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Maryland Selling a Vehicle

Home 9 US State 9 Maryland DMV Services 9 Maryland Selling a Vehicle

What are the Basics?

When you sell your Maryland-titled and registered vehicle, you need to remove the license plate and sign over the title to the buyer. The Maryland MVA requires you to maintain insurance coverage until you remove the plate and return it to an MVA location or a DMV registration drop box. Once you have returned the plate, you can cancel the insurance coverage.

How do I Sign the Title?

You can sign the title when you sell your vehicle by printing your full name and date in the appropriate location near the bottom. You also need to list odometer reading as required to help track the vehicle’s mileage from owner to owner. The buyer should print his or her name and sign and date the title.

What if I’ve Lost the Title?

You can replace a lost title by requesting a duplicate certificate of title at a local MVA services center.

What Information is Included in the Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale provides a location to list the vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model and year of manufacture. You also can list the selling price, which the MVA will use to apply the correct tax amount when the new owner titles the vehicle. The bill of sale also has locations for the seller and buyer to print and sign his or her respective name or names.

May I Transfer Plates?

If you sell a vehicle that is registered in Maryland, you cannot transfer the plates to the new owner. If you have another vehicle or are going to buy a new vehicle, you can transfer the plates to that vehicle. Otherwise, you must return the plates to the MVA prior to cancel the insurance.

What if I Don’t Transfer Plates to a New Vehicle?

If you do not transfer the plates to a new vehicle, you must return them to the MVA. You can take them to a local service center near you or at a 2-hour drop box for registration tags and license plates.

What if I am Giving the Car to Someone Rather than Selling it?

If you are giving away a vehicle as a gift, you can sign over the title and list the selling price as “Gift” on the title and bill of sale. The MVA will apply a title fee based on the vehicle’s value rather than a selling price.

How do I, as Executor, Transfer the Car to an Heir?

An estate executor has the legal power to sign title transfers to heirs upon the deaths of the benefactors. A death certificate listing the deceased owner will help to affirm the transfer is fully legal.

Last Verified:
Dec 29, 2022