General License Plate Information

NEW AT REGISTRATION RENEWAL: Customers renewing a vehicle with license plates 15 years or older will have the option to replace the front and rear license plates for free. This option is currently only available when renewing through myMVA Online Services. The replacement plates will have all new numbers, and the old license plates must be returned to the MVA as soon as the new ones are received. Eligible customers are encouraged to take advantage of this program as license plates may wear over time from exposure to the elements, making them difficult to​ read. 

Obtaining or Transferring License Plates

​Obtaining New License Plates

Please check appropriate blocks on the title and application. License plates are issued according to the type of vehicle you are titling.

Transfer of License Plates

License plates acquired by any person, firm, or corporation for any vehicle owned by them may be transferred to a newly acquired vehicle providing the following requirements are met:

1. The vehicle from which the plates are to be transferred must have been sold, traded, junked, or otherwise disposed of.

2. The ownership of the newly acquired vehicle has not changed from the name(s) in which the plates were originally purchased.

3. Both vehicles are of the same registration classification. Please complete the appropriate sections of the application that are pertinent to the transfer.  This  includes tag and sticker number.

 Maryland Proud

Fee for the Transfer Of License Plates

If the annual registration fee is the same or less than the previously owned vehicle, the transfer fee will apply. If the annual registration fee is more than the previously owned vehicle, the transfer fee plus any difference in the two registration fees will apply.

Please note:  If you are transferring plates and less than 12 months remain before your registration expires, the registration will be renewed for an additional year.​

How to Display Your License Plate

Maryland vehicle law requires vehicles to display both a front and back permanent legible license plate. Only vehicles registered as a motorcycle (class D), tractor (class F), trailer (class G), historic over 50 years old (class L) and street rod over 50 years old (class N), may display a single plate. If you find you are missing a plate, or it is no longer legible, you must immediately apply for replacement plates. You may order online, in person at any full service MVA by appointment, at any licensed Maryland tag and title service, or through the mail by sending in an Application for Substitute Plates (VR-009). Until you receive your replacement plates, you should immediately place a temporary plate bearing the vehicles registration number as close as possible to the missing plate.​

Additionally, under Maryland vehicle law, it is illegal to use a registration plate cover. A registration plate cover is defined as any tinted, colored, painted, marked, clear or illuminated object this is designed to cover any of the characters of a vehicle's registration plate or distort a recorded image of any of the characters of a vehicle's registration plate recorded by a traffic control monitoring system. It is also illegal to advertise for sale, sell or offer for sale, a registration plate cover.