Vehicle Registration and Titling Questions

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As a new resident of Maryland how long do I have to register my vehicle?

As a new resident of Maryland you must register your vehicle within 60 days of moving to Maryland. If you delay beyond 60 days, you will not be eligible for a tax credit for any titling tax paid in another state, and you may be subject to a citation for an out of state registration. You'll need to present your title certificate at one of the MVA's full service offices.

More information for new Maryland residents...

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What should I do if my title is being held by a lienholder?
If your title is being held by a lienholder you should contact the MVA at the Customer Service Center at 410-768-7000.  You will need to provide a fax number for your lienholder if you do not have the title document. The MVA will send a request to your lienholder for the title to be sent to the MVA. Upon receipt of the title document, the MVA will write or call you to inform you that we have received the title. We will inform you of the excise tax due and ask you to send your completed Application for Certificate of Title(form # VR-005) and check or money order made payable to the MVA. The check should include payment for the following: title fee, fee to record the lien, and excise tax and tag fees.

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What should I do with my Maryland license plates after I have moved out of state?
After moving out of Maryland you need to return your plates to the MVA. If you have more than one calendar year left on your registration you are due a refund for the cost of the remaining year. If you are eligible for the refund you must first complete the Application for Registration Plate Refund (form # VR-021). Mail in the completed form, the license plates from your vehicle, a copy of the vehicle registration, your out of state address, and a reason for their return to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, Attn: Tag Return, 6601 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, MD 21062. Registration plates must be returned to the MVA prior to canceling vehicle insurance. For more information...

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Do I need to return my Maryland registration plates prior to canceling my vehicle insurance?
Yes, you must return your registration plates prior to canceling your vehicle's insurance coverage. Failure to do so may result in a compulsory insurance violation. For more information...

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What do I need to do to donate my vehicle to a charity?
To donate your vehicle to a charity you must have the title of the vehicle. If there is a lien showing on the vehicle's title you must have a security interest filing signed off by the lienholder showing that the lien has been satisfied. On the back of the title, please sign the ownership over to the charity to which you are donating in the Assignment of Ownership section.

Be sure to place the odometer mileage in the appropriate field and sign and date the assignment of ownership. Registration plates do not go with the vehicle. Registration plates may be transferred to another vehicle titled in the same name as long as the vehicle is the same classification. Any other registration plates must be returned for cancellation prior to canceling insurance.

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How can I get a personalized plate and what are the fees?
To request a personalized (vanity) plate you may go online through MVA's website or you can complete an Application for Special Registration Plates (form # VR-164). The completed form can be mailed to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, 6601 Ritchie Highway, Attn. Vehicle Registration, Glen Burnie, MD 21062 along with the additional yearly fee (payable by check or money order made out to the MVA) and a copy of the current registration card. The process takes approximately eight weeks.

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How may I obtain a duplicate registration?
To request a duplicate registration you must fill out the Application for Substitute Plates/Stickers/ Duplicate Registration (form # VR-009). A fee does apply for a duplicate registration. The completed form can be brought in person to your local full service MVA or mailed to the Motor Vehicle Administration, 6601 Ritchie Highway, Attn. Registration Renewal Section, Glen Burnie, MD 21062. You can also apply online to obtain a duplicate registration.

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How do I obtain a placard/plate for persons with disabilities?
To obtain a license plate or placard for persons with disabilities you must first fill out the Application for Maryland Parking Placards/License Plates for Individuals with a Disability (form # VR-210). Your physician must complete the disability certification portion of the application. You can then visit your local MVA full-service office to receive your license plates and/or your placards in person.

Or, mail the completed form along with the appropriate fees to the MVA, Disability Unit, Room 202, 6601 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, MD 21062. Do not mail cash. A doctor certification is required prior to obtaining a disability placard or plate. Please note that only placards (no license plates) can be issued at the MVA express offices (Columbia, Loch Raven/Parkville, Glenmont, and Walnut Hill).

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I have several vehicles; how can I apply for a disability placard to use when traveling in each vehicle I own?
An individual may request disability placard(s) or plate as follows:

  • One disability placard only, or
  • One disability plate only, or
  • One disability plate and one disability placard, or
  • Two disability placards.

You may choose either one-disability placard or disability plate, or one plate and one placard or two placards. Placards are designed to easily move from one vehicle to another, whether its a vehicle you own personally or a vehicle you're riding in owned by another.

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How do I obtain organizational plates?
To obtain an organizational plate it is necessary to contact the chairperson of the organization for which you want the plates. Organizational plates offered through the MVA, a list is available in our vehicles section of the website​

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If my license plates are stolen, what should I do?
If your plates are stolen, notify the police and obtain a report. You will then need to fill out the Application for Substitute Plates/Stickers/Duplicate Registration (form # VR-009). There is a fee for substitute plates. The completed form can be brought to any full service MVA office.

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What is the definition of a motorcycle?
A "motorcycle" means a motor vehicle that:

  • Has motive power;
  • Has a seat or saddle for the use of the rider;
  • Is designed to travel
    • On not more than 3 wheels in contact with the ground; and
    • At speeds exceeding 35 miles per hour; and
    • Is of a type required to comply with all motor vehicle safety standards applicable to motorcycles under Federal law.

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What is a motor scooter?
A motor scooter is defined in Maryland Vehicle Law, Section 11-134.5 as a non-pedal vehicle that:

  • Has a seat for the operator.
  • Has two wheels, of which one is 10 inches or more in diameter.
  • Has a step-through chassis.
  • Has a motor with a rating of 2.7 brake horsepower or less or if the motor is an internal combustion engine, with a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or less.
  • Equipped with an automatic transmission.

More information on motor scooters...

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Can I register my boat at the MVA?
The MVA does not register boats. For further information about registering boats in the state of Maryland please refer to the Department of Natural Resources. However, the MVA does register the boat trailer. Your boat trailer must be titled and registered for use on the highways in this state. For specifics, please refer to the procedures for titling vehicles.

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What are the insurance requirements in MD?
Maryland law requires that all motor vehicles registered in Maryland be insured by a company licensed in Maryland and carry coverage of $30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 for bodily injury for two or more people, and $15,000 for property damage.

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Does my vehicle qualify for historic or street rod plates?

Historic:

  • To qualify as a historic vehicle, your vehicle must not have been substantially altered, remodeled, or remanufactured from its original design, and must be a passenger vehicle, motorcycle or truck (with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less) and is 20 calendar years or older. The vehicle owner will certify the vehicle will be maintained for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours, occasional transportation and similar uses. The vehicle owner further certifies the vehicle will not be used for general daily transportation or primarily for the transportation of passengers or property on highways. You will need to fill out the Application for Historic or Street Rod Registration (form # VR-096).
  • A historic registration may also be issued to a truck with a GVWR in excess of 10,000, tractor or motor home as long as the vehicle is 25 calendar years old or older. The vehicle cannot be substantially altered, remodeled or remanufactured from its original design. Note: Vehicles issued historic tags under these criteria may not be used for occasional transportation or for any commercial transportation of passengers or property on highways. The vehicle may only be used in exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours and similar uses. A historic vehicle in this category must be insured by a Historic Vehicle, Show Vehicle or Antique Vehicle insurance policy. You will need to fill out the Application for Historic or Street Rod Registration (form # VR-096).
  • A historic vehicle 60 years or older may obtain a one-time, permanent, non-transferable registration. This vehicle registration does not qualify for specialty plates.
  • Trailers do not qualify for historic registration.

Street Rod:

  • To qualify as a street rod, your vehicle must be 25 years old or older and must have been substantially altered from the manufacturer's original design.
  • Vehicles classified as street rod certifies the vehicle will be maintained for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades, tours, occasional transportation and similar uses. The vehicle owner further certifies the vehicle will not be used for general daily transportation or primarily for the transportation of passengers or property on highways. You will need to fill out the Application for Historic or Street Rod Registration (form # VR-096).

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Can I pay for a parking or red light ticket at the Motor Vehicle Administration?
No. You must contact the jurisdiction in which the citation(s) was issued to pay your fine. You should request a Traffic Control/Parking Fine Receipt (form #VR-119) release from the jurisdiction(s) to present to the Motor Vehicle Administration showing the citation paid in order to renew.

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Do I need to register my vehicle in Maryland if I am a member of the armed forces of the United States or of the United States Public Health Service and I am serving on active duty in Maryland, an adjoining state, or the District of Columbia and my vehicle has a current out-of-state registration?
No, you do not need to register your personal vehicle in Maryland if you are an active duty member of the armed forces of the United States or of the United States Public Health Service.

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I am in the military and stationed outside of Maryland. I have purchased a vehicle that I want to title and register in Maryland; however, the vehicle has not been safety inspected. Can I obtain a safety inspection waiver?
You may be eligible for a Temporary Inspection Waiver (Section B for military) if:

  • You are on active duty in the U.S. military; and,
  • You are stationed outside of Maryland, and;
  • Your home of record is in Maryland; and,
  • You apply for the waiver when you apply for the vehicle's Maryland title.

For more information on submitting the Temporary Inspection Waiver application...

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