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.
Please Note: If an owner of a vehicle originally titled in Maryland obtains a title for the vehicle in another state in the same name, and returns to Maryland, it may be registered by surrendering the foreign title and securing a Duplicate Maryland Title. There is a fee for a duplicate title.
Titling Your Vehicle
You can apply for a Maryland title, and registration, in person at any of the MVA's full service branch offices. You also can mail the documents to the MVA’s Out-of-State Title Unit, 6601 Ritchie Highway, Glen Burnie, MD 21062, or go to an MVA licensed tag and title service where they will assist you in applying.
Typically, you will need to submit the following forms to obtain a title for your vehicle:
- Proof of ownership – This is the vehicle’s existing title that identifies you as the owner. If there is a lien against your out-of-state title:
- First, contact the MVA at the Customer Service Center at 1-410-768-7000.
- If you do not have the title document or certificate, the MVA will provide you with a letter (form #VR-056) to send to your lien holder requesting the title(s) be sent to the MVA. Note: Please have the following information for the letter: Name of vehicle owner, MD address, phone number, VIN number, year, make of vehicle, lien holder's name, lien holder's address, lien holder's fax number, state where currently registered/titled and lien account number.
- Upon receipt of the title document(s), the MVA will write or call you to inform you that we have received the title(s). We will inform you of the excise tax due and ask you to send your completed Application for Certificate of Title (form #VR-005), the MD Safety Inspection Certificate, and payment (check or money order made payable to the MVA) to the MVA. The check should include payment for the following:
- Application form
– The Application for Certificate of Title (form #VR-005) can be used to apply for both the vehicle’s title and registration. Be sure to include your insurance information. Your policy must conform to Maryland’s minimum liability insurance requirements.
- Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate
- This Maryland State Police form certifies that your vehicle meets Maryland safety standards. It is valid for up to 90 days from the date issued.
- Certificate of inspection
A Safety Inpection is required for all used cars, trucks, tractors, trailers, motorcycles, special equipment, and class "B" for hire vehicles being titled and registered in Maryland. They must be inspected by a licensed Maryland inspection station, such as automobile dealers, service stations and specialized automobile service centers. A certificate of inspection issued by the inspection station within the previous 90 days of the vehicle titling must accompany the Application for Title. To avoid delay, compare the vehicle identification number (VIN) entered on the inspection certificate with the VIN on the vehicle plus the vehicle ownership documents to make certain they agree. Altered inspection certificates will not be accepted.
Under certain circumstances, additional information and/or forms may be required:
Proof of vehicle’s value – If the vehicle’s value cannot be identified by the MVA, you may need to submit a bill of sale. For leased vehicles, a lease agreement may also be acceptable.
Lease agreement and proof of monthly lease payments (leased vehicles only) – If you have paid or are paying excise tax to another state through your lease payments, the documents may be needed to determine the amount of excise tax credit you may receive.
Lien information – If you borrowed money to buy the vehicle, lien information may need to be recorded on the application. The MVA form entitled Security Interest Filing (form #VR-217) must be used if a second lien is placed against the title.
Lien release – If your title indicates that a lien exists, you must make arrangements with the lien holder to pay off the loan (lien) or the MVA will file the lien against your new title (i.e., transfer the lien).
Power of attorney – If someone other than you, the new owner, is signing the titling forms for you, this document is required.
Note that if you also intend to register the vehicle, additional forms are usually needed
Registration requirements vary greatly by the type and intended use of the vehicle. The requirements for most vehicles can be found in Registration – Common Vehicles.
Your title will be mailed to you regardless of how you apply. If you also register the vehicle, your registration card, license plates and expiration stickers can be provided immediately when you apply in person to the MVA; otherwise, these items also will be mailed to you.
If the vehicle has been recently purchased, the 6% excise tax is based on the greater of the total purchase price verified by a notarized MVA Bill of Sale (form VR-181), signed by both the buyer(s) and the seller(s) in which the actual price paid for the vehicle is stated or $640. In other cases, the total purchase price or the valuation shown in a national publication of used car values adopted for use by the Administration will be used to establish the tax. There is an addition or subtraction for high or low mileage. On vehicles seven years old and older, the tax is based on the greater of the purchase price or the minimum book value of $640.
Note: As a new resident, to comply with Maryland law and take advantage of a lower excise tax, you must title and register your vehicle within 60 days of declaring residency in Maryland.
For vehicles less than 7 years old (Non-Residents):
- Vehicle(s) titled in a state with a tax rate equal to or higher than Maryland's 6% tax rate will cost $100.
- If the vehicle is registered in a state that imposes no tax, the tax will be assessed at 6% of the value of the vehicle.
- Vehicles from a state with a lower tax rate than Maryland's 6% will be taxed at the rate of the difference between the two states. Example: MD 6%, VA 4%, the difference is a 2% tax rate. Minimum tax - $100. When the value of the vehicle is less than $2,000, the 6% rate will apply. Click here for the State Tax Rate Chart.
For a vehicle over 7 years old:
- Tax is based on the greater of the purchase price or the minimum of $640. The MVA may require you to submit additional documentation to substantiate the purchase price.
For a leased vehicle:
- Lease agreement and proof of monthly lease payments (leased vehicles only) – If you have paid or are paying excise tax to another state through your lease payments, documentation is needed to determine the amount of excise tax credit you may receive.
Driver Licensing Information is also available for new Maryland residents.