Title Transfer Maryland

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To transfer ownership of a vehicle in Maryland, you’ll need to complete a title transfer. You can do this by visiting a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) office. The base fee is $100.
If you are buying, selling, donating, or inheriting a vehicle, you must perform a title transfer. Before handing off the keys, you will need to file some paperwork to transfer ownership. This requires a visit to a local DMV or MVA office, some forms, and a fee.
A title transfer is a legal process that ensures the right person is responsible for the vehicle. It’s important to do it properly so that all parties are compliant with state law. Below, the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about performing a title transfer in Maryland.
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What is a title transfer?

A car title dictates who owns a vehicle. When you transfer the title of a car, you’re transferring its ownership to someone else.
Transferring a title consists of two steps—one for the seller and one for the buyer:
  • The seller must sign the title to release ownership of the vehicle
  • The buyer will need to go to the MVA with the signed title to be issued a new title and registration
Every state has a different process. In some states, you must fill out extra forms if you are passing the car down to a family member, for instance. However, in all cases, you will probably need to provide basic vehicle information and personal information.

Who does the title transfer?

Many people prefer to purchase their vehicle through a dealership because the dealer is responsible for submitting the legal paperwork. They file the forms with the state and send you the vehicle title by mail. 
If it is a private transaction, the buyer and seller must complete the title transfer process. Start by determining who will submit the paperwork, and be sure all forms are properly signed.

Reasons for a title transfer

If you recently had a change of residency or you are buying or selling a car, you need to do a title transfer. Here are some additional circumstances that could require a title change:
  • Donating a vehicle
  • Gifting a vehicle
  • Inheriting a vehicle
  • Paying off a vehicle loan
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Car title transfer in Maryland

In Maryland, a vehicle buyer must visit an MVA office to complete a title transfer process. You may start the process online and save yourself some time on paperwork. Title and registration forms are available on the MVA website.
If you are a new Maryland resident, you have 60 days to register your vehicle in-state. Otherwise, you will no longer be able to receive a tax credit on your out-of-state titling tax. Plus, you may be charged a fee.
Here’s what most applicants will need in order to perform a title transfer in Maryland:
  • Proof of ownership
  • Proof of vehicle’s value/proof of purchase price
  • Bill of sale
  • Odometer disclosure statement
  • Application for Certificate of Title
  • Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate
  • Certificate of Inspection
  • Lease agreement and proof of monthly payments (if applicable)
  • Lien information and lien release (if applicable)
  • Power of attorney (if applicable)
  • Payment for fees and taxes
Buying through a dealer is different. The dealer will provide you with a bill of sale and temporary license plates so you can legally drive away. Later, the Maryland Certificate of Title will be mailed to you. 
Note that if you purchased from an out-of-state dealer, you must submit the application documents yourself.
You may also need to provide vehicular information like your license plate number, VIN, and make and model.
The title transfer fee in Maryland is $100. Once all of your documents have been submitted, it may take up to eight weeks to receive the new title.
Pro Tip Start your title transfer process online using the MVA digital portal, and you’ll save time in the office.

Registering a car in Maryland

After a title transfer, you still need to register the vehicle. Registration is proof that you can legally drive on the streets and is done biennially in Maryland. Most drivers can complete the registration process online
You must have a Maryland title and proof of auto insurance that meets the state minimum coverage requirements to register your vehicle. Please note that passenger truck registration fees are calculated differently than passenger cars. The fees vary depending on weight.
  • $135 for passenger cars up to 3,700 lbs.
  • $187 for passenger cars over 3,700 lbs.
In addition, you may need to pay the following MVA fees:
FeeAmountNotes
Medevac surcharge$17This is an annual fee
Vanity plates$50This is an annual fee
Commemorative tags$20Maryland has several themed tags, like Chesapeake Bay and Agricultural
Other fees may apply based on the type of vehicle, county of residence, or driving record. 

Finding insurance for your vehicle

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FAQs

If the vehicle is still financed, you may need the lender’s help to complete a title transfer. There are additional forms you need to fill out, too. Call your lender to ask how to handle the transaction.
The title must be signed by the seller and the buyer. The title has two separate lines for each party. Add your signature to the appropriate line. If two people are buying (or selling), then both will need to sign on the same line.

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