The Title And Registration Process Explained: Part 2

What is a car registration?

A motor vehicle registration is simply the legal documentation that your vehicle is registered with a government authority. It establishes a link between a vehicle and the owner or user of the vehicle.

After purchasing a vehicle you need to register it with your local Department Of Motor Vehicles, Secretary of State, Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division or other local body that is responsible for setting vehicle regulations in your state.

Before You Register Your Car, You’ll Need to:

  1. Have a title in your name
  2. Pass an emissions or smog check
  3. Pass a vehicle safety inspection
  4. Be covered by car insurance 

There are Three Registration Categories: Renewal, New Purchase, New Resident

We’ll use our home state of Maryland as the example here. The vehicle registration process in Maryland requires that you visit your local MVA office with your driver’s license, vehicle title, bill of sale and payment for your registration fee.

Depending on whether your vehicle is new or used, or if you are a Maryland state resident, you may also provide additional paperwork.

Maryland requires that all vehicles be registered with the MVA in order to legally be driven on the road.

New Resident

If you’re new to the state of Maryland, you must register your vehicle within 60 days of moving. You will be titling your vehicle at the same time as getting your vehicle registration.

Before you go to register, be aware that you must have a safety inspection completed on your car. Documents required:

  • A vehicle title from your previous state
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title
  • If your vehicle is leased, your lease agreement and proof of monthly payments
  • A completed Security Interest Filing Statement, if there is more than one lien on your vehicle
  • A power of attorney if anyone other than you is registering your vehicle and signing the titling forms
  • The Maryland Safety inspection Certificate from a licensed MD inspection station -the certificate is only valid for 90 days after it is issued
  • Payment for the Maryland vehicle registration/title fees and any applicable taxes


Renewing Your Registration

The state of Maryland sends a renewal notice approximately 60 days prior to the expiration of your current registration certificate. This applies to all vehicle. The notice includes:

  1. A renewal fee
  2. Deadline for renewal
  3. Emissions check requirements
  4. List of red flags

In Maryland, there are several options for renewing your registration. You can renew online, in person, by phone, mail, or even at a self-serve kiosk.

Whichever you choose, in order to renew, you’ll need the same basic information ready:

  1. Current Registration or Registration Renewal Notice
  2. Completed Emissions Test Certificate, if required.
  3. Proof of Car Insurance
  4. License Plate Number
  5. Your means or Payment, whether it be Check or Credit Card


Vehicles Purchased from a Dealership (Like Krietz!)

Car Dealerships usually submit the registration and titling paperwork for you when you purchase a vehicle. You receive a bill of sale and either temporary or permanent tags/license plates. And your Title is mailed to your provided address. 


If your dealer does not handle registration paperwork for you, you must visit your local MVA branch office and submit the following information:


  • Completed Application of Certificate of Title
  • Insurance Information
  • Ownership Documents
  • Bill of Sale
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement
  • Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate
  • Lien or Lienholder information
  • Payment
  • Power Of Attorney

Categories: Finance


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