Registration - Vehicle Flags

The MVA may place a flag on your vehicle’s record upon the request of an authorized flagging entity such as a local police agency.  Most flags are associated with an unresolved problem such as vehicle emissions, insurance compliance, parking ticket, red light, speed or toll violation.  The presence of a flag on your vehicle’s record will prevent you from completing certain types of MVA transactions such as renewing your vehicle’s registration.

Note, that for the types of flags listed below, you will be required to pay an additional administrative fee to the MVA:

  • Flags resulting from the vehicle owner’s failure to resolve a parking violation
  • Flags resulting from the vehicle owner’s failure to resolve a toll violation
  • Flags resulting from the vehicle owner’s failure to resolve a red-light violation captured by an automated camera system
  •  Flags resulting from the vehicle owner’s failure to resolve a speed camera violation captured by an automated camera system

This administrative fee may be paid either before or after the jurisdictional flag has been removed.  However, the fee must be paid in full before you will be allowed to proceed with any MVA transaction blocked by the flag.


For what reasons could a flag be placed on For what reasons could a flag be placed on my vehicle record?

First, it is important to note that a flag is usually placed on your vehicle’s record after you have failed to resolve a problem.  State and local jurisdictions, law enforcement agencies, operational units within the MVA, and certain other authorized entities can all request the placement of a flag.  The entity that requested the flag placement most likely sent you a notice requiring some action (e.g., pay a parking fine).  If you failed to comply with the request within the time period allowed, the entity could then ask the MVA to place the flag.

Some of the more common reasons why a flag may be placed include:

  • Insurance compliance violation – the MVA’s vehicle insurance records indicate a problem. See Insurance Requirements for Maryland Vehicles for information about insurance requirements;
  • Returned check – you may have submitted a check to the MVA that was not processed by your bank;
  • Red light camera violation – your vehicle was captured in a photograph showing that it ran a red light;
  • Parking violation – your vehicle received a parking citation;
  • Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) violation – the MVA’s records on your vehicle’s emissions inspections indicate a problem.  See Vehicle Emissions for more information;
  • Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO) violation – you may not have returned proof that your vehicle was repaired after being stopped for a safety-related problem (e.g., headlight was burned out).  See the infoMVA process description entitled Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO) for more information.
  • Law enforcement agency referral – a law enforcement agency requested the placement of a flag for a variety of reasons;
  • Abandoned vehicle violation – a law enforcement agency identified your vehicle as abandoned;
  • Title violation – a problem may exist in connection with the titling of your vehicle;
  • Salvage vehicle violation – a problem may exist in connection with your salvaged vehicle;
  • Public Service Commission violation - your vehicle is not in compliance with the PSC.
  • Toll facilities violation- your vehicle was captured in a photograph when the required toll was not paid.
  • Comptroller violation - the Comptroller's office has recorded a violation due to an individual or business owing  undisputed taxes.  For additional information individuals may call 855-213-6669 and businesses may call 410-649-0633.  You may also contact the Comptroller's office by e-mail at .
  • Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) violation - the DLLR has recorded a violation due to an individual or business owing undisputed unemployment insurance contributions. For additional information you may contact DLLR at 410-767-2699 or e-mail DLLR at .
  • Speed camera violation – your vehicle was captured in a photograph showing it exceeded the posted speed limit.
  • Administrative fee owed – the MVA places an additional, administrative fee flag if the original flag was placed as a result of a red light camera violation, parking violation, speed camera violation, or toll facilities violation.  For more information about this flag, see the question below about paying the administrative fee.



What happens when a flag is placed?

When a flag is placed on your vehicle’s record, you will be prevented from:

  •  renewing the vehicle’s registration;
  •  transferring the vehicle’s license plates to another vehicle;
  •  obtaining substitute license plates for the vehicle;
  •  obtaining a duplicate registration card.

A few flags can cause even more serious consequences for you, such as subjecting your license plates to immediate retrieval by law enforcement agencies.

Note that when a flag is placed as a result of a parking, toll, speed camera or red-light camera violation, the MVA will charge you an additional administrative fee.  That fee must be paid, along with any fines associated with the original citation, before the flag can be completely resolved.      


How can I have the flag removed?

To remove a vehicle flag, you must first contact the authorized entity that requested its placement and resolve the problem (e.g., pay a parking fine).  The MVA can provide you with contact information for the parking, red-light, speed and toll facility flagging program jurisdictions.  If you are unsure which agency placed the flag, check your violation notice or contact the MVA Customer Service Center at 1-410-768-7000.

Certain jurisdictions allow payments via their websites or by telephone for central collection, parking, red-light and speed camera violations.

After you have complied with all requirements, the entity may provide a flag release which you need to present to the MVA before requesting a vehicle-related transaction.   Only the entity that requested the flag placement is authorized to request its deletion; sometimes, the deletion of the flag may take several weeks.

If your flag is associated with a parking, toll speed camera or red-light camera citation, you also must pay the MVA’s administrative fee.  You may pay this fee either before or after you resolve the original problem.


When is an administrative fee charged by the MVA and how can I pay it?

An administrative fee is charged for each flag that results from the vehicle owner’s failure to resolve:

  •  a parking violation;
  •  a toll violation;
  •  a red-light violation captured by an automated camera system; or
  •  a speed camera violation captured by an automated camera system.

The administrative fee may be paid before or after you resolve the problem with the flagging jurisdiction.  Payment may be made:

  • at the MVA's e-store
  • by mail or in-person at any MVA branch office; or
  • by telephone at 1-410-768-7000
  • at a kiosk  



Fees:

  • The customer must pay all fines imposed by the flagging entity before a flag can be removed.
  • An additional administrative fee is charged by the MVA for a flag involving a parking, toll, speed camera or red-light camera violation.
  • If paying via web, kiosk or phone, you must pay the total amount due.  The invoice amount may be different if additional flags are placed against the vehicle record after the invoice was printed. A new invoice will be generated with the new fees due.



Contact Information:

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


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