Updated on July 19, 2021
If you’re moving to Maryland from another state, you have to register a vehicle within 60 days of becoming a Marylander. If you don’t get your MD tags in time, you won’t be eligible for a tax credit for titling tax paid in another state. You can also get a citation for your out-of-state registration.
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Maryland has a mandatory auto insurance, so you need MD proof of insurance before you can register your car. The minimum includes $30,00 for bodily injury, $60,000 for two or more people, and $15,000 for property damage. If you’re canceling auto insurance, don’t forget to return your license plates before. Keep reading for more details on Maryland registration.
Maryland Vehicle Registration Renewal Guide
How To Renew A Vehicle Registration In Maryland
The state of Maryland requires residents to renew their registration every 2 years. The state will send out a renewal notification about 60 days before your current registration expires. On the notice you will find the following information:
- Renewal deadline date.
- Renewal fee.
- Emissions check requirements.
- List of any “red flags” (e.g., traffic violations).
You may also receive your notification by email if you wish. In order to do so, you must register through the MVA office.
The state of Maryland requires emissions testing every 2 years. You will need to provide proof of having passed the smog check before you can renew your registration. When you arrive for the emissions test you will need to have the notice that you received or your current registration certificate. Emissions tests cost $14.
To renew your registration online, you will need the 8 digit title number, the license plate number, and a valid credit card.
To renew your registration in person you will need to visit either a county treasurer’s office, a title service agent, an MVA mobile office, or a full service office of the MVA. You will need to have the following with you:
- Emissions test certificate completed.
- Registration renewal notice or your current certificate of registration.
- Proof of insurance.
- Payment for the renewal fee.
A valid vehicle registration is a vital part of driving legally in Maryland. You must carry a vehicle registration on you at all times and present it when you are pulled over.
If you lose your registration, you will need to get a replacement vehicle registration. You can do this by using the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration website, where you will be asked to provide information about your vehicle and pay a fee. Here’s how to replace your vehicle registration in Maryland.
Replacing Your Registration vs. Vehicle Registration Renewal
What is the difference between replacement registration and registration renewal in the state of Maryland?
Renewing and replacing your registration are not the same thing. You can only renew your registration if your old one isn’t lost or hasn’t been expired for too long. You must do this every two years.
When you misplace your car registration, you will need to apply for a replacement vehicle registration through the MVA website.
Replacing Stolen Maryland License Plates
License plates are a relatively common target for thieves. If your license plates have been stolen, your first course of action should be to head down to your local police station and file a report.
You can then take the police report to the MVA and fill out an application for replacement license plates. You will have to pay a fee of $20 which will get you two new plates and new stickers.
How To Replace A Lost License Plate Sticker In Maryland
Sometimes stickers are lost or damaged during regular driving. If this happens to you, the MVA has an easy process for getting a replacement car tag.
Go to the Maryland MVA website and fill out an online application for a substitute sticker for your car. You can also fill out the same form as you would for replacement plates and pay a $5 fee along with it.
Where Can I Replace My Maryland Vehicle Registration?
The Maryland MVA provides a few different convenient options when it comes to replacing your car registration. You can do it online through the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration website, send an application by mail, or visit an MVA office. There are even helpful kiosks at MVA offices where you can get your business taken care of quicker.
No matter how you replace your registration, you will receive a temporary vehicle registration immediately. You can use this as a form of valid vehicle registration until your permanent registration card arrives in the mail. This should take about 10 days.
What To Do With Old License Plates In Maryland
Harsh weather can have quite an effect on license plates, so many people opt to replace older plates with newer ones. You can do this by filling out the same form as you would to replace a stolen license plate.
When your new plates arrive, you will have to surrender your old plates. You can take them to an MVA office in person, drop them off in a license plate return box, mail them to the Glen Burnie MVA office, or take them to an MVA authorized tag and title service. Make sure you also surrender the registration card with that plate number on it.
Replacing Your Maryland License Plates With Specialty Plates
The Maryland MVA offers tons of neat specialty plates. These plates require you to pay an extra fee on top of the normal plate fee.
You can replace your current plates with specialty plates by filling out Form VR-009, which is the same application you use to get replacement plates or stickers. Indicate the type of specialty plate you want to purchase and pay the appropriate fee.
You can also get vanity plates for your vehicle in Maryland by filling out an Application for Special Registration Plates and providing a copy of your current vehicle registration.
Common Questions About Maryland Registration Renewal
Are there any questions about renewing or replacing your Maryland vehicle registration that we didn’t cover?
We are constantly updating our content and welcome your feedback. Leave us a comment and let us know any other questions you might have regarding how to renew, replace or request a duplicate registration or plate sticker in the state of Maryland.