Maryland License Plate Lookup

License plate search is one of the best decisions you can take before purchasing a used motor vehicle in Maryland. This lookup will allow you to learn about vehicle history and all the associated car information that you need to consider before buying a car. Make a habit to do research and start that Maryland license plate lookup to have a smooth journey with the car you’re into.

How to lookup a Maryland license plate

To do a Maryland license plate lookup, you need to either go to your local Maryland MVA or do it online. Remember that for purchasing used cars, a license plate number search is crucial to know if it's a good buy or not. You can get a lot of vehicle information like if it's using vanity license plates or regular ones, driving record and if it came from a previous car dealer and other things.

Maryland custom license plate options (types of custom and vanity license plate)

A personalized license plate can have a message on it with a maximum limit of 7 characters. A personalized plate can be declined by the MVA because it can either be issued already or the message is questionable. For custom or vanity license plates, it can take up to 6-8 weeks before the vehicle owner receives it. 

You can apply for a specialty plate on the MVA website or in any full-service branch if doing it personally. If it's easier for you, you can also mail it in or if it's nearer, goes to any MVA license tag number/title service. This information will also appear if you do a license plate search.

Maryland VIN lookup

If you want to use a different way of searching other than using those free license plate lookup services, you can use the VIN number instead. A VIN is used to pull up the public record of all the driver/car owners of a specific motor vehicle, registration number, if they had a suspended license number in the past and other important details. This is a great alternative other than using a license plate search.

Maryland License Plate Sizes

Even if it's a vanity plate, normal or custom made, it follows the DPPA regulated vehicle size of 6"x12". A placard or plate number for a motorcycle, however, doesn't follow the standard 4"x7". Instead for Maryland drivers that use motorcycles, it has a dimension of 4½"x8½".

Maryland License Plate Validity

License plates for a registered owner are valid for 2 years. The expiration will be on the registration certificate that they will get after applying. This applies to all plate number owners regardless of the vehicle type.

Applying for Maryland License Plates

For a new resident, you have 60 days to register. Just present your title certificate and your license plate information among other things at any MVA office and pay any registration fees that may apply. You can use your credit card or any other payment method to pay except money order and traveler's check.

To qualify as a historic vehicle, it must not have been changed, altered, remanufactured or remodeled in any way possible. It must retain it's original parts, and it needs to be a passenger vehicle, truck (weight not exceeding 10,000 pounds) or motorcycle. You'll also need to fill out a form to be considered. For more details, visit any Maryland department MVA.

Surrendering License Plates in Maryland

A car owner looking to surrender their plates can return it to any MVA branch, MVA license plate dropbox authorized title/tag service center, or mail it to the Glen Burnie MVA office. Regardless if it has the expiration stickers or not, otherwise you won't get a refund for whatever plates you're surrendering. Declining to do so might result in paying a fee of $150 and $7/day until it's settled.

Renewing License Plates in Maryland

For renewing a license plate with the corresponding sticker included, you can either apply online, in person or by phone. This applies to all passenger vehicles, motorcycle owners or trucks. You need to bring your vehicle registration card, driver's license and other vehicle information.