New Registration

Whether you have just bought a new motorcycle, truck, car, or another kind of motor vehicle, you need to first register it with the MD Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) in order to get it on the road legally. Since new and used cars have different required documentation to register, you might have some questions about what to do. In order to help make the process as uncomplicated as possible, this article explains exactly how to apply for a new registration in Maryland.

Registering Vehicles in MD

In order to register a vehicle in Maryland, you must go one of two paths, depending on how you obtained the vehicle. Did you make the purchase from an auto dealership? Or did you buy from a private party?

Purchased from a Dealership

The usual process of registering cars bought from dealerships begins with the sale. The dealership should submit the tilting and registration application for you. You’ll also receive a bill of sale and a temporary license plate or tag. In the event that the auto dealership doesn’t handle the registration process, visit the local MVA office to submit:

  • Completed Form VR-005 (Application for Certificate of Title) – used for both titling and registering vehicles
  • Proof of auto insurance – MD requires all drivers have automobile insurance
  • Proof of ownership – Certificate of origin, title, etc.
  • Completed Form VR-181 (Bill of Sale)
  • Odometer reading (Form VF-197)
  • MD Safety Inspection Certification – valid for up to 90 days upon receipt
  • Lienholder information – if applicable
  • Method of payment for applicable fees

Purchased from a Private Seller

When you buy a previously owned car from a private seller, go to MVA to do the titling and registration application on your own. Bring the following:

  • Signed over title – in the event the title was issued in MD, it can replace Form VR-005
  • Form VR-005 (Application of Certificate of Title – only if you don’t have the current title
  • MD Safety Inspection Certification – valid for up to 90 days upon receipt
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • VR-181 (Bill of Sale) – notarize if the vehicle is 7 years old or less, the book value is $500 or more, and if you want to pay excise tax based on what you bought it for, not the book value.
  • Odometer reading (Form VR-197)
  • Method of payment for applicable fees

Applicable Fees

When you apply for a new registration, you’ll need to pay charges such as:

  • Registration fee for passenger automobiles up to 3700 lbs: $135
  • Fee for passenger automobiles 3701 lbs or more: $187
  • Historic vehicle registration: $50
  • Motorcycle/moped/scooter: $104
  • Title fees for used or new vehicles: $100

You can check for other fees on the MVA fee chart.

Furthermore, MD residents must pay a 6% excise tax that’s based on the market value of your vehicle.

New Residents

Anyone who has recently moved to Maryland from another state or country and has a vehicle is required to notify the MVA within 60 days of residency. During the time you go to get a new vehicle registration, you’ll also receive a title. Before registering your automobiles, you need to pass safety inspections. Once you pass, follow the same steps under “Registering Vehicles in MD.”

If you have questions that were not answered in this article, it’s recommended that you call the MVA customer service center directly at 410-768-7000 for assistance. Otherwise, if you follow the steps and tips in this article, the time you apply for a new registration in MD should be problem-free.