Interchangeable Tags for Businesses Not Licensed by the MVA

​​The questions and answers provided below relate to the issuance of interchangeable tags (license plates) to owners of special mobile (SME), vehicle transporters, and finance companies, all of which are not licensed by the MVA. For information about how MVA licensed businesses (dealers, manufacturers, distributors, automotive dismantlers and recyclers, and scrap processors) can obtain interchangeable tags, see the appropriate licensing process description.

Each of the following procedures is separately discussed below in answer to a commonly asked question. Either scroll down to the appropriate question and answer, or click on the procedure in which you are interested:



Fees:

  • Fee information is available on a separate schedule of fees.



Contact Information:

MVA
Business Licensing and Consumer Services

6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

MVA Customer Service Center:       1-410-768-7000
TTY/Hearing Impaired:                        1-301-729-4563


How do I obtain interchangeable license tags for my special mobile equipment (SME)?

You may download the Interchangeable Registration Plates for Special Mobile Equipment packet available on MVA’s website or Contact the Business Licensing and Consumer Services Division (BL&CS) either by phone or by mail and indicate that you are interested in obtaining interchangeable tags for your SME. Typically, you must submit the following documentation:

  • Application for Registration of Special Mobile Equipment
  • Pictures of equipment - Pictures are used to verify that the equipment is eligible for interchangeable tags. Submitting photographs of the equipment (front and rear), a brochure showing the equipment, or a web site address where the equipment can be viewed are all acceptable ways to meet this requirement.
  • Other forms - Additional forms may be needed depending upon your situation:
    • Invoice or other verification of ownership - Since SME does not have to be titled, the BL&CS may require proof that the equipment belongs to you.

After your request for interchangeable tags is approved, the BL&CS will mail you an interchangeable tag application form for each tag. You can take this form, with your payment, to any MVA full service branch office and obtain the tags. Note that "SME" means vehicles that:

  • Are not primarily used for highway transportation of people or property;
  • Are operated or moved on the highway only as incident to their non-highway use;
  • Are designed to carry no more than 2 people;
  • Have minimal hauling capacity; and,
  • Carry only the equipment or property necessary to operate SME.

A list of the vehicles and equipment that may be eligible for SME interchangeable tags can be found in Appendix A. Vehicles and equipment that are NOT eligible for SME interchangeable tags can be found in Appendix B. These lists are not all inclusive. Each vehicle or piece of equipment is reviewed at application.


What should I do if I add or get rid of a piece of special mobile equipment (SME)?

You may download the Interchangeable Registration Plates for Special Mobile Equipment packet available on MVA’s website or Contact the Business Licensing and Consumer Services Division (BL&CS)either by phone or by mail and indicate that you have changed equipment. Typically, you must submit the following documentation:

  • Application for Registration of "Special Mobile Equipment" - indicate on the back of the form which equipment is new and/or which equipment has been deleted.
  • Other forms - Additional forms may be needed depending upon your situation:
  • Pictures of equipment - Pictures are used to verify that the equipment is eligible for interchangeable tags. Submitting photographs of the equipment (front and rear), a brochure showing the equipment, or a web site address where the equipment can be viewed are all acceptable ways to meet this requirement.
  • Invoice or other verification of ownership - Since SME does not have to be titled in Maryland, the BL&CS may require proof that the equipment belongs to you.

How do I obtain transporter or finance company interchangeable license tags?

You may download the Interchangeable Registration Plates for Transporters and Finance Companies packet available on MVA’s website or Contact the Business Licensing and Consumer Services Division (BL&CS) either by phone or by mail and indicate that you are a transporter of vehicles or a finance company that needs interchangeable tags to conduct your business. Note that your company must be properly equipped to perform the types of services indicated on your application AND you must have the facilities adequate for the type of business indicated on your application.

The application requirements vary by type of business and/or the types of vehicles being moved. There are seven (7) categories of businesses recognized by the MVA, all of which are required to submit Application for Registration of Transportation of Vehicles or Finance Companies. In addition, the following forms are needed, as applicable:

  • Transporter of vehicle assemblies - delivers vehicles of a type required to be registered in Maryland, from a manufacturing, assembling, or distributing plant to a point of destination. Typically, you must submit the following additional documentation:
  • Zoning Approval Form - A zoning official from the jurisdiction where the transporter's office is to be located must sign the form.
  • Letter from vehicle manufacturer - The letter must verify the number of vehicles to be transported monthly and the distance they will be transported.
  • Transporter for licensed safety inspection station - must be licensed by the Maryland State Police.
  • No additional forms are needed
  • Transporter for repair/remodeling facility, other than safety inspection station - moves vehicles to or from a place of business for the purpose of repairing, painting, remodeling, or installing equipment on the vehicle. Typically, you must submit the following additional documentation:
  • Zoning Approval Form - A zoning official from the jurisdiction where the transporter's office is to be located must sign the form.
  • Transporter Tag Contract - Two (2) contracts must be submitted certifying that the transporter performs repairs, painting, remodeling or equipment installation services.
  • Transporter for insurance company - transports stolen vehicle recovered by an insurance company.
  • No additional forms are needed
  • Transporter for licensed auctioneer - the auctioneer acts on behalf of a seller who is exempt from licensing requirements (i.e., not licensed by the MVA). Typically, you must submit the following additional documentation:
  • Zoning Approval Form - A zoning official from the jurisdiction where the transporter's office is to be located must sign the form.
  • Transporter Tag Contract - Two (2) contracts must be submitted certifying that the transporter performs repairs, painting, remodeling or equipment installation services.
  • Auctioneer's license - A copy of the license is acceptable.
  • ​​​​Transporter of new/used mobile or modular homes - Typically, you must submit the following additional documentation:
    1. Verification of contract to deliver homes - This can be a letter written on the letterhead of the business for whom the transporter is delivering the mobile or modular homes.
    2. Verification of the proper registration of the towing vehicle - This can be the towing vehicle's registration card.
    3. Proof of insurance - The insurance must meet the minimum liability insurance requirements set by the MVA.
  • Finance Company - must be authorized to do business in Maryland as a financial institution; or licensed to do business in Maryland by the Bank Commission or Commissioner of Consumer Credit, as a financial institution.
  • No additional forms are needed.

After your request for interchangeable tags is approved, the BL&CS will mail you an interchangeable tag application form for each tag. You can take this form, with your payment, to any MVA full service branch office or title service company and obtain the tags.

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How do I renew my interchangeable license tags?

The interchangeable tag renewal process involving special mobile equipment (SME) is very similar to the process used in renewing ordinary vehicle registrations. The MVA will mail you a tag renewal authorization approximately two months prior to the tag's expiration date. Simply return the form and the applicable fees by mail or in person to any MVA branch office. The MVA will return to you a new registration card and year sticker.

The interchangeable tag renewal process involving transporter vehicles is somewhat more complicated. At time of renewal, transporters other than safety inspection stations are required to submit (2) two update or most recent contracts. The MVA will first send you a renewal application, which must be completed and returned to the Business Licensing and Consumer Services Division (BL&CS) along with (2) two contracts (if applicable). After reviewing the application and contracts (if applicable), the BL&CS will send you the tag renewal authorization. Submit the authorization and the applicable fee by mail or in person to any MVA branch office. The MVA will return to you a new registration card and year sticker.

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What should I do if my business address changes or the officers in my business change?

You may download the Interchangeable Registration Plates for Transporters and Finance Companies packet available on MVA’s website or Contact the Business Licensing and Consumer Services Division (BL&CS) either by phone or by mail and indicate that you have changed your address and/or your office. Typically, you must submit the following documentation:

  • For Special Mobile Equipment - Application for Registration of "Special Mobile Equipment" - indicate your new address or the new officers, as applicable.
  • For Transporters or Finance Companies - Application for Registration of "Special Mobile Equipment" - indicate your new address or the new officers, as applicable.
  • Other Forms - Additional forms may be needed depending on your situation:
    • Transporter Tag Contract - If this form was required originally, a new contract must be submitted.
    • Zoning Approval Form - If this form was required originally and the transporter is changing locations, a new approval form must be submitted. A zoning official from the jurisdiction where the transporter's office is to be located must sign the form.
    • Auctioneer's license - If this letter was required originally a new letter must be submitted.

If your address has changed, you also must apply for corrected vehicle registration cards, after the BL&CS has approved the address change request.

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APPENDIX A
Examples of Equipment Eligible to Receive SME Interchangeable Tags

Aerial Work
Platform
Air Compressor
Air Conditioner
Amida Light Tower
Arrow Breaker
Asphalt Spray
Balloon Tire Driven
Back Hoe
Bar B Q Grill
Big Foot Trimmer
Big John Pig
Roaster
Boom Dolly
Broderson Breaker
Bruce Broom
Brush Chipper
Brush Burning
Cement Mixer
Concrete Mixer
Concrete Plant
Cherry Picker Crane
Cement Storage
Concrete Pump
Chuckwagon
Cooker
Conveyor
Cooker
Cow Hoaf
Trimming
Crane
Scale Wagon
Sewer Cleaner
Sewer Flushing
Machine
Sewer Router
Machine
Shredder

Sprayer
Crane Boom
Digger Mobile
Display Board
Double Boiler
Melter
Drill Truck
Earth
MoverElectric
Supply Testing
Unit
Electric Power
Plant
Elevator pan
Electric Utility
Tension
Machine
Engine Hoist
Excavator
Fertilizer
Truck-Spreader
(with Balloon tires)
Fiat Allis
Loader
Field Extruder
Firewood
Processor
Straw Blower
Strut Broom
Stump Grinder
Tank Testing Unit
Tar Pot
(Minimal Hauling Capacity)
Terrain Crane
Tire Machine
Forklift
Forklift Pettibone

Generator
Generator Pump
Grader
Grain-O-Vator
Gradall
Guard Rail Post
Diver
Grove Crane
Helicopter Ride
Hydraulic Crane
Hydro Crane
Hydro Hammer
Hydro Split
Kettle
(Volume Capacity)
Lighting Pump
Linch Belt Crane
Light & Tower
Generator
Lighting Plant
Lifter
Lime SpreaderLight
Tower
Loader
Mack Drill
Melter
Message Sign
Mgr. Ride
(homemade)
Top Soil Sifter
Tractor Pull Sled
Traffic Control
Devices
Trailer Sprayer
Tree Chipper
Tree Sprayer
Tub Grinder
Mobile Substation

Mortar Mixer
Motor Grader
Mulch Spreader
Mulcher
Office Trailer
Oil Map
Oil Test Rig
Paddle Wheel
Scraper
Pan
Pavement Paver
Payloader
Pile Driver
Power Screen
Portable Power Unit
Portable Toilet Unit
Pounder
Pressure Washer
(Minimal Hauling Capacity)
Prover
Pumps
Raygo Wagoner
Road Planner
Road Widener
Roller
Salt Crusher
SawScaffold/Work
Platform
Uni-Lift
Waste Processor
Washer/Sander
Wagner Chip Dozen
Welder
Whiting
Trackmobile
Well Driller

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APPENDIX B
Examples of Equipment NOT Eligible to Receive SME Interchangeable Tags

Allis Charmer
(Farm Tractor)
Alum Van
Asphalt Kettle
Asphalt Sprayer
(Volume Capacity)
Asphalt Storage Tank
Backhoe Trailer
Balloon Dart Game
Bucket Truck
Cable Trailer
Coachman Trailer
Concession Stand
Concrete Mixer (Truck)
Construction Storage Trailer
Fertilizer Truck
(Regular Tires)
Fire Truck
Flat Bed Trailer
Foot Stand
Fuel Tank
Fuel Trailer
Giant Vac
Grease Truck
Gutter Machine
Haul Testing Tank
Hi Tech Mixer
Hoister
Hoister Boom
Homemade Well
Grouter

Homemade Trailer
Horse Trailer
Hot dog Cart

Hydro Mulcher
Hydro Seeder
Lied Hauling Trailer
Liquid Blaster
Log Splitter
(Exempt per §11-159)
Low Trailer
Mason Trailer
Miscellaneous Trailer
Mobile Magnetic Resonance
Imager
Modular Home Trailer
Patch Master
Pilot Line Winder
Pipe Pulling Rig
Pole Trailer
Pressure Washer
(Volume Capacity)
Reel O Matic
Reel Trailer
Runway Vacuum
Sand Blast Pot-Mounted
Sand Storage Trailer
Satellite Disk
Seal Coat Applicators
Sealing Truck
Seeder
Setting Trailer
Sewer Pipe Inspection & Grouting

Sewer Jet
Shop Van
Show JeepSpecial Event Trailer
Spray Truck
Step Van
Storage Trailer
Street Sweeper
(Volume Capacity)
Supply Trailer
Tar Sprayer
Tool Shed
Tool Trailer
Trailers
Tree Digger
Tree Spade
Tree Trimmer
Truck Welder
Two Wheel Trailer
U-Cart Cement Trailer
Undercarriages
Utility Trailer
Vacuums
Water Blaster
Water Truck
(Volume Capacity)
Waymatic Trailer
Welder Truck
Well Tester
Wire Trailer
Wood Splitter
(Exempt per  §11-159)
Yard Jockey

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