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Maryland Car Registration – All You Need to Know

  • Driving laws
  • Vanessa Norris
  • 4 minutes

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 Are you making the big move to Maryland? Interested in learning how to register your vehicle in Maryland? Here is a comprehensive overview of all the steps and paperwork involved in the Maryland car registration process.

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Maryland Car Registration 

As a new resident, you can register your car within 60 days (about two months) of moving to Maryland. If you wait longer than 60 days, getting a tax refund for any titling tax you paid in another state won’t be possible, and you may get a ticket for registering your car in another state. If active-duty service members want to register in Maryland, they can do so at any time.  

Also, if the same named title is received in another state by a Maryland resident, they must surrender it and get a duplicate Maryland title on return to the state. A separate fee is charged by the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) for this service.  

How to title your car in Maryland? 

A car owner can apply for Maryland title and registration in person at any of MVA’s full-service branch offices. You can also mail the necessary documents to the MVA out-of-state Title Unit or contact an MVA-licensed tag and title services; they will help you complete the application.  

Documents required for titling 

Proof of ownership

Refers to the car’s current title, which shows that you own it. If your vehicle has a lien against your out-of-state title, arrange an appointment to visit the MDOT MVA. 

If you don’t have the title paperwork or certificate, the MVA will give you a letter (form VR-056) to send to your lien holder asking that the title(s) be sent to the MVA. Remember, for the letter; please have the following information: Name of the car owner, MD address, phone number, VIN number, year, make of vehicle, lien holder’s name, address, fax number, the state where currently registered/titled, and lien account number. 

When the MVA gets the title(s), they will either write you a letter or call you to let you know. The MVA will tell you how much excise tax you must pay and ask you to send your finished Application for Certificate of Title (form VR-005), the MD Safety Inspection Certificate, and payment to the MVA. Here’s the checklist of things the car owner must pay for – title cost, cost to file the lien, taxes, and fees for tags. 

The Application Form

The ‘Application for Certificate of Title’ can be used for both Title and Registration. Ensure that you have entered your auto insurance information accurately. Your policy must abide by the Maryland minimum liability insurance requirement. Way.com can help you find the best rates on your auto insurance.  

Maryland Inspection Certificate 

Safety Inspection 

Whether you are registering a used car or bringing a vehicle into the state, a vehicle safety inspection is a must. The vehicle owner has to take the vehicle to an authorized inspection facility in Maryland for the safety examination. Regular inspections are mandatory by garages, dealerships, and specialists. The application for title must be accompanied by a certificate of inspection from the inspection station that is valid for 90 days. The certificate will be valid for ninety days from the date of issuing. 

Emission Inspection 

Though Maryland has an emission inspection center in place, the residents are not required to conduct the emission test at the time of registration. Moreover, the authorities would call the residents and let them know when they needed the emission test to be done.  

Maryland Car Registration Fee

The fees for car registration in Maryland will differ based on the vehicle’s type, size, and weight. On average, the fee would be as mentioned below: 

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. 

Maryland Car Registration Renewal

In Maryland, car registrations are valid for 2 years. At the end of the second year, the car owner must renew their registration to continue driving legally in the state. 

You can renew your car’s registration by: 

  • Renewal through e-MVA 
  • Renewal through Mail 
  • County Treasurer’s office 
  • Licensed Service Agents 

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