License Plate Return with Automated Refund

Maryland law requires you to return your license plates to the MVA when your vehicle's insurance is cancelled, when you move out of Maryland, or when you no longer need the license plates. Under certain circumstances you may be eligible for a partial refund of your registration fee.

How should I return my license plates?

You can return license plates in any of the following ways:

  • Return them in person to any MVA branch office, including express offices.
  • Return them to any MVA authorized tag and title service.
  • Drop them in one of the MVA license plate return drop boxes. Currently, drop boxes with 24 hour access are located at the Baltimore City, Columbia, Gaithersburg, Glen Burnie, Salisbury, Walnut Hill and Westminster offices.
  • Mail them to the Glen Burnie MVA office. Sending them by certified mail with return receipt requested is recommended.

Note: When you return the license plates, always include your registration card.

WARNING: Do not cancel your insurance until you are sure that the MVA has received your license plates. Failure to do so could result in a large fine.

What should I do if one or both of my license plates have been lost or stolen?

If your license plates have been lost or stolen, report the theft to your local law enforcement agency. Be sure to obtain a copy of the police report, or at least the police report number. Then contact any MVA branch office to report the theft.

If your license plates are not recovered, you will need to obtain substitute license plates for your vehicle.

Can I get a refund of my registration fee if the license plates are not expired?

You may be eligible for a refund if your license plate expiration date is more than 12 months away. Ask the MVA customer service agent about a refund when you return the license plates. Otherwise you will need to complete the MVA form titled
Ap​plication for Registration Plate Refund and include it with the license plates you are returning.

How long will it take for me to receive a refund?

Your refund is actually prepared by the Comptroller’s Office in Annapolis. You should receive the refund within 6 weeks of returning the license plates. If you never receive the refund, call one of the numbers below or contact any MVA branch office for assistance.


  • There is no fee for returning license plates.
  • There is a fee for substitute license plates.
  • Note: If you receive substitute license plates to replace license plates that are lost or stolen, you are not entitled to a refund.

Contact Information:


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

For telephone questions:

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