A Maryland car title is a legal document that establishes vehicle ownership. As such, motorists must apply for an auto title whenever a vehicle changes ownership. However, drivers need to obtain both a vehicle title and a registration certificate before they may operate a motor vehicle on state roads.

For this reason, car owners may apply for MD certificate of title and registration certificates at the same time, as long as they submit all necessary titling and registration documentation to the state. To learn more about how to get car title certificates and the ways in which titles relate to registration documents, review the sections below.

Where to Apply for a Car Title in Maryland

The process of getting car title certificates varies slightly depending on whether motorists purchase a vehicle from a dealer or a third-party seller. In most cases, state car dealerships complete and submit new car title applications on behalf of car owners. As part of the DMV car title application process, dealers provide buyers with a bill of sale and a temporary or permanent license plate before buyers leave the dealership. The state sends vehicle owners their official MD certificate of car titles in the mail.

In some cases, vehicle owners must get car title documentation on their own, without the help of a dealer. In most cases, however, motorists must obtain an MD car title (also known as pink slip) if they purchase a vehicle from an out-of-state dealer, or if they purchase an automobile from a private seller. To apply for a new or used car title in Maryland, applicants may visit a local branch of the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) or submit all application materials to the MVA’s Mail In Title Unit at the following address:

MVA Mail In Title Unit
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

The Maryland Auto Title Application

When requesting a title for car ownership, vehicle owners may apply using the current vehicle title certificate as an application if the title was issued in Maryland, or they may complete an Application for Certificate of Car Title (Form VR-005) if the vehicle is new and does not have a title. When completing the Maryland car title application, motorists must provide the following information:

  • The name, date of birth and address of the vehicle owner(s).
  • A description of the vehicle, including the model year, make, model number, body style and vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Lienholder information, if applicable.
  • Purchase information (for tax purposes).
  • Registration information, if motorists wish to register their vehicles simultaneously.

If getting a car title and registration documents at the same time, motorists must include auto insurance information, including the insurance company’s name, the name of the insurance agent and a policy number.

Documents You Must Provide When Applying for a New Car Title in Maryland

To get a Maryland car title, applicants must submit an application in addition to other supporting documentation. To obtain a certificate of vehicle title, motorists must submit the following documents either in person or by mail:

  • Proof of vehicle ownership, such as the current auto title (for used vehicles) or a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (if the vehicle is new). In some cases, applicants may submit a registration document and a bill of sale.
  • Proof of purchase price, such as a bill of sale.
  • An Odometer Disclosure Statement (Form VR-197). Alternately, applicants may include an odometer reading under the Assignment of Ownership section on the current title.
  • A Safety Inspection Certificate.
  • A Security Interest Filing Statement (Form VR-217), if applicable.
  • A lien release, if applicable.
  • A Power of Attorney, if the new vehicle owner needs a third-party applicant to sign the titling forms on his or her behalf.

Note: After submitting all MD car title documentation to the MVA, the state sends motorists their new titling documents through the mail. If registering a vehicle while getting a car title in person, the state issues the registration card, stickers and license plates during the office visit.

What is a Maryland car registration?

Vehicle owners must obtain car registration documentation and a title certificate before they may drive a new or used vehicle on state roads. For this reason, drivers may apply for vehicle registration materials and car titles simultaneously, as long as they can submit all supporting documentation, including proof of ownership and proof of auto insurance.

However, auto registration certificates are not the same as car titles, and the two documents serve different purposes. DMV car registration certificates, for instance, show that vehicle owners meet all state registration prerequisites, including the payment of registration taxes and fees. Additionally, new car registration documents include a certificate, expiration stickers and license plates.

What is the difference between a car title and a vehicle registration in Maryland?

The difference between motor vehicle registration documents and a title is as follows: A title displays the name of the vehicle’s legal owner(s), while an MD car registration certificate shows that a driver can legally operate a vehicle on public roads. Car owners must obtain new vehicle registration documents and a car title before they may legally operate a new or used vehicle on public roadways.

To get car registration documents and a title certificate at the same time, drivers must complete an Application for Certificate of Car Title (Form VR-005), pay all registration and titling fees, and submit all supporting paperwork to the MVA.

Car Title Costs in Maryland

While there are varying car title costs in Maryland, the standard fee for a new certificate of title is $100.

Last updated on Thursday, March 7 2019.

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