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 Maryland Vehicle Title and Registration Information

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Titling Information

Registration Information

Other Information

Titling Information

Title Used Vehicles

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

  • Proof of ownership - You must submit the vehicle's current title that has been properly assigned to you.  Note that if the title was issued in Maryland, it can be used as your application form for titling and registering the vehicle.  A registration document and bill of sale may be submitted as proof of ownership ONLY if the vehicle is from a state that does not issue a title 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 calculation (6% of the vehicle's value) on the sale price rather than the book value.
  • Odometer disclosure statement - If the vehicle has a Maryland title or an out-of-state title, the odometer reading can be recorded and attested to in the section entitled Assignment of Ownership.  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 (SIF) 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 regardless of how you apply for it.  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.

Maryland Excise Titling Tax

Dealer
A vehicle purchased from a licensed dealer, is assessed excise tax based on the agreed upon price of the vehicle by the buyer and the seller including any dealer processing charge, with an allowance for 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 sale is assessed 6% of the 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, 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.  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:  The MVA may require you to submit additional documentation to substantiate the purchase price.  Trailers 7 years and older will be assessed 6% excise tax on the greater of the purchase price or the minimum value of $320.

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Title 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 (SIF) 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 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.

Maryland Excise Titling Tax

A vehicle purchased from a licensed dealer, is assessed excise tax based on the agreed upon price of the vehicle, by the buyer and the seller including any dealer processing charge, with an allowance for 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.

                                                                                                                       
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Title - 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 cannot be transferred as a gift unless the parties involved in the transfer are members of the immediate family as defined.  All gift transactions must be accompanied by a Gift Certification (form #VR-103).

If the last names do not agree, you must submit proof of relationship.

Spouse

Mother

Half Sister

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 the transfer of the title.
  • If a vehicle is being transferred between spouses or between parents and children, generally the vehicle is not required to be inspected.  All other transfers as gifts are subject to the State Inspection Laws.  Gifts of out-of-state titled vehicles are not accepted.
  • If transferring a vehicle from an Aunt and/or Uncle to a Niece and/or Nephew you will need to have the Certified Statement (form #VR-299) to accompany the Gift Certification (form #VR-103).
  • Plates may be transferred if the vehicle is titled:
    • In the joint names of 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 child and is transferred to the individual name of either party;
    • In the name of the individual and is transferred to the parent/child of that individual.

All other gift transfers concerning family members, excluding spouses, parent and child, new plates must be purchased.  The Gift Certification (form #VR-103) must be presented along with the Maryland Certificate of Title completed on the reverse of the form or a completed 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 plates.  If you are transferring plates and less than 12 months remain in the registration year, the registration will be renewed for an additional year when the vehicle is titled.

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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

  • First, contact the MVA at the 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 the seller(s) or transferor(s) to state the odometer mileage upon transfer of ownership.  An inaccurate statement may make the seller(s) liable for damages to the buyer(s) or to the transferee(s), pursuant to Section 409(a), of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act of 1972, Public Law 92-513.

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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 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.

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


Obtaining or Transferring Registration Plates

Obtaining New Registration Plates

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

Transfer of Registration Plates

Registration 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. Complete appropriate sections of the application pertinent to the transfer including tag and sticker number.

Fee For the Transfer Of Registration 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.


Insurance Requirements

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


Fees for Registration 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.


Apportioned Registration / International Registration Plan (I.R.P.)


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. This Administration does not collect excise tax when issuing a title, however, before the vehicle can be titled, the State Retail Sales Tax must be paid, a receipt obtained and submitted with the Application for Title and other required documents. The State Sales Tax Division is located in the 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 (class A). They must be titled and if registration is desired, they must be safety inspected (if used vehicle).

Homemade Trailers

Homemade trailers may be titled and registered by submitting an Application for Title to the Administration with two photographs of the vehicle taken from side and rear angles. If the application is approved, an assigned VIN (serial plate) is issued. It must be affixed to the vehicle and 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 used vehicle).  In addition freight and semi-freight trailers must provide proof of Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance in the minimum amount required by law or as amended. 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, State Retail Sales Tax must be paid and the sales tax receipt must accompany the Application for Title.

IMPORTANT - The Certificate of Registration should always be carried in the vehicle or on the person operating the vehicle.