself) by filling out the MVA's Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title (Form VR-018).

You will need to pay a $20 fee for obtaining a duplicate title.

For more information, see our Replacing a Lost Title in Maryland page.

MD Vehicle History Reports

When you're trying to sell a car in Maryland, you should keep in mind that your prospective buyers will very likely assess the deal with a vehicle history report. This report offers background information such as the car's history of accidents, theft, and odometer fraud.

Ordering your own vehicle history report and offering this information to prospective buyers may speed up the process of selling your car.

You can learn much more about vehicle history reports by referring to this helpful guide.

Transferring License Plates After a Sale

After you've sold your vehicle, but before you cancel your auto insurance coverage, you should make sure to either transfer the old license plates to a new vehicle or return them to the Maryland MVA. Learn more on our Title Transfers in Maryland page.

Forms for Easy Download

Bill of Sale (Form VR-181)

Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title (Form VR-018)

Notice of Security Interest filing (Form VR-217)

Optional helpful links:

Generic Bill of Sale

Vehicle History Report


Bill of Sale
Complete this form as a proof of purchase when buying or selling a vehicle in Maryland. Must be notarized.
Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title
Request a duplicate Maryland title from the MVA.
Notice of Security Interest Filing
Submit this form to the Motor Vehicle Administration to add a lien to your MD vehicle title.
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