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If you have recently purchased a vehicle through a dealership or a private seller, you will need to apply for a car registration. All vehicles in your possession must be registered in your name to be driven legally in your state. You cannot typically apply for a new vehicle registration online or by mail. You must visit a DMV office in person to register a car. To make sure that you are fully prepared for the process, download our informative digital guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know to register your vehicle with ease. You will also learn how to replace or renew your car registration, and how to change your name or address.

2. By Mail

Some states allow residents to register cars by mail. However, these applicants must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as temporarily residing out of state or having purchased the vehicle out of state. To obtain your new car registration by mail, you will need to send your completed application and all necessary documents (such as proof of ID, a bill of sale, an insurance card, etc.) to your local DMV office. You will also need to send in a check or money order for the full payment amount. Due to mailing and processing times, delays are common with the mail-in application method. It may take several weeks for you to receive your new car registration.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

In most instances, you will be required to get your car registration in person at a local DMV office. You must submit a filled-out application, proof of your identity, evidence of the car purchase and proof of auto insurance coverage for the vehicle. Additionally, you need to provide payment for all applicable fees, such as registration fees, titling fees and state taxes. Because many car owners are not sure which forms are required or which fees must be paid, application delays are common at the DMV. Additionally, any mistakes on DMV forms will add to your potential wait time for receiving your new registration.


Maryland vehicle registration is required for all resident-owned vehicles that will be driven on public roads, because it allows the state to determine who is responsible for the vehicle. The processes for getting this registration vary based on whether you have bought a new car, bought a used car or simply brought a car in from out of state. The DMV registration process in Maryland differs because used cars, new cars and out-of-state cars all have different ownership documentation, and these forms of documentation must be recorded by the Maryland MVD in different ways.

In this article, you will learn what you need to know about registering a car in Maryland. This includes how much it costs, what office you need to visit, how much insurance you need and more. This article will cover each of the three major registration processes.

Maryland Car Registration Requirements

To get a registration, you must be a resident of the state who has a title for the vehicle in question. You cannot get a car registration online in Maryland, because the MVD needs to inspect your documentation. That said, you are able to get your registration via the mail in certain cases.

You have 60 days to register your vehicle.

Car Insurance Requirements for Registering a Car in Maryland

In order to register a car in Maryland, you must have liability insurance. This form of insurance is designed to protect others in the event of a crash. Here are the minimum amounts your auto insurance needs to cover:

  • $30,000 worth of medical costs for each individual in the other car during the accident
  • $60,000 worth of medical costs for all individuals in the other car during the accident
  • $15,000 worth of property destruction costs

Though you only need liability insurance, your insurance company will likely offer you other plans. You may choose to get this additional insurance to protect yourself in the event of an accident. The insurance company you buy from must be licensed to do business in Maryland.

Vehicle Inspection/Smog Inspection/VIN Inspection Requirements in Maryland

Before you can get a vehicle registration in Maryland, you need to get a VIN inspection. There are roughly 1,600 inspection stations in Maryland that are licensed to provide this service. Though these inspections are conducted by private businesses, Maryland State Police ensure that all stations hold their inspections to the same standard.

VIN inspections are one of the most important car registration services, because they also check your vehicle’s brakes, seatbelts and more to determine whether the vehicle is suitable for public roads.

You will not need to get a smog inspection before you register your vehicle for the first time, but you will need to get a smog inspection no more than 36 months after you have registered your vehicle.

Registering a Vehicle in Maryland

The fees you need to pay for car registration in Maryland are the same for new vehicles and used vehicles, but the processes are different. This is because new cars and used cars have different ownership documentation. As well, dealerships will usually handle most of the car registration paperwork for you. On the contrary, people who bought their vehicles from a private seller will need to go through the process themselves.

Below you will learn how to register a car in Maryland, whether you bought a new car or a used car.

How to Register a New Car in Maryland

Usually, you can get a new car registration in Maryland without going to the MVD because the dealership will handle the registration process for you. You will not need temporary tags because the state gives you your license plates when your application is accepted.

If the dealership does not handle the registration process for you, either the title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin will need to be signed over to you. You will need to bring this document, along with proof of insurance, a bill of sale and an Odometer Disclosure Statement to the MVD.

The Maryland car registration form will require you to submit information about yourself, such as your name and address, as well as information about the vehicle, such as its cost and model number.

Registering a Used Car in Maryland

Before you can get your car registered in Maryland, the seller needs to sign the title over to you. Along with the title, here are the other car registration requirements you must bring with you to the MVD:

The Odometer Disclosure Statement is not required if you complete the title’s odometer statement. The Bill of Sale will not be required if your vehicle is at least eight years old, and the price you paid for it is does not fall $500 below the book value.

The Application for Certificate of Title will ask for the same vehicle registration details whether you are registering a new or used car, which means you will need to provide information about both yourself and the vehicle. If you do not complete the application at home, you will need to make sure you know the car’s model number, price, VIN and other information before going to the MVD.

You do not need an appointment to register your vehicle. The MVD accepts checks, credit cards, debit cards and cash.

How to Register a Car in Maryland as a New Resident

“How do I know where to register my car in Maryland if I just moved here from out of state?” If you have just moved to Maryland and want to apply for your title and registration in-person, you will need to find a MVD office. Alternately, you can submit your registration by mail to:

6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.

Glen Burnie, MD 21062

Please note that the above mailing address should only be used for new residents. You cannot register a vehicle online for the first time, though you will be able to renew your registration online.

Here is what you need to register a car in Maryland if it was previously registered in another state:

  • The current title
  • A vehicle inspection certificate issued by a Maryland car inspection station

You will also need to fill out the Application for Certificate of Title, which asks for information about both yourself and the vehicle. If the car has multiple owners, all of them will need to sign for the vehicle to be registered in Maryland. If one of the owners cannot go to the MVA, they will need to give you Power of Attorney.

If your vehicle was previously titled in Maryland but you then got it titled in another state, you do not need to go through the above process to obtain your Maryland title again. Instead, you can apply for a duplicate title.

Vehicle Registration for Military Members in Maryland

Service members do not need to get a vehicle registration in Maryland unless they plan to become a resident of the state. Once you have become a resident, you have one year to get your registration. Car registration fees in Maryland are the same for active service members and civilians.

If you are a resident of Maryland who is currently serving outside the state, you will need to register your vehicle via the mail. The Temporary State Inspection Waiver allows you to do so. Once you are back in the state, you will need to get your car inspection as soon as possible.

Maryland License Plates

The Maryland car registration form allows you to apply for license plates while you title and register your car. If you register your vehicle via the mail, you will receive your plates via the mail. If you register your vehicle in-person, you will receive your plates in-person.

It is important to get these plates as soon as possible, because the vehicle registration renewal date is listed on them, along with other important registration information.

Maryland Car Registration Fees

How much is car registration in Maryland? The car registration cost varies based on the weight of the vehicle.

  • You will need to pay $135 if your car weighs 3,700 pounds or less.
  • You will need to pay $187 if your car weighs more than 3,700 pounds.
Last updated on Monday, December 3 2018.

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