Maryland Vehicle Title and Registration Information

Titling Information


Registration Information


Other Information


Titling used vehicles

To title and register yo​ur newly purchased used vehicle, you will need to submit the following documents, (along with payment for taxes and fees):

  • Proof of ownership - The vehicle's current title has to be properly assigned to you. If the title was issued in Maryland, it can be used as your application for titling and registering the vehicle. If the vehicle is from a state that does not issue a title as proof of ownership, a registration document and a bill of sale may be submitted as proof of ownership.
  • Application form - If the vehicle's current title was issued in Maryland, use it as your application form by completing the section entitled Application for Title and Registration. If not, use the application for certificate of title (form #VR-005). Be sure to include your insurance information. Your policy must conform to Maryland's minimum liability insurance requirements.
  • Proof of purchase price - This should be a bill of sale signed by both the buyer(s) and seller(s). The bill of sale must be notarized if the following conditions apply:
    • ​the vehicle is less than 7 years old; and
    • ​the purchase price is at least $500 below the book value; and
    • ​the new owner (buyer) wants to base the excise tax​ (more info below) calculation (6% of the vehicle's value) on the sale price rather than the book value.
  • Odometer disclosure statement - The odometer reading can be recorded and attested in the Assignment of Ownership section on the Maryland title. You also can submit the MVA's odometer disclosure statement (form #VR-197).
  • Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate - The Maryland State Police form certifies that your vehicle meets Maryland safety standards. It is valid for up to 90 days from the date issued.
  • Under certain circumstances, additional information and/or forms may be required:

    • Lien information - If you borrowed money to buy the vehicle, the 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 the existing title indicates that a lien was placed against it, you must submit a lien release. For a vehicle that was titled in Maryland, this could be a properly completed and signed Maryland Security Interest Filing or a signed letter from the lien holder specifically identifying the vehicle and stating that the lien has been released. If the vehicle is currently titled in another state, you may submit a signed letter of release from the lien holder or you may have the lien holder sign the title indicating that the lien has been released.
    • Power of attorney - If someone other than you, the new owner, is signing the titling forms, this document is required.

    Your title will be mailed to you. If you also register the vehicle, your registration card, license plates and expiration stickers can be provided immediately when you apply in person at the MVA; otherwise, they will also be mailed to you.​


    Maryland Excise Titling Tax

    Dealer
    A vehicle ​purchased from a licensed dealer, is assessed excise tax. The tax is based on the agreed upon price of the vehicle and includes any dealer processing charge, with an allowance for any trade-in consideration. Manufacturer rebates are taxable. However, dealer rebates and discounts are not. All rebate, trade-in, or discount information must be clearly marked on the bill of sale.

    Private Sale
    A vehicle purchased from a private party is assessed at 6% of the purchased price and verified by a notarized MVA Bill of Sale​ (form #VR-181). The bill of sale must be signed by both the buyer(s) and the seller(s) and the actual price paid for the vehicle must be stated on it. The MVA may require you to submit additional documentation to substantiate the purchase price. For example, in some cases, the total purchase price or the value of the vehicle as it is shown in a national publication of used car values, will be used to establish the tax. There is an adjustment for the mileage on a vehicle, depending on whether it is higher or lower than average. For vehicles that are seven years or older, the tax is based on the purchase price or the minimum book value of $640; which ever is greater. Trailers that are seven years or older will be assessed a 6% excise tax on the purchase price or the minimum value of $320; which ever is greater.

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    ​​​​​​Titling New Vehicles

    Maryland dealers will usually handle the titling and registration of your vehicle for you. The dealer will provide you with a bill of sale and temporary (cardboard) or permanent (metal) license plates before you drive the vehicle off the lot. The Maryland Certificate of Title will be printed and mailed to you later. If a lien is placed against your title, a Maryland Security Interest Filing will be mailed to the lien holder at the same time.

    If the dealer does not handle the titling and registration of your vehicle, perhaps because you purchased the vehicle from an out-of-state dealer, you will have to submit the application documents yourself.

    To title and register your newly purchased vehicle, you will need to submit the following documents (along with payment for taxes and fees​):

    Under certain circumstances, additional information and/or forms may be required:

    • Lien information - If you borrowed money to buy the vehicle, you may need to record your lien information on the application for certificate of title (form #VR-005). The MVA security interest filing​ (form #VR-217) must be used if a second lien is placed against the title.
    • Power of attorney - If someone other than you, the new owner, is signing the titling forms, this document is required.


    Titling - New Maryland Resident

    ​Please view the New to Maryland Titling and Registering page​ for more information.​


    Transfer of a Vehicle as a Gift

    ​A vehicle can only be transferred as a gift to members of one's immediate family. Please see the list below. All gift transactions must be accompanied by a gift certification​ (form #VR-103).

    If the last na​mes do not agree, please submit proof of the relationship:

    ​​Son ​Stepmother ​Grandmother
    ​Adopted son ​Father ​Grandfather
    ​Grandson ​Stepfather ​Son-in-law
    ​Daughter ​Brother ​Daughter-in-law
    ​Adopted daughter ​Half brother ​Mother-in-law
    ​Granddaughter ​Sister ​Father-in-law
    ​Stepson ​Stepdaughter
    ​Aunt (65 years old or older)
    ​Uncle (65 years old or older)
    • If the vehicle is subject to a lien, please contact the customer service center at 1-410-768-7000 for instructions on how to transfer the title.
    • If a vehicle is being transferred between spouses or between parents and children, an inspection is not generally required. All other transfers as gifts are subject to the state inspection laws. Gifts of vehicles that are titled out-of-state are not accepted.
    • If you are transferring a vehicle from an aunt and/or an uncle to a niece and/or a nephew, you will need to accompany a certified statement (form #VR-299) with the gift certification (form #VR-103).
    • License plates may be transferred if the vehicle is titled:
      • ​In the joint names of a husband and wife and is being transferred to the name of either the husband or the wife;
      • ​In the name of the husband or the wife and is being transferred to the joint names of both;
      • ​In the joint names of a parent and a child and is transferred to the individual name of either party;
      • ​In the name of an individual and is transferred to the parent and/or child of the individual.

    New license plates must be purchased for all gift transfers to family members, except for spouses, parents and children. The gift certification (form #VR-103) must be presented. The Maryland Certificate of Title must also be completed or an application for certificate of title (form #VR-005). A copy of your current registration card along with the transfer fee​ will complete the transaction for the transfer of license plates. If you are transferring license plates with less than 12 months remaining in the registration year, the registration will be renewed for an additional year when the vehicle is titled.​​​


    Security Interest Lien

    If the vehicle is subject to a security interest lien, a recording fee will apply. A notice of security interest filing is mailed to the lending institution or person and the title is mailed to the owner. After the lien is satisfied, the security interest document must be mailed to the owner and kept with the title. Both documents are required to sell or trade the vehicle.

    If there is a lien against your out-of-state title:

    • Contact the MVA Customer Service Center at 1-410-768-7000.
    • If you do not have the title documents or certificate, the MVA will provide you with a letter (form #VR-056) to send to your lienholder requesting the title(s) be sent to the MVA.
    • Upon receipt of the title documents(s), the MVA will write or call 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), 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:


    Odometer Mileage Statement

    Federal regulations require that the vehicle's odometer mileage be stated by the seller when ownership of the vehicle is transferred. An inaccurate statement may make the seller liable for damages to the buyer or to the transferee. For more information click here​.


    ​​​​​​​Title Fees

    ​There is a title fee​​ for all vehicles.


    Registration Information


    Certificate of inspection

    A safety inspection 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 an automobile dealer, service station and specialized automobile service center. A certificate of inspection, issued within 90 days of the vehicle to be titled, must accompany the application for a title. Please compare the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the inspection certificate with the one on the vehicle and the vehicle ownership documents to make certain they all agree. Altered inspection certificates will not be accepted.

    If you purchase a used vehicle and cannot transport it to an inspection station to have the vehicle inspected, you may request a 30-day temporary registration when you title your vehicle. To apply for the temporary license plate, you must complete a temporary inspection waiver (form #VR-129). There is a fee​ for the temporary registration.

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    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 discarded.
    2. The ownership of the newly acquired vehicle has not changed from the name in which the license plates were originally purchased.
    3. Both vehicles are of the same registration classification. Please complete the appropriate sections of the application that pertain to the transfer. Remember to include the license plate and sticker number.

    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.

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


    Insurance Requirements

    ​Please check the MVA Insurance Compliance Information page​ for information on insurance requirements.​


    Fees for License Plates

    Registration fees vary depending on the class and weight of the vehicle being registered. Please view the registration fee information page​​ for more information.​


    Other Information


    Application for Duplicate Certificate of Title


    Returning to Maryland from Another State

    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.


    Trailers - Office Trailers and Mobile Homes

    Office trailers and mobile homes in excess of 35 feet are not subject to the inspection, titling, or registration laws of Maryland. However, they may be titled. The MVA does not collect excise tax when it issues a title. Before the vehicle can be titled, though, the state retail sales tax must be paid, a receipt obtained and submitted with the application for title and other required documents. The state's sales tax division is located in the Maryland State Office Building, 301 West Preston Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.

    Boat, Camping, Tent or Travel Trailers

    All trailers are subject to the same motor vehicle laws as passenger vehicles. They must be titled and if registration is desired, they must be safety inspected (if they are used vehicles).

    Homemade Trailers

    Homemade trailers may be titled and registered by submitting an application for title to the MVA with two photographs of the vehicle taken from the side and the rear. If the application is approved, the vehicle is assigned a vehicle identification number and a serial plate is issued. The plate must be affixed to the vehicle and it becomes the identification number used in all future transactions.

    Freight & Semi Freight Trailers

    Freight and semi-freight trailers are subject to the same motor vehicle laws as passenger vehicles. They must be titled and if registration is desired, they must be safety inspected (if they are used vehicles). Freight and semi-freight trailers must also provide proof of motor vehicle liability insurance in the minimum amount required by law. All other trailers are covered by the insurance of the towing vehicle. If a commercial (freight) trailer is converted to an office trailer and the owner wishes to title the vehicle, a state retail sales tax must be paid and the sales tax receipt must accompany the application for title.

    Please be certain to always carry the certificate of registration in the vehicle or on the person who is operating the vehicle.

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