Car Registration in Maryland

SUMMARY: How to Register Your Vehicle in Maryland

Vehicle registration in Maryland requires you to visit your local MVA office with your driver's license, vehicle title, bill of sale, and payment for your registration fee. Depending on whether your vehicle is new or used, or if you are a new Maryland resident, you may also have to provide additional paperwork.

Maryland requires all vehicles to be registered with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) in order to legally be driven on the road.

If you already have a vehicle(s) registered with the MVA, please visit our page on registration renewal in Maryland to see how to keep your vehicle registration current.

New to Maryland?

You are required to register your vehicle(s) with the MVA within 60 days of moving to Maryland. You will be titling your vehicle at the same time as getting your vehicle registration. Before you go to register, be aware that you must have a safety inspection completed on your car. Please visit our page on Vehicle Inspections in Maryland for details.

You can register your vehicle in Maryland in person or by mail; the documents required are the same. You'll need to submit:

  • The vehicle title from your previous state.
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (form VR-005). This form is used for both titling and vehicle registration.
  • If your vehicle is leased, your lease agreement and proof of monthly payments.
  • A completed Security Interest Filing Statement (form VR-217), if there is more than one lien on your vehicle.
  • A Power of Attorney, if anyone other than you is registering your vehicle and signing the titling forms.
  • The Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate from a licensed MD inspection station (see “Vehicle Inspections" below).
    • The certificate is only valid for 90 days after it is issued.
  • Payment for the Maryland vehicle registration/title fees and any applicable taxes (see “Vehicle Registration Fees" below).

If you are registering in person:

If you are registering by mail:

  • Send the above to the MVA's Out-of-State Unit at:

6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

Your title will be mailed to you, regardless of whether you apply in person or by mail. If you apply by mail, your registration card, license plates, and stickers will also be mailed along with your title; otherwise, if you went in person to register, they will be issued to you immediately.

Registering Vehicles with Loans

If you still have a loan out on your vehicle when you move to Maryland, you will need to contact the lienholder to have the title sent to the Motor Vehicle Administration.

To do so:

  • Call the MVA customer service center at (410) 768-7000.
  • The MVA will send you the Out-of-State Lienholder Letter (form VR-056) to send to your lienholder.
    • The letter must contain all of the following:
      • Name of vehicle owner.
      • New Maryland address.
      • Phone number.
      • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
      • Year and make of the vehicle.
      • Lienholder's name.
      • Lienholder's address.
      • Current state where vehicle is registered.
      • Lien account number.

Once your lienholder sends the title information to the MVA, the MVA will contact you and let you know what excise tax is due with your registration (see “ Vehicle Registration Fees" below). You must then:

  • Complete an Application for Certificate of Title (form VR-005).
  • Provide a MD Safety Inspection Certificate from your vehicle inspection.
  • Write a check or money order made payable to the MVA for your title fee, excise tax, tag fees, and the additional fee to record the lien.

Send all of the above to the MVA at:

6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

You may also bring your paperwork to any full-service MVA branch office in lieu of mailing it.

You will be sent your Maryland vehicle registration card, license plates, and expiration stickers as soon as you complete the registration and titling process.

MD Insurance Requirements

Maryland requires all vehicles to be covered by auto insurance to be legally driven on any state road. You will need to get insurance by a Maryland-approved agent in order to register your car or truck.

Registering a Vehicle in Maryland

How you register your vehicle depends on whether the vehicle is being purchased from:

  • A dealership.
  • A private party.

Make sure you have an active car insurance policy when registering your vehicle.

Compare rates and buy your policy online: Visit the Insurance Center >>

Vehicles Purchased from a Dealership

Car dealers usually submit the registration and titling paperwork for you when you purchase the vehicle. You will get a bill of sale, and either temporary or permanent tags/license plates. Your title will be mailed to your provided address.

Registering a Dealer-Bought Vehicle

If the car dealer does not handle the paperwork for you (for instance, if you purchased your vehicle from an out-of-state dealer), you must visit a local MVA branch office and submit:

  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (form VR-005). This form is used for both title and registration.
  • Insurance information.
  • Ownership documents (title, certificate of origin, etc.)
  • Bill of sale (form VR-181).
  • Odometer disclosure statement.
  • Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate, if the vehicle is used (see “Vehicle Inspections" below).
    • The certificate is only valid for 90 days after it is issued.
  • Lien and lienholder information, if applicable.
  • Payment for all applicable fees and taxes (see “Vehicle Registration Fees" below).
  • Power of attorney, if someone other than you is registering and titling the vehicle for you.

Your title will be mailed to you, but you will likely receive your registration, tags, and license plates immediately.

Purchasing a Vehicle from a Private Party

Whenever you buy a car or truck from a private party, you will need to title and register the car yourself. Go to a local MVA branch office and submit:

  • The current title signed over to you.
    • If the title is from Maryland, you should use it as the application form.
  • The Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate from a licensed MD inspection station.
    • The certificate is only valid for 90 days after it is issued.
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (form VR-005). This form is used for both titling and registration.
  • MD auto insurance information.
  • A notarized bill of sale (form VR-181) if :
    • The vehicle is less than 7 years old.
    • The price is less than the book value of the vehicle by $500 or more.
    • You want to pay the excise tax based on the sale price and not on the book value (see “Vehicle Registration Fees" below).
  • Odometer disclosure statement.

You will receive your license plates and the registration certificate after you have submitted all paperwork and fees. Your title will be mailed to the address you provide.

Military Members & Vehicle Registration

Military and Non-Residents Stationed in Maryland

Non-resident members of the military on active duty in Maryland do not have to register their cars with the state of Maryland. All service members must maintain current registration and insurance coverage in their home states to legally drive in Maryland.

If you decide to become a permanent resident of MD, you will want to register your vehicle within 1 year, or you will not be eligible for a tax credit, and could possibly be subject to a citation for waiting too long to register.

Maryland Residents Stationed Out-of-State

Military residents stationed outside of Maryland who would like to register their vehicle in MD must meet these requirements:

  • Be on active duty in the United States military; AND,
  • Stationed outside the state of Maryland; AND,
  • Your home of record is in Maryland; AND,
  •  When you apply for the vehicle's Maryland title you must also apply for the inspection waiver.

If you meet the above requirements you will need to submit:

If you register in person at a Maryland MVA branch office, you will get your license plates and registration when you submit your paperwork and pay the fees.

If you are not in Maryland and cannot visit a branch office in person, you may mail in all the registration and titling paperwork along with payment for all fees and taxes. You will need to send everything to the Glen Burnie office at:

Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

The Maryland MVA will send the registration certificate and license plates to the address provided on the address certification form.

Vehicle Registration Fees in Maryland

Your Maryland vehicle registration will be based on charges for your registration, title, and any applicable taxes.

Vehicle Registration Fees

Maryland registration fees are based on the type of vehicle and weight.

  • Passenger/multi-use vehicles 3,700 lbs. or less: $135
  • Passenger/multi-use vehicles over 3,700 lbs.: $187
  • Historic vehicles: $51.
  • Street rod vehicles: $50
  • Motorcycle/low-speed vehicle: $104
  • Registration transfer: $10.

You can go to the MVA's fees page for a complete list.

Title Fees

  • Title for new or used vehicle: $100

Excise Title Tax

Vehicles titled in Maryland will pay a 6% excise tax. This is based on the fair market value of the vehicle (the minimum value of the vehicle cannot be lower than $640 for vehicles older than 7 years old). This price must be listed on your notarized MVA Bill of Sale (form VR-181).

Vehicles previously titled out of state must follow the below requirements:

  • Vehicles 7 years old and newer previously titled in another state where you paid 6% or more tax will pay a $100
  • If you did not pay 6% excise tax on your vehicle, you will be required to pay the percentage difference.

If you have a leased vehicle, and are paying the excise tax through your payments, you will need documentation to determine the amount of tax you will pay or any tax credit you may receive.

For more information on excise tax and titling, please see our page on Maryland title transfers.

Maryland Vehicle Inspections

Maryland vehicles must have emissions and safety inspections to remain on the road. The MVA will send you a notice about 8 weeks before the deadline ends to have your vehicle inspected.

Safety Inspection

If you are registering a used vehicle, or a vehicle you are bringing to the state, you must have a safety inspection. The safety inspection must be completed at a licensed Maryland inspection station. Fees vary by station but are required to be displayed at each station. The certificate is good for 90 days after it is issued.

Emissions Inspection

While Maryland does have an emissions program, you do not need to get your vehicle inspected before registering it. The Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) will contact you a few months after you register your vehicle to let you know when you need to get it inspected. Visit the emissions inspection page for more information.

Obtain a Duplicate Maryland Vehicle Registration

If your vehicle registration certificate is lost, damaged, or destroyed, you will need to fill out the Application for Substitute Plates/Stickers/Duplicate Registration (form VR-009) to request a new one be made for you. You can:

  • Take the registration to your local MVA branch office.
  • Mail the application and payment to the Glen Burnie office at:
  • Motor Vehicle Administration
    Attn: Registration Renewal Section
    6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
    Glen Burnie, MD 21062

You can also visit the MVA Fast Track website to request a duplicate online.

Maryland License Plates

You will receive your standard Maryland license plates when you register your vehicle. Specialty and personalized license plates are also available for an additional fee. Go to our page on License Plates & Placards in Maryland for more information.


Bill of Sale
Complete this form as a proof of purchase when buying or selling a vehicle in Maryland. Must be notarized.
Application for Certificate of Title
Apply for a MD vehicle title through the Motor Vehicle Administration.
Address Certification-United States Government Employee
If you're a U.S. government employee and temporarily living out-of-state for work, use this form to request the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration updates your registration information. Must be signed by your employer.
Application for Substitute Plates/Stickers/Duplicate Registration
Request substitute Maryland license plates and/or stickers, decals for a moped, motor scooter, or off-road vehicle, OR a replacement registration card 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.
Odometer Disclosure Statement
Use this MVA form to disclose the number of miles on a car you're selling in Maryland.
Out-of-State Lienholder Letter
The MD Motor Vehicle Administration will send this form to any out-of-state lienholders for a vehicle you're trying to transfer ownership of.
Temporary Inspection Waiver
If you qualify, complete this form to request a temporary vehicle inspection waiver from the MD Motor Vehicle Administration.
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