Getting a Driver’s License and Registering Your Vehicle in Baltimore

If you have recently relocated to Baltimore, then you are required to obtain a new driver’s license and vehicle registration with the State of Maryland within a specific timeframe. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) handles auto-related documentation at offices located throughout the greater Baltimore area.

Maryland MVA provides car titling and registration, license plates, tag renewals, ID cards and driver licenses. Keep reading to learn more about the MVA. You can find out how to get a license as a new resident and learn how to change your address if you moved to Baltimore from another area of Maryland.

How to Get a Driver’s License in Maryland

You must transfer an out-of-state driver’s license within 60 days of moving to Maryland. If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), then you only have 30 days to obtain a Maryland CDL after moving. To transfer your license to MD, you must have a valid driver’s license or one that has been expired for less than one year.

If you are a new license applicant, then you must surrender your previous driver’s license when applying for a new one. You cannot obtain a Maryland driver’s license if you have a suspended license in another state. As long as you meet these qualifications, you can get a new license or transfer a previous one at any MVA branch office. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Present your Social Security number (SSN), proof of identity and Maryland residency and provide proof of legal presence in the United States.
  2. Pass a vision exam.
  3. Pay the MVA’s current $72 fee.
  4. Get your photo taken.

The clerk will give you a paper license that is valid until your license card arrives by mail. You should receive your license within four to seven business days. In most cases, your license will be valid for eight years. Note that all Maryland driver’s licenses are REAL ID compliant. There is no need to complete an additional step to receive REAL ID as in many other states.

If your current driver’s license has been expired for more than one year or you have never had a driver’s license, MVA requires you to take a written driver exam and a behind-the-wheel driving test. In addition, applicants younger than 18 years of age or those with less than 18 months of driving experience in another state may have to get a Maryland provisional driver’s license before obtaining full driving privileges.

How to Get a Maryland Vehicle Title and Registration

As with a driver’s license, new MD residents must transfer vehicle titles and tags within 60 days. Failing to meet this deadline can result in being ticketed for driving without a valid registration. Most people can complete a title and registration in one visit at any full-service MVA branch office by providing these documents in person:

  • Vehicle’s current title or other proof of ownership
  • Completed MVA Application for Certificate of Title (Form VR-005)
  • Maryland Safety Inspection Certificate
  • Bill of sale or other proof of the vehicle’s value
  • If leased, a copy of the lease agreement and proof of monthly lease payments
  • Lien information on cars being paid for with a loan
  • Lien release
  • Proof of auto insurance that meets state liability coverage minimum

You may also need to provide a power of attorney, but only if someone else is signing the forms on your behalf. If it is more convenient, you may submit the above documents by mail. Include a check or money order for your tax and title fees and send the documents to:

Out-of-State Title Unit
6601 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

Most applicants will be able to use one form for the vehicle title and registration (Form VR-005, Application for Certificate of Title). However, certain applicants may have to provide the MVA with other documents to complete a vehicle registration. Car title and registration fees and taxes will vary, depending on the weight and class of the vehicle. An MVA clerk or the agency’s website can help you configure the appropriate fees for your vehicle.

How to Renew a Driver’s License and Registration in Maryland

You will receive a notice from the MVA prior to your driver’s license expiration date. This notice will be printed with instructions for obtaining your renewal. In some cases, you may not have to provide any new documentation. If this is the case, you can easily renew your license online via the MVA eStore. Simply log on, answer a few questions and pay the license renewal fee.

If the MVA needs new documents from you, the notice will state what is needed and you must renew your license in person. You can use the online scheduling feature to set up your renewal appointment. MVA driver’s license renewal fees are currently $6 per year. For convenience, most drivers choose to renew for eight years, the longest period of time possible. You can expect an eight-year renewal to cost $48.

Maryland vehicle tag renewal is usually required every two years. The MVA will mail you a vehicle service renewal notice about 60 days before your tag expires. Follow the directions on the notice to renew your registration and obtain new stickers for your tag.

How to Submit a Maryland MVA Change of Address

If you are already a resident of Maryland and move within the state, you can update the MVA by submitting a change of address. Most drivers can submit this information in person at an MVA office or update it easily online. MVA does not charge a fee for changing your address to a new Maryland residence, unless you want a new license, ID card or vehicle title printed with your new address. To get new documents, you must pay a $20 fee.

The MVA will need the following information to change the address on your account:

  • Driver’s license number
  • Date of birth
  • Last four digits of your SSN or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)

For online transactions, you can use your four-digit MVA PIN instead of entering your SSN or ITIN. If you order new documents, expect them to arrive by mail within four to seven business days.