The procedure describes how the MVA processes a request for a Maryland Certificate of Title when the vehicle is titled in Maryland and has been given by the owner(s) to a family member. For most gift transfers, the new owner of the vehicle is not required to pay excise tax.
Do I have to pay excise tax on a vehicle that is given to me by a family member?
If the vehicle is titled in Maryland, excise tax (6% of the vehicle’s value) may not be collected when a family member gives the vehicle to you as a bona fide gift. Allowable family relationships are identified on the Application for Maryland Gift Certification (see below). To meet the definition of a gift, no money or valuable commodity, including services, can be exchanged for the vehicle.
Maryland’s gift laws under certain circumstances may also cover vehicles that are titled in another state if they meet the following requirements:
- The out-of-state vehicle must have been previously titled in Maryland by a family member; and
- The family member must meet the relationship requirements identified on the Application for Maryland Gift Certification.
Note that if all givers (current co-owners) and receivers (new co-owners) do not meet the relationship requirements, the vehicle is not considered a gift and the new owner(s) will be charged excise tax. The sole exception is that when spouses are the co-owners of a vehicle, giving the vehicle to a parent is still considered a child to parent transfer even though one of the spouses is not the child of the receiver.
How do I obtain a title for my gift vehicle?
You can apply for a title (and registration) in person at any of the MVA’s full service branch offices. You also can mail the documents to the MVA’s Mail in Title Unit in the Glen Burnie office, or go to an MVA licensed tag and title service where they will assist you in applying.
Typically, the title application documents needed (along with payment for taxes and fees) include:
- Existing title - If the vehicle has a Maryland title, be sure to complete and sign the two sections on the back labeled Assignment of Ownership and Application for Title and Registration. The giver should sign as “seller,” and the receiver should sign as “buyer.” If the vehicle is titled out-of-state, be sure that the title is assigned to you in accordance with the other state’s laws.
- Application for Maryland Gift Certification – This form identifies the family relationships that are included in Maryland’s gift laws.
- Proof of relationship (if applicable) - if the last names of the giver and receiver are different, proof of their relationship is required (e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate, certificate of civil union, divorce decree or adoption certificate).
- Gift Title Transfer – Certified Statement form VR-299 (if applicable) – This form must be submitted only when an aunt and/or uncle, aged 65 years old or older, is giving the vehicle to a niece and/or nephew. When the aunt or uncle is younger than 65 years, the vehicle transfer cannot be considered a gift and excise tax will be charged.
- Lien release (if applicable) – If the existing title indicates that a lien exists, you must submit proof that the lien has been released. 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.
- Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate (if applicable) – This form is required if you plan to also register the vehicle (this is usually the case). The only time you may not need an inspection is when:
- you received the vehicle from a family member who is part of the immediate family (this only includes parent/stepparent, child/stepchild, or spouse); and,
- the vehicle meets current registration requirements related to safety inspections.
Your title will be mailed to you. If you also register the vehicle (most cases), your registration card, license plates and expiration date stickers can be provided immediately when you apply in person to the MVA; otherwise, these items also will be mailed to you.
- The fee for titling a gift vehicle typically includes a title fee and a security interest (lien) filing fee if required.
- The fee for registration varies by the type of vehicle, its weight, and/or its intended use. See Fees for Registration Plates for more information.
Mail in Title Unit
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
For telephone questions:
MVA Customer Service Center: