Registration - Common Vehicle
In order to be registered, your vehicle must be titled in Maryland and you must maintain a vehicle liability insurance policy that conforms to Maryland's minimum liability insurance requirements, in most cases, both registration and titling are handled at the same time.
Titling requirements can vary greatly, depending upon the type of vehicle, how you obtained it and how you intend to use it. Therefore, the titling requirements have been separated from the registration requirements in order to be as accurate as possible. If your vehicle has not yet been titled, please review the applicable requirements. Common titling processes include:
- Titling – New Vehicle Purchased from a Dealer
- Titling – Used Vehicle Purchased from a Dealer
- Titling – Used Vehicle Purchased from a Non-Dealer
- Titling – Out-of-State Vehicle Moved to MD by Owner
For unusual titling situations, access the infoMVA homepage and select the most appropriate description.
After you have reviewed the titling requirements, return to this description or another registration description that is more applicable to your situation.
The registration of a vehicle along with the required vehicle liability insurance enables the owner (or operator) to legally drive the vehicle on public roads. This description addresses the requirements associated with registering common vehicles such as passenger cars, multi-purpose vehicles, motorcycles, and light duty trucks. The registration requirements for more unusual types of vehicles (e.g., historic vehicles or emergency vehicles) can be found in other descriptions. Again, check the infoMVA homepage to select the description that best fits your situation.
If you bought your vehicle from a Maryland dealer, the dealer should handle the vehicle's registration and titling. If not, you can apply for registration and title in person at any of the MVA's full service branch offices. You also can mail the required documents to the MVA's Mail in Registration Unit in the Glen Burnie office, or go to an MVA licensed tag and title service where they will assist you in applying. Licensed tag and title services will charge a fee for this service.
The registration application documents, taxes and fees include:
- Application form – When your vehicle has a Maryland title and you are registering and titling it at the same time, the title can be used as the application form for both transactions. If the vehicle’s title was issued by another state, use the Application for Certificate of Title to apply. If you have already titled the vehicle in Maryland and now want to register it, you will need to complete the Application for New Plates/Stickers & Transfer of Plates or Non-Title Trailers.
- Insurance – Be sure to include your insurance information on the registration application in all cases. Your vehicle liability insurance policy must conform to Maryland’s minimum liability insurance requirements. Insurance is a pre-requisite for registration and if your insurance cancels during your registration period you are required to immediately return your registration plates to any MVA branch office.
- Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate – This Maryland State Police form certifies that your vehicle meets Maryland safety standards. It is valid for up to 90 days from the date issued unless you bought the vehicle from a Maryland dealer. Then the certificate is valid for a period of 6 months from the inspection date, or when the odometer reading advances 1,000 miles from the reading at the time of inspection, whichever comes first.
Under certain circumstances, additional information and/or forms may be required:
- Motorcycle Equipment Certification – must be submitted for a motorcycle that is being brought into Maryland for use on public roads.
- 1/2 and 3/4 Ton Truck Owner's Weight Certification – This form is needed if your vehicle is a lightweight truck (i.e., rated as 1/2 or 3/4 ton) and you want to have it registered so that you can carry up to 10,000 pounds.
- Customized license plate application forms – Certain classes of vehicles are eligible to display customized license plates such as the Chesapeake Bay plates or personalized message (vanity) plates. For details, see Registration - Specialty License Plates.
Your registration card, license plates and expiration stickers can be provided immediately when you apply in person to the MVA; otherwise, these items will be mailed to you.
- The fee for registration varies by the type of vehicle and/or its intended use. See Fees for Registration Plates for more information.
Mail In Registration Unit
6601 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
For telephone questions:
MVA Customer Service Center: