Vehicles in Maryland can be registered with the Motor Vehicle Administration. License plates and validation stickers are issued and must be attached to a vehicle in order to drive legally.
There are various specialty license plates available which can also be personalized.
All vehicles owned by Maryland residents must be registered with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
It is possible to register your vehicle by mail or in person at a county MVA office.
When you register a vehicle in Maryland, you’ll be required to submit the following:
Check with your MVA office to ensure you have everything necessary to register your vehicle.
Maryland offers a standard license plate for those who register their vehicles. The standard license plate has a white background with black lettering and the state’s crest in the centre.
If you prefer something unique, you can choose from a range of specialty plates.
There are also plates and placards for people with disabilities which enable them to park in designated zones throughout the state.
All of the above plates can be personalized (see “Personalizing License Plates in Maryland,” below).
If you want to stylize your vehicle by adding a specialty license plate, here’s a list of available plates in Maryland:
The fees for these specialty plates vary, but some are as follows:
These fees are required in addition to the standard registration fees for your vehicle. Contact your nearest MVA for more information about specialty license plates.
Personalized license plates allow you to create a custom plate number. Whether you want to show off your personality or express your opinion, you must follow the state's guidelines:
If you do not follow these guidelines, the MVA can reject your application for personalized plates. You can search for available plate names for free online.
If approved, you must pay the $50 fee in addition to any registration fees required.
When you receive your license, you must attach them to the front and back of your vehicle. If you have registered a motorcycle or trailer, you may only be required to attach a license plate to the rear.
In addition to your plates, you must also display your validation stickers in the designated corners of your license plates. The stickers display the month and year which indicate when your vehicle’s registration expires.
Typically, license plates in Maryland are valid for up to 2 years. When your plates are about to expire, you can renew them:
You’ll receive new decals either at the MVA office or in the mail. When you receive them, you can place the decals right over the old ones.
It may be necessary to replace your license plates if they have been lost, damaged, or stolen.
You can submit an application for replacement plates in person or by mail. You’ll require the following:
You are expected to surrender your license plates if you:
To surrender your plates, you can either:
If you are surrendering your plates before the expiration date, you may be eligible for a refund. Check with your local MVA office to learn more.
The fees for vehicle registration, sticker renewal, and replacement are summarized below:
When you are purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller, it is possible to look up a license plate and obtain background information about the vehicle. You can use this to verify whether the person selling you the vehicle is the real owner.
Additionally, this license plate search tool lets you find available license plate numbers in Maryland and other states across the USA.