A certificate of title issued by the state of Maryland is a document that proves legal ownership of a vehicle. A title must be obtained when an individual purchases a new vehicle. A title transfer must also be completed when a used vehicle is sold or gifted, or when a vehicle changes hands as a result of the death of the vehicle's owner.
OBTAINING A TITLE FOR A NEW VEHICLE:
For new vehicles, the licensed dealer that sold the vehicle typically will accept and submit the required titling information and fees on behalf of the buyer. However, buyers wishing to handle the titling independently can do so. Those interested in applying for a new title without the dealer's assistance should refer to the Maryland Vehicle Title and Registration Information and the Vehicle Registration and Titling Questions documents on the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) website.
TRANSFERRING A TITLE ON A USED VEHICLE:
Sale/Purchase or Gift of a Used Vehicle
When you purchase a used vehicle, or obtain one as a gift, the title must be legally transferred into your name. This is done by obtaining the following documents, and submitting them along with the appropriate fees to the MVA office:
- The current title, with the assignment completed by the seller or donor (signing the title over to you), as proof of ownership.
- A completed Application for Certificate of Title. If the current title has been issued in Maryland, it can be used as the application form after completing the information under âApplication for Title and Registration'.
- A completed Bill of Sale, signed by both current and new owner, is required as the proof of purchase. The bill of sale should be notarized if the sale price is at least $500 below book value or if the vehicle is less than 8 years old.
- An Odometer Disclosure Statement, if the title does not include this information.
- A Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate from the State Police which states that your vehicle conforms with Maryland's required safety standards. It has a validity of 90 days from the issue date.
- Proof of liability insurance.
- If the vehicle is being gifted, a completed Gift Certification form is required. Vehicles can be gifted only to family members as defined by the MVA. If the last names do not match, a separate proof of relationship needs to be provided. If the transfer is between uncle/aunt and niece/nephew, a Certified Statement should also be provided.
Along with the appropriate transfer of title documents above, you will need to submit the following here:
- $50 for a New/Used Title Certificate.
- $20 security interest filing fee for each lien filed.
- 6% titling tax on the fair market value or sale price, with a minimum amount of $38.40.
For additional information please call 1-800-950-1MVA (1682). Out of state callers may dial 301-729-4550. Or contact your local MVA office.
Transfer of Title Following Death of Vehicle Owner
In the event of the death of the vehicle owner, the title is often transferred to the heirs or someone else identified in the owner's will. The procedures and fees for this type of transfer are similar to those outlined above. In addition, it is important to determine how the estate of the deceased has been settled by the heir(s).
In some cases, the heirs may need to submit court orders, the death certificate and the will (or a notarized statement of its contents), if there is one.
For more information on title transfers following the death of a vehicle owner, refer to the MVA website or contact the local MVA office.
MVA Out-of-State Title Unit 6601 Ritchie Highway, NE Glen Burnie, MD 21062
- The seller should transfer the license plates to another vehicle or return them to the MVA before cancelling insurance on the sold vehicle.
- Contact the local MVA office if you wish to add, remove or change a name on a vehicle title for reason other than those discussed above.
- If there is an existing lien on the vehicle, there will be additional requirements for transferring the title.
- A valid title provides proof of ownership of the vehicle. However, remember that a title transfer does not entitle the new owner(s) to legally operate the vehicle. For this, refer to the appropriate license and registration information.