Maryland requires all vehicles to be registered with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) in order to legally be driven on the road. Here’s what that means for new and current MD residents.

Registering a Vehicle in Maryland

Residents of Maryland are required to register their vehicle(s) with the MVA within 60 days of moving to Maryland. New residents of Maryland will be titling your vehicle at the same time as getting their vehicle registration. Before residents can register, they must have a safety inspection completed on their car.

Maryland residents can register their vehicle in Maryland in person or by mail; the documents required are the same. Residents need to submit:

  • The vehicle title from their previous state (if you are new to state).
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005). This form is used for both titling and vehicle registration.
  • If the vehicle is leased, residents of Maryland need to provide the lease agreement and proof of monthly payments.
  • A completed Security Interest Filing Statement (form VR-217), if there is more than one lien on the vehicle.
  • A Power of Attorney, if anyone other than the resident is registering the vehicle and signing the titling forms.
  • The Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate from a licensed MD inspection station
    • The certificate is only valid for 90 days after it is issued.
  • Payment for the Maryland vehicle registration/title fees and any applicable taxes

Residents who are registering their vehicle in person need to provide the above documents to their local MVA tag and title service office.

Maryland residents who are registering by mail:

Send the above to the MVA’s Out-of-State Unit at:

6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

The title will be mailed to the resident, regardless of whether they apply in person or by mail. Residents who apply by mail, their registration card, license plates, and stickers will also be mailed along with the title; otherwise, Maryland residents who register their vehicle in person will be issued to them immediately.

Registering Vehicles with Loans in Maryland

Residents of Maryland who still have a loan out on their vehicle when they move to Maryland will need to contact the lienholder to have the title sent to the Motor Vehicle Administration. To do so, call the MVA customer service center at (410) 768-7000.

The MVA will send individuals the Out-of-State Lienholder Letter (form VR-056) to send to the current lienholder.

The letter must contain all of the following:

  • Name of vehicle owner.
  • New Maryland address.
  • Phone number.
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Year and make of the vehicle.
  • Lienholder’s name.
  • Lienholder’s address.
  • Current state where the vehicle is registered.
  • Lien account number.

Once the lienholder sends the title information to the MVA, the MVA will contact the individual and let them know what excise tax is due with their registration. Residents must then:

  • Complete an Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005).
  • Provide a MD Safety Inspection Certificate from your vehicle inspection.
  • Write a check or money order made payable to the MVA for your title fee, excise tax, tag fees, and the additional fee to record the lien.

Send all of the above to the MVA at:

6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

Maryland residents may also bring their paperwork to any full-service MVA branch office in lieu of mailing it. Individuals will be sent their Maryland vehicle registration card, license plates, and expiration stickers as soon as they complete the registration and titling process.

MD Insurance Requirements

The state of Maryland requires all vehicles to be covered by auto insurance to be legally driven on any state road. Residents of this state will need to get insurance from a Maryland-approved agent in order to register their car or truck.

Registering a Vehicle in Maryland

How you register a vehicle depends on whether the vehicle is being purchased from a dealership or a private party.

Vehicles Purchased from a Dealership

Car dealers usually submit the registration and titling paperwork for individuals when they purchase a vehicle. Maryland residents will receive a bill of sale, and either temporary or permanent tags/license plates. The vehicle’s title will be mailed to the provided address.

Registering a Dealer-Bought Vehicle

If the car dealer does not handle the paperwork, for instance, if the vehicle was purchased from an out-of-state dealer, Maryland residents must visit a local MVA branch office and submit:

  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005). This form is used for both title and registration.
  • Insurance information.
  • Ownership documents (title, certificate of origin, etc.)
  • Bill of sale (Form VR-181).
  • Odometer disclosure statement.
  • Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate, if the vehicle is used
  • The certificate is only valid for 90 days after it is issued.
  • Lien and lienholder information, if applicable.
  • Payment for all applicable fees and taxes (see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).
  • Power of attorney, if someone other than the resident is registering and titling the vehicle for them.

The title will be mailed to residents, but they will likely receive their registration, tags, and license plates immediately.

Purchasing a Vehicle from a Private Party

Whenever a Maryland resident buys a car or truck from a private party, they will need to title and register the car themselves. Go to a local MVA branch office and submit:

  • The current title signed over to the resident.
  • If the title is from Maryland, residents should use it as the application form.
  • The Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate from a licensed MD inspection station.
  • The certificate is only valid for 90 days after it is issued.
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005). This form is used for both titling and registration.
  • MD auto insurance information.
  • A notarized bill of sale (Form VR-181) if :
    • The vehicle is less than 7 years old.
    • The price is less than the book value of the vehicle by $500 or more.
    • Residents want to pay the excise tax based on the sale price and not on the book value (see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).
  • Odometer disclosure statement.

Maryland residents can fill out the odometer statement on the back of the title, or they can use the Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form VR-197). Individuals will receive their license plates and the registration certificate after they have submitted all paperwork and fees. The title will be mailed to the address the resident provides.

Vehicle Registration Fees in Maryland

A Maryland vehicle registration will be based on charges for the registration, title, and any applicable taxes.

Vehicle Registration Fees

Maryland registration fees are based on the type of vehicle and weight. Standard Maryland vehicle registration fees include:

  • Passenger/multi-use vehicles 3,700 lbs. or less: $135
  • Passenger/multi-use vehicles over 3,700 lbs.: $187
  • Historic vehicles: $51.
  • Street rod vehicles: $50
  • Motorcycle/low-speed vehicle: $104
  • Registration transfer: $10.

Title Fees

  • Title for new or used vehicle: $100
  • Excise Title Tax

Vehicles titled in Maryland will pay a 6% excise tax. This tax is based on the fair market value of the vehicle (the minimum value of the vehicle cannot be lower than $640 for vehicles older than 7 years old). This price must be listed on the notarized MVA Bill of Sale (Form VR-181).

Vehicles previously titled out of state must follow the below requirements:

  • Vehicles 7 years old and newer previously titled in another state where they paid 6% or more tax will pay a $100
  • Maryland residents who did not pay 6% excise tax on their vehicle, will be required to pay the percentage difference.

Maryland residents who lease a vehicle and are paying the excise tax through your payments will need documentation to determine the amount of tax they will pay or any tax credit they may receive.

Maryland Vehicle Inspections

Maryland vehicles must have emissions and safety inspections to remain on the road. The MVA will send Maryland residents a notice before the deadline ends to have their vehicle inspected.

Safety Inspection

Residents of Maryland who are registering a used vehicle, or a vehicle they are bringing to the state, must have a safety inspection. The safety inspection must be completed at a licensed Maryland inspection station. Fees vary by station but are required to be displayed at each station. The certificate is good for 90 days after it is issued.

Emissions Inspection

While Maryland does have an emissions program, residents of this state do not need to get their vehicle inspected before registering it. The Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) will contact Maryland residents a few months after they register their vehicle to let them know when they need to get it inspected.

Obtain a Duplicate Maryland Vehicle Registration

If the vehicle registration certificate is lost, damaged, or destroyed, residents of Maryland will need to fill out the Application for Substitute Plates/Stickers/Duplicate Registration (Form VR-009) to request a new one. Maryland residents can:

  • Take the registration to your local MVA branch office.


  • Mail the application and payment to the Glen Burnie office at:

Motor Vehicle Administration
Attn: Registration Renewal Section
6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

Residents of Maryland can also visit the MVA Fast Track website to request a duplicate online.

Motorcycle Registration in Maryland

To legally ride a motorcycle on the roadways in Maryland, residents of this state must register it with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

New Residents of Maryland

After establishing Maryland residency, residents have 60 days to register and title their motorcycle. Failure to do so may result in fines or other penalties.

Prior to registration, new Maryland residents must complete a safety inspection at a certified inspection station. Maryland residents then have 90 days after the inspection to complete the registration process.

After the safety inspection, visit a local MVA office and:

  • Bring the motorcycle’s out-of-state title and registration.
  • Present a state-issued motorcycle license.

Submit a completed:

  • Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005).
  • Motorcycle Equipment Certification (Form VR-094).
  • Present the certificate of inspection.
  • Provide proof of Maryland motorcycle insurance.
  • Pay the $104 base registration fee plus any other applicable taxes or fees.

Keep in mind that if the motorcycle is being leased, residents of Maryland will be required to present lien documents in addition to the requirements above.

MD Motorcycle Registration Process

The process for registering a motorcycle that was recently purchased varies depending on whether the motorcycle was purchased from a dealership or a private seller. Here’s what Maryland residents need to do in each instance.

Dealership Purchases

After buying a motorcycle at a dealership, most Maryland dealerships will complete the titling and registration process. However, residents in this state should still make sure that no additional steps will be required on their part before they leave.

If Maryland residents DO end up registering their motorcycle on their own, follow the steps below for private purchases.

Private Motorcycle Sales

Maryland residents who purchase a used motorcycle from a private seller, must register their motorcycle with the Motor Vehicle Administration themselves.

Residents in Maryland need the following items to register their motorcycle at a local MVA branch:

  • The signed-over motorcycle title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin, with the odometer reading disclosed.

(If the title has no room, submit an Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form VR-197).)

  • A bill of sale to record the purchase price.
  • A notarized Bill of Sale (Form VR-181) IF:
    • The motorcycle is under 7 years old.
    • The sale price is under book value by $500 or more.
    • You want to pay taxes based on the sale price instead of the book value.
  • A safety inspection certificate.

The following completed forms:

  • Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005).
  • Motorcycle Equipment Certification (Form VR-094).
  • Proof of Maryland motorcycle insurance.
  • Valid motorcycle license.
  • Payment for the $104 base fee plus any other applicable taxes or fees

Once the motorcycle is registered with the MVA, Maryland registration is good for 2 years, after which residents of this state will renew using the standard renewal process.

Motorcycle Registration Fees & Taxes

The basic fees Maryland residents may have to pay when they register their motorcycle include the following:

  • Motorcycle registration: $104.
  • Title fee: $100.
  • Titling tax: 6% based on fair market value.

The MVA has some specifics regarding excise tax for new residents to the state.

Registering a Boat in Maryland

Before operating a boat on Maryland waters, residents in this state may need to title and register it with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Keep reading to learn more about MD vessel registration AND the qualifications needed to operate a boat on The Old Line State’s waters.

MD Vessels Requiring Registration & Title

All commercial AND recreational vessels must be registered with the MD DNR if they:

  • Use any type of mechanical propulsion.
  • Are primarily used in Maryland waters throughout the year.

Residents who aren’t sure whether their boat requires registration, cab contact the DNR via email or phone.

Title & Register a Boat in MD

In general, Resident of Maryland need to submit the following items in person OR by mail to their local DNR service center to register their boat with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:

  • A completed Application for Maryland Registered Vessel or Documented Vessel (Form DNR B-240).
  • A proof of ownership document, such as a:
    • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (new boats).
    • Properly assigned original title (used boats).
  • A certified/notarized bill of sale if the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin or title doesn’t include the boat owner’s name, purchase price, date of sale, and signatures from the buyer and seller.
  • A lien release if the boat had lien prior to being sold.
  • Payment for all applicable title and registration fees.

Depending on how the resident purchased the boat and its status with the U.S. Coast Guard, MD residents may need to provide additional documents to complete the title and registration for the vessel.

Maryland Boat Title & Registration Fees

Below, individuals will find the DNR’s fees and taxes for titling and registering boats in MD:

Boat registration for 2 years (depends on the length and/or power of the vessel):

  • 16 ft or less with 7.5 HP or under: Free.
  • Over 16 ft OR over 7.5 HP: $24.
  • Vessel title: $2.
  • Documented vessel decal (good for 2 years): $10.
  • Security interest filing fee (if recording a lien): $15.
  • Excise tax: 5% of the purchase price ($5 minimum).


  • Title: $2.
  • Registration decals: $1.
  • Boat Registration Renewals & Replacements

Maryland registrations expire on December 31 of every second year. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources will mail MD residents a renewal application about 30 days before the registration is set to expire.

If the application is lost or  residents of MD did not receive one, they can fill out an Application for Vessel Registration (Renewal Only) (Form DNR B 201A) instead.

Then, MD residents can submit a renewal application along with the necessary renewal fees in person OR by mail to their local DNR service center.

Replace a Lost Registration or Title

Residents of MD can request a replacement vessel registration and/or title by submitting the following (in person OR by mail) to a DNR service station:

  • Application for Replacement or Corrected Certificate of Title, Registration Reprint, and/or Replacement Decals (Form DNR B-108).
  • Applicable duplicate registration/title fees.

Maryland Boater Qualifications

Residents of MD who were born after June 30, 1972, must have a certificate of boating safety education to operate any motorized vessel on Maryland waters.

Maryland residents can obtain their certificate by:

  • Completing a classroom OR online boater safety course.


  • Passing an equivalency exam at an approved testing site.

Additionally, MD residents who are younger than 16 years old and wish to operate a vessel WITHOUT getting a valid boating safety certificate:

  • 11 ft in length or more, MD residents must be accompanied by someone who is at least 18 years old.
  • Less than 11 ft in length, residents of MD must be accompanied by a person of ANY age who holds a boating safety certificate.

Accepted Forms of Payments

The Maryland DMV accepts these forms of payment:

  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Cash
  • Check

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