Navigating Maryland’s Vehicle Registration: A Comprehensive Guide



  • Owning a vehicle in Maryland is common, and to legally drive your car, you need to have a valid tag and title.
  • The tag and title process can seem overwhelming, but with some research and preparation, it can be a smooth and straightforward experience.
  • Obtaining a Maryland tag and title can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the state or have never gone through the process. However, the correct information and preparation can be a relatively smooth process.
  • This article will guide you through obtaining a vehicle tag and title in Maryland.

Step 1: Purchase a Vehicle:

  • The first step in obtaining a Maryland tag and title is to purchase a vehicle.
  • You can purchase a vehicle from a dealership or private seller. If you buy from a dealership, they typically handle the tag and title process for you.
  • If you buy a vehicle from a private seller, you must handle the process yourself.
  • Before making a purchase, performing a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) check is essential to ensure the vehicle has a clear title and no history of accidents or damage.

Step 2: Obtain the Vehicle Title:

  • After purchasing a vehicle, you will need to obtain the title from the previous owner.
  • The title serves as proof of ownership for the vehicle and is required to register the car and obtain a tag.
  • If the previous owner does not have the title, they can obtain a duplicate title from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
  • You can also obtain a title for a newly purchased vehicle by submitting the necessary documentation and paying any associated fees to the MVA.

Step 3: Register the Vehicle with the MVA:

  • Once you have obtained the title, you must register the vehicle with the MVA.
  • You can register your vehicle in person at any MVA office or online.
  • When registering your vehicle, you will need to provide the following documents:
  • Vehicle title
  • Proof of insurance
  • Driver’s license or ID
  • Payment for any fees (registration fee, title fee, etc.)
  • It’s important to note that the MVA requires that all vehicles be insured before they can be registered. Make sure to have a valid insurance policy before registering your vehicle.

Step 4: Obtain a Vehicle Tag:

  • After registering your vehicle, you will receive a temporary registration. This quick registration allows you to legally operate the car while you wait for your permanent tag to arrive.
  • You can obtain a permanent vehicle tag from any MVA office or authorized identification and title service provider.
  • You have to provide the following documents:
  • Temporary Registration
  • Vehicle title
  • Payment for any fees (tag fee, etc.)
  • The tag fee varies based on the type of vehicle and its weight. You can find a list of tag fees on the MVA’s website.

Step 5: Renew Your Tag and Registration:

  • In Maryland, vehicle tags and registrations must be renewed annually. The renewal process is ideal for the initial registration process, and you will receive a renewal notice in the mail before your current registration expires.
  • The renewal process can be done online, by mail, or in person at any MVA office.
  • You have to provide proof of insurance and pay any fees associated with the renewal.


  • The process of obtaining a vehicle tag and title in Maryland is straightforward.
  • Following the steps outlined in this article ensures that your vehicle is registered correctly and has valid identification.
  • If you have any queries regarding the process, you can contact the MVA for assistance.