Maryland car registration

General RequirementsCar-Registration

You must register your vehicle for the first time if you recently:

* Bought a vehicle
* Moved to the state
* Transfered the vehicle’s ownership

There is not a registration deadline for newly purchased or transferred cars. If you just moved to the state, you have 60 days to register. If you miss the deadline, you become subject to a citation and ineligible for a tax credit for any title-related taxes you paid on the title in your former state.

Get InsuranceCar-Registration

Upon registering, you must show proof of insurance. Maryland’s auto insurance requirements are greater than many other states’.

Prepare the PaperworkCar-Registration

If you bought a vehicle from an in-state dealership, the dealer will take care of the paperwork for you. If you purchased a vehicle out of state, however, you must handle the paperwork yourself.

If you plan to title and register the car at the same time, take not of the titling requirements as well. The following is what you’ll need for registration only:

* Fill out the application form. If it’s a Maryland title, and you’re titling and registering at the same time, the title counts as the application. Otherwise, you’ll need an Application for Certificate of Title (if the title is from another state) and/or an Application for New Plates/Stickers & Transfer of Plates or Non-Title Trailers (if the vehicle is already titled and you now want to register it)
* Get proof of insurance
* Bring your Safety Inspection Certificate
* There are additional forms if your vehicle is not a standard passenger vehicle

Calculate the FeesCar-Registration

Registration fees depend on the vehicle and type of license plate. First-time fees may cost more, especially if you’re registering and titling at the same time. You can check the state’s fee chart or contact your local MVA office or tag and title agent to find out the exact fees you owe.

Additional fees may include paying for an emissions inspection or replacing a damaged license plate.

Go to the DMVCar-Registration

Visit your local MVA office or tag and title agent to register your vehicle.

Vehicle Inspections
There are two kinds of inspections – emissions and safety.

The emissions inspection is part of Maryland’s Vehicle Emissions Inspection program, which checks your vehicle’s smog and emissions output. It is usually required every two years, but it is not a prerequisite for registration. The MVA will mail you a notice when your vehicle is due for an emissions inspection.

The safety inspection is a prerequisite for registration and usually only applies to pre-owned vehicles. It is often difficult to get a pre-owned vehicle inspected before you register it, so you can apply for a 30-day temporary registration.

License Plates
If you want to transfer your Maryland license plates, you usually can do so for an additional fee provided:

* You no longer have the old vehicle
* Ownership for the new vehicle is the same as ownership for the old vehicle
* The new and old vehicles are of the same registration classification

If you don’t have plates to transfer, you’ll be issued new ones. You also have the option of ordering personalized or specialty plates.

Affix Your StickersCar-Registration

Usually an MVA employee will affix the stickers before giving you your license plates. Otherwise, follow the included instructions to properly place the mont hand year stickers yourself.

Get a Tax DeductionCar-Registration

You may qualify for a tax deduction on the excise or other taxes you paid on the vehicle. It might be good idea to consult a tax attorney for advice.

Safely Get on Your WayCar-Registration

Be prepared for emergencies. Keep both hands on the wheel at all times by getting a hands-free headset for your cell phone, and be sure your child is safe by having an approved child safety seat. Keep a car emergency kit on hand in case you need first aid supplies.

Joining a roadside assistance program will make sure you’re covered in the event of an emergency. Find a reputable auto mechanic to keep your vehicle in good shape and to handle major repairs. In the event of major repairs, you’ll save money by having an after-market auto warranty.