Maryland

Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
(800) 950-1682 | www.marylandmva.com

Maryland State Police (MSP)
1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208
(410) 653-4200 | www.mdsp.org

Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)
7201 Corporate Center
P.O. Box 548
Hanover, MD 21076
(410) 865-1000 | www.mdot.state.md.us

Title Application

Application for certificate of title is required for all motor vehicles. Trailers (not including camping or trailers with a lien) weighing less than 2,500 lbs. have the option to apply for registration only.

Applications for title must contain the owner’s name; address; a description of the vehicle, including make, model, year, vehicle identification number, type of body, and number of cylinders; a statement of the applicant’s title to and each security interest in the vehicle, as well as the name and address of each secured party with any security interest in the vehicle; and the applicant’s signature.

For a new vehicle, along with the completed application, an applicant must provide the MVA with a certificate of origin, a dealer’s reassignment, a dealer’s bill of sale, and an odometer disclosure statement.

An application for title is to be accompanied by any outstanding certificates of title issued for the vehicle.

Each certificate of title shall include the date of issuance, the name and address of the owner, the names and addresses of all secured parties, in the order of priority, the title number assigned to the vehicle, a description of the vehicle listed above, and the classification and weight for which the vehicle is registered.

Certificates of title will be mailed to the applicant.

Holders of certificates of title have 30 days to apply for a corrected certificate after a change of name or residence.


Title Transfer of Ownership

If an owner transfers his interest in a vehicle, he shall, at the time of delivery of the vehicle, execute an assignment and warranty of title to the transferee, with a release for each security interest, lien, or other encumbrance on the vehicle, in the space provided on the certificate.

Applicants for certificates of title for a used vehicle purchased from a dealer must have, in addition to a completed application, a properly assigned title, a dealer’s reassignment, a dealer’s bill of sale, a Maryland safety inspection certificate, and an odometer disclosure statement.

Applicants for certificates of title for a used vehicle sold by someone other than a dealer must have, in addition to a completed application, a properly assigned certificate of title.

The transferee shall complete an application for a new certificate of title and mail or deliver it to the MVA or Maryland-licensed title service representative.


Titles for Mobile Homes

Mobile homes in excess of 35 feet are not subject to the inspection, titling, or registration laws of Maryland, however, they may be titled. The Motor Vehicle Administration does not collect excise tax when issuing a title, however, before the vehicle can be titled, the state retail sales tax must be paid, a receipt obtained and submitted with the application for title and other required documents.

Registration Application

Each motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer driven on a highway shall be registered.

No vehicle may be registered until the owner of the vehicle has received a certificate of titleor an application for a certificate of title.

A county Treasurer’s office may be authorized to renew vehicle registrations. Applicants who renew their registrations at these facilities must pay an additional fee.

If an application for registration and certificate of title is accompanied by the required fees, the MVA may issue a temporary registration card and plate to permit the vehicle to be driven pending the completion of a Maryland state safety inspection. The temporary registration is valid for 30 days.

The registration card issued by the MVA shall contain the date of issuance, the name and address of the owner, the registration number assigned, and a description of the vehicle.

There is no period of grace for late registration.


Registration for Non-Residents

New residents must register their vehicles within 60 days of residing in Maryland.

Non-residents who occupy a dwelling in Maryland for at least 30 days, but less than 1 year, must obtain a non-resident’s permit from the MVA within 10 days immediately following the 30-day period.

Military personnel on active duty in Maryland need not register his/her vehicle in Maryland if the vehicle is registered in the state of his/her residence.


Registration Type

A vehicle owner is required to carry the registration card in the vehicle at all times while operating the vehicle. A vehicle owner must display the registration card on demand of a police officer.

Registration expires at midnight on the date indicated on the registration card.

Holders of vehicle registrations have 30 days to apply for a corrected registration after a change of name or residence.

The registration of a vehicle expires upon transfer of title, unless the owner gives the transferee written permission to use the existing plates. A transferee that has been given permission to use the existing plates may not use them for more than 10 days. Within 10 days, the transferee shall return the plates to the MVA or the former owner. The former owner may transfer the plates from one vehicle to another. The transferee must apply for and obtain a new registration prior to using the vehicle on a highway.

Each registration renewal shall be for 2 years for non-commercial vehicles.

Vehicle registration classifications:

  • Class A: Passenger cars and station wagons.
  • Class B: “For hire” vehicles.
  • Class D: Motorcycles.
  • Class E: Single unit trucks with 2 or more axles (includes tow trucks).
  • Class F: Truck tractors.
  • Class G: Trailers and semitrailers.
  • Class L: Historic motor vehicles.
  • Class M: Multipurpose passenger vehicles.
  • Class N: Street rod vehicle
  • Class P: Passenger buses, charter or for hire.

Emissions Inspection

Vehicles must have an exhaust emissions test and emissions equipment and misfueling inspection every 2 years. Visit the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration for more information.

Model year 1996 and newer passenger vehicles and light duty trucks, and model year 2008 and newer heavy duty vehicles up to 14,000 pounds are required to pass an On-Board Diagnostics test. An idle tailpipe test is required for model year 1977 – 1995 passenger vehicles and light duty trucks, and model year 1977 – 2007 heavy duty vehicles up to 14,000 pounds.

Motorcycles, Class E trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) over 26,000 lbs., historic vehicles, and cars prior to model year 1977 are not required to have an emissions test.

Vehicles passing the emissions test shall be issued a certificate with the date of inspection, vehicle information, the pass/fail status of all tests, and the expiration date of the certificate.

Owners must carry the inspection certificate at all times in the vehicle.

Vehicles that fail the test may be granted a two-year waiver if the owner has incurred an expenditure of $450 towards emissions-related repairs to the vehicle by a certified technician up to thirty days prior to testing and  120 days after the test and fails a retest.

A senior citizen, 70 years of age or older, and a disabled citizen with disabled registration plates, and whose vehicle is driven less than 5,000 miles per year, can request a waiver for the remainder of the 2-year test cycle.

OBD is utilized as part of the state emissions inspection process.


Safety Inspection

An inspection is required whenever a used vehicle is sold or ownership is changed, or a vehicle from out-of-state is newly registered. Upon successful completion of an inspection, a certificate shall be issued that contains the vehicle’s information, certification date, name and address of the inspection station, and signature of authorized inspector.

Additionally, Maryland authorized inspection stations may participate in an online Maryland Safety Inspection System. This system provides an electronic record of vehicle safety inspections and permits submission of certification to the Motor Vehicle Administration for vehicles which pass inspection.


Title and Registration Fees

AUTOMOBILE

Title Fee: $100.00

Registration Fee: By weight *

MOTORCYCLE

Title Fee: $100.00

Registration Fee: $104.00

DUPLICATES

Plate Fee: $20.00

Registration Fee: $5.00

Driver’s License Fee: $20.00

Title Fee: $20.00

Special Plates: $15.00 – $50.00** plus additional annual fee when applicable

* $135.00 for vehicles 3,700 lbs. or less; $187.00 for vehicles over 3,700 lbs. $51.00 for historic motor vehicles.
** $15.00 (non-logo); $20.00 (bay or agricultural); $25.00 (logo); $50.00 (vanity).

Plate Disbursement

Upon registration of a vehicle, the MVA shall issue registration plates. Motorcycles, tractor vehicles, and trailers are to be issued 1 license plate, and every other vehicle shall be issued 2 plates.

On vehicles for which 2 plates are required, 1 plate shall be attached to the front of the vehicle and the other plate shall be attached to the rear of the vehicle.

On vehicles receiving just 1 plate, it shall be attached to the rear of the vehicle, with the exception of a tractor vehicle which is attached to the front.

Validations tabs are to be placed on the registration plates upon renewal of the vehicle registration.

Registration plates may be reflectorized, and shall have a durability of at least 5 years.

The color scheme for license plates is blue and red on white.

Vehicle dealers may issue 1 temporary registration plate to new owners, with the VIN and date of expiration clearly written on the tag.

Temporary plates expire upon the first to occur of the following: receipt of annual registration plates, rescission of the contract to buy the vehicle, or 60 days from issuance.

Personalized registration plates are available for an additional fee.

Persons presenting sufficient proof of a disability may obtain special disabled license plates.

Transfer of Plates

Registration plates expire upon transfer of ownership unless the former owner gives written permission to the transferee to use the plates. In such a case, the transferee may use the plates for 10 days prior to returning them to the MVA.

The former owner of a vehicle may transfer the registration plates from the sold vehicle to his new vehicle of the same class.

Driver’s License Examination

Each applicant for an original Driver’s license shall pass the following exams: a vision screening; a test indicating the ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic; a test of the applicant’s knowledge of the traffic laws of the state and safe driving practices; and a driving test.

The vision standards for a driver with restricted license are a visual acuity of 20/70 in at least 1 eye, and a continuous field of vision of at least 110 degrees with at least 35 degrees lateral to the midline of each side.

The MVA may issue a restricted license for daylight driving only to an applicant with at least 20/70 vision in 1 eye, and a continuous field of vision of at least 110 degrees with at least 35 degrees lateral to the midline of each side. The operator is allowed to operate a vehicle only from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

A driver with a telescopic lens placed at the top of a corrective vision lens is eligible for a Class C license if he or she demonstrates a visual acuity of at least 20/100 in 1 eye and a field of 150 degrees horizontal vision with or without corrective lenses; but if the applicant has vision in only 1 eye, he or she must demonstrate a field of at least 100 degrees horizontal vision. Applicants with a visual acuity of at least 20/70 in 1 eye are also eligible for a Class C license.

An applicant will be issued a commercial driver’s license when he or she has passed the knowledge and skills tests for driving a commercial motor vehicle which complies with the minimum federal standards established by the federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.


Graduated Driver’s Licensing

Maryland has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.

At 15 and 9 months, individuals are eligible for a learner’s permit.

  • While driving, learner’s permit holders must be accompanied by a qualified supervising driver who is 21 years or older and has held a license for a minimum of 3 years. The person must be seated beside the new driver at all times, with no other front seat occupants.
  • Drivers must hold the learner’s permit for at least 9 months and accumulate at least 60 hours (10 nighttime) of parental/guardian certified driving before being eligible for a provisional license.

At 16 and 6 months, drivers are eligible for a provisional license, providing they remain conviction-free or do not have a PBJ (probation before judgment) for a moving violation.

  • Provisional license holders may not drive unsupervised during the hours of midnight to 5 a.m. unless for school, sports, job or volunteer work. The nighttime driving restriction only applies to provisional license holders under 18.
  • For the first 5 months during this stage, drivers are prohibited from transporting passengers under the age of 18 (immediate family exempt and secondarily enforced).

At age 18, drivers are eligible for an unrestricted license.

Driver education and certification of practice driving are required of all initial applicants.


Driver’s License Issuance/Application

Driver’s License Issuance/ApplicationEach application for a driver’s license shall state the full name, address, race, sex, height, weight, general physical condition, and date of birth of the applicant; whether the applicant previously has been refused a license to drive; whether the applicant has previously been licensed to drive, and if so, whether the applicant has ever had a license suspended or revoked; a signature; and proof of age and identity, to include a verifiable social security number. Maryland also requires proof of legal presence.

Applications of a minor for a license shall be cosigned by a parent, guardian, or if the minor does not have a parent or guardian or is married, by an adult employer of the applicant or any other responsible adult.

The MVA shall suspend a license of a minor until he reaches 18 years of age, upon either a request by or the death of the signing adult.

A new resident holding a valid out-of-state driver’s license or a license expired for less than one year must obtain a Maryland license within 60 days. The applicant must submit an original age and identity document with a verifiable social security number, and pass a vision test.

A non-commercial Class A, B, C, or M license shall include the name and address of the licensee; date of birth; a description of the licensee, including height, weight, and sex; a color photograph; type or class of vehicles the licensee is authorized to drive; and the signatures of the issuing agent and the licensee.

The MVA may not include or encode an individual’s social security number on the license. License includes color photograph.

Licenses are to be carried at all times while operating a motor vehicle, and shall be displayed to any uniformed police officer upon demand.


Driver’s License Renewal

A license issued to a driver at least 21 years of age shall expire on the birth date of the licensee in the 8th year following the issuance of the license (as Maryland converts licenses from a 5-to-8-year period of validity, a license issued to a driver at least 21 years of age shall expire on the birth date of the licensee during this timeframe).

A license issued to a driver under the age of 21 shall expire 60 days after the driver’s 21st birthday.

The MVA may renew a license within 1 year after the expiration date without requiring a driving test.

Individuals between 21 and 40 years old are required to complete a vision test every other time their license is renewed. The MVA shall require every individual age 40 and older applying for renewal of a license to pass a vision test. The vision test may be waived if the applicant has passed an acceptable vision examination within the last 12 months.

Applicants age 70 and older must provide proof of previous satisfactory operation of a vehicle or physician’s certificate of fitness.

People out of state during the renewal process may renew by mail. A valid non-photo license is issued to people who renew by mail. The license must be exchanged for a photo license within 15 days after returning to the state.

A license held by active military personnel or a dependent outside of the state is valid for 30 days after re-entering the state. The license can also be renewed by mail.


Types of Driver’s Licenses

Commercial:

  • Class A: authorizes a licensee to drive any combination of vehicles (except motorcycles) and tow any trailer. Must have GVW 26,001 lbs or more or combined weight is 26,001 lbs or more and trailer is 10,000 lbs or more.
  • Class B: authorizes a licensee to drive vehicles with a registered GVW of 26,001 lbs. or more and tow trailers 10,000 lbs. or less. Exceptions include motorcycles and any combination of Class F tractors and Class G trailers.
  • Class C: authorizes a licensee to drive vehicles with a registered GVW under 26,001 lbs. and tow trailers 10,000 lbs. or less (except motorcycles).

Non-Commercial:

  • Class A: authorizes the licensee to drive any non-commercial vehicle (except motorcycles) and tow any non-commercial trailer. Must have GVW 26,001 lbs or more or combined weight is 26,0001 lbs or more and trailer is 10,000 LBS or more.
  • Class B: authorizes the licensee to drive any single or combination of non-commercial vehicles and tow any non-commercial trailers. Exceptions include motorcycles and any combination of Class F tractors and Class G trailers. Truck must have GVW of 26,0001 lbs or more, trailer must be 10,000 lbs or less.
  • Class C: authorizes the licensee to drive any non-commercial vehicle or combination of vehicles with a GVW less than 26,001 lbs. (except motorcycles) and tow any non-commercial trailer. Trailer must be 10,000 lbs or less.
  • Class M: authorizes the licensee to drive motorcycles.

Holders of Classes A-C non-commercial licenses may tow travel trailers, camping trailers, or boat trailers.

In Maryland, special provisions have been established for holders of Non-Commercial Class A-B licenses. Outside of their normal driving privilege, these holders can only operate vehicles in their respective class only for agriculture, emergency, United States Department of Defense, or recreational purposes.

Distracted Driving

Using a text messaging device to write, read, or send a text message while driving is prohibited for all drivers. The use of a handheld telephone is prohibited for all drivers.  The use of wireless communication devices by all drivers under 18 is prohibited.


Emergency Radio/Cellular

Citizen band radios are not monitored. Emergency cell phone number is 911. Non-emergency number is #77 or #SP.


Headsets

Wearing, either over or in both ears, earplugs, headsets, or earphones, is not permitted while driving. Exempts hearing aids; some other exceptions apply.


Impaired Driving

All 50 states and the District of Columbia prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, with the illegal per se limit set at 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (.08 BAC). All 50 states and the District of Columbia set the legal drinking age at 21.

Every state’s chemical test law has ‘‘an implied consent’’ provision providing that any person operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, who is suspected of driving while intoxicated, consents to a chemical test to determine if he or she is inebriated. Failure to submit or pass such a test may cause the driver’s license to be suspended or revoked regardless of any court action finding the person innocent of the charge.

The most comprehensive resource on U.S. impaired driving laws is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Digest of Impaired Driving and Selected Beverage Control Laws.  NHTSA’s Digest is updated annually.

Maryland requires the use of ignition interlocks for repeat and high BAC (.15 BAC or greater) impaired driving offenders. Other first offenders have the option of using ignition interlocks or may be required at judicial discretion. Effective October 1, 2016, Maryland requires the use of ignition interlocks for all impaired driving offenders.


Move Over Law

State law requires drivers traveling in the same direction and approaching a stopped emergency vehicle using flashing lights, including tow trucks, to change into a lane not immediately adjacent to the vehicle, if possible, or to slow to a speed safe for weather, road, and traffic conditions.


Seat Belts

Seat belts required for driver and all passengers age 16 and older.

Violation of the seat belt law in the backseat is a secondary offense. Other violations of the seat belt law are standard offenses.

Riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is not permitted form persons under age 16 if the vehicle is traveling more than 25 mph; proper child restraints are still required; some other exceptions apply.


Child Passenger Safety

Children under age 16 must be restrained in a seat belt or a child safety seat.

All children under age 8 must be secured in a child safety seat unless the child is 4 feet 9 inches or taller.

Violation of the child restraint law is a standard offense.


Railroad Crossing

A driver of a vehicle shall stop between 15-50 feet of a railroad crossing whenever a crossing gate is lowered, a flagman signals the approach or passage of a railroad train, a railroad train approaching within 1,500 feet of the crossing gives an audible signal that because of its speed or nearness it is an immediate danger, or a railroad train is plainly visible and is approaching dangerously near to the crossing.

The following vehicles are to stop at all railroad crossings: vehicles carrying passengers for hire; school vehicles carrying any passengers; every bus owned or operated by a church and carrying any passenger; every vehicle carrying flammable liquids or explosives; and every vehicle carrying hazardous materials.


School Buses

If a school vehicle has stopped on a roadway and is operating flashing red lights, the driver of any other vehicle on the roadway shall stop at least 20 feet from the school vehicle, and may not proceed until the school vehicle either resumes motion or the red lights are deactivated.

Drivers on the opposite side of a divided highway are not required to stop.

Monitoring cameras may be placed on county school buses to record other vehicles committing violations relating to overtaking and passing school vehicles.

School buses may not be operated at a speed exceeding 50 mph.

All school buses used for the transportation of children to and from schools shall be equipped with seat back crash pads.

School vehicles shall be painted national school bus yellow.

Bumper Height

A person may not operate a vehicle on any highway if the height of the vehicle’s bumpers exceed:

  • 20 inches for passenger vehicles;
  • 28 inches for multipurpose vehicles and trucks with GVW of 10,000 lbs. or less;
  • 30 inches for trucks with a GVW exceeding 10,000 lbs.; or
  • 32 inches for trucks used for spraying agricultural crops.

A bumper may not be modified or extended upward or downward to compensate for vehicle suspension or body alterations or modifications.


Headlight Use

Headlights must be used when wipers are in use or when visibility is less than 1000 feet.


Hazard Light Use

Hazard light use is not permitted while driving except in emergency situations.


Tire Chains

Tire chain usage is permitted for hazardous weather or other related incidents only, but may not damage the highway surface.


Studded Tires

Studded tires are not permitted, except in Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, and Washington Counties from November 1 to March 31.


Glass/Window Tinting

No window may have tinting applied that does not allow for at least 35% light transmission.

Aftermarket window tint is permissible on passenger cars, light trucks, vans, and multipurpose passenger vehicles. For passenger vehicles, all side and rear windows of these vehicles may be tinted provided the windows have at least 35% light transmittance after the application of the add on tint. Tint may not be applied to the windshield below the AS1 line or below 5 inches from the top of the windshield, whichever is less.

For light trucks, vans, and multipurpose passenger vehicles, side windows to the immediate right and left of the driver may be tinted provided the windows have at least 35% light transmittance. Windows of these vehicles to the rear of the driver may be tinted with add on window tint to any degree of darkness.

Tint may not be applied to the windshield below the AS1 line or below 5 inches from the top of the windshield, whichever is less.

All vehicles equipped with permitted post manufacture window tint on any side or rear window, must be equipped with an outside rear view mirror on each side.

The following aftermarket window tints are prohibited:

  • A mirrored or one-way vision effect or a sparkling effect
  • Red, yellow, or amber color.

Telematics

A motor vehicle may not be equipped with television-type receiving equipment or video display equipment that is turned on and displaying an image visible to the driver.

Vehicle navigation systems are allowed, as are satellite and broadcast radio, and displays related to the operation or safety of the vehicle.


Radar Detectors

Radar detectors are permitted for passenger vehicles but prohibited for use by commercial vehicles.


Windshield Stickers

No sign, poster, or other non-transparent material may be placed on the front windshield, other than a certificate or other paper required to be so displayed by law, or in compliance with security measures required by a federal or state government agency and approved by the MVA.


Other Equipment Rules

N/A

Motorcycle Equipment

The operator of a motorcycle may not carry any other person on the motorcycle unless it has a permanent seat to the side or behind the operator.

If any motorcycle carries a passenger other than in a sidecar or enclosed cab, the motorcycle shall be equipped with footrests for the passenger.

A person may not operate a motorcycle with handlebars more than 15 inches in height above the seat.

An individual may not operate or ride on a motorcycle unless the individual is wearing protective headgear.

An individual may not operate or ride on a motorcycle unless the individual is wearing protective eye gear, or the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen.

All face shields and protective eye gear must allow the wearer an angle of vision of not less than 105 degrees.

Every motorcycle shall be equipped with 1 or 2 headlamps, which shall be of sufficient intensity so that they can be seen from 100 feet if the motorcycle is traveling less than 25 mph, 200 feet if the motorcycle is traveling between 25-34 mph, and at least 300 feet if the motorcycle is traveling 35 mph or more.

Every motorcycle shall be equipped with at least 1 tail lamp, visible from a distance of 1,000 feet to the rear in normal atmospheric conditions at night.

Every motorcycle shall be equipped with a white light capable of illuminating the rear registration plate from a distance of 50 feet to the rear.

Every motorcycle shall be equipped with at least 1 red rear reflector, visible from distances 100-600 feet to the rear.

Every motorcycle shall be equipped with at least 1 stop lamp mounted on the rear.

Motorcycles manufactured after January 1, 1973 shall have turn signals.

Every motorcycle shall be equipped with 2 rearview mirrors, 1 each attached on the right and left handlebars.

A person may not operate a motorcycle that has 1.5 horsepower or less, or a capacity of less than 70 cubic centimeters piston displacement on a roadway where the speed limit is more than 50 mph, or on any expressway or controlled access highway.


Motorcycle Licenses

A Class M license authorizes the licensee to drive motorcycles, but an applicant must be age 16 years 3 months before obtaining a provisional license. The same application procedures for a motor vehicle apply to a motorcycle application.

An applicant under the age of 18 must complete a driver education and a motorcycle safety course.


Motorcycle Noise Limits

Maximum acceptable noise limits for motorcycles:

  • Motorcycles manufactured between July 1, 1975 and January 1, 1988: 83 decibels.
  • Motorcycles manufactured after January 1, 1988: 80 decibels.

Mopeds & Other

An individual with any valid class of vehicle license may operate a moped.

A moped operator’s permit is available to any individual age 16 or older who does not possess a valid driver’s license. The applicant must pass a vision test and a written test and pay the required fees.

A moped operator’s permit is valid for 5 years, and can be renewed upon application and payment of the required fee.

If a motor scooter has a capacity of 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement or more, the vehicle is treated like a motorcycle requiring its driver to title and register the motor scooter, as well as obtain a Class M Motorcycle license. If a motor scooter’s capacity is less than 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement, the vehicle does not have to be titled or registered. A Class M Motorcycle license is not required but the operator must have a valid driver license of any class of vehicle. A moped operator’s permit is also valid.

Trailer Dimensions

Total length: 55 feet (65 feet for travel trailers and boat transporters); trailer length: 35 feet; motor home length: 40 feet (45 feet on interstates); width: 8 feet 6 inches (excluding retractable awnings, and safety equipment and energy conservation devices up to 3 inches); height: 13 feet 6 inches.


Trailer Brakes

All trailers must be equipped with parking brakes adequate to hold the vehicle on any grade on which it is operated.

All trailers with a registered gross weight of at least 10,000 lbs. must be equipped with brakes on all wheels.

Trailers not exceeding 3,000 lbs. need not have brakes on all wheels, provided that the total weight of the trailers does not exceed 40% of the gross weight of the towing vehicle when connected to the trailer and the combination of vehicles is capable of complying with braking performance requirements.

Trailers between 3,000–10,000 lbs. need not have brakes on all wheels, provided that the trailer has 2 or more axles, is equipped with brakes acting on all wheels of at least 1 of the axles, and the combination of vehicles is capable of complying with braking performance requirements. Brakes shall be capable of remaining applied for at least 15 minutes on breakaway from the towing vehicle.

 


Trailer Hitch/Signals

Every full trailer shall be equipped with a tow bar and means of attaching the tow bar to the towing and towed units.

The tow bar and means of attaching the tow bar to the units shall be structurally adequate for the weight drawn; be mounted properly and securely, without excessive slack, but with enough play to allow for universal action of the connection; and have a suitable locking device to prevent accidental separation of the towed and towing vehicles.

The mounting of the trailer hitch of the towing vehicle shall include sufficient reinforcement or bracing of the frame to provide sufficient strength and rigidity to prevent undue distortion of the frame.

Every trailer and semitrailer equipped with a tow bar and any special mobile equipment being towed shall be coupled directly to the frame of the towing vehicle with 1 or more safety chains or cables, and the chains or cables shall be connected to the towed or towing vehicle and to the tow bar to prevent the tow bar from dropping to the ground if it fails.


Trailer Lighting

Every trailer shall be equipped with at least 2 rear tail lamps that emit a red light plainly visible from at least 1,000 feet to the rear.

Trailers manufactured before June 1, 1971 shall have at least 1 tail lamp that emits a red light plainly visible from a distance of at least 300 feet to the rear.

On a combination of vehicles, only the tail lamps on the rearmost vehicle need actually be seen from the required distance.

Every trailer shall have either a tail lamp or separate lamp that illuminates the rear license plate with a white light from a distance of at least 50 feet.

After July 1, 1971, every trailer shall carry on the rear, either as part of the tail lamps or separately, 2 or more red reflectors visible from all distances between 100-600 feet behind the vehicle.

Before July 1, 1971, every trailer shall carry on the rear, either as part of the tail-lamps or separately, 1 or more red reflectors visible from all distances between 100-600 feet behind the vehicle.

Every trailer manufactured after July 1, 1971 shall be equipped with at least 2 stop lamps shaded either red or amber and visible from a distance of 300 feet to the rear in normal sunlight, while vehicles manufactured before that date must have at least 1 stop lamp.

Every trailer manufactured after July 1, 1971 shall be equipped with electric turn signals on the rear of the vehicle of the vehicle and shall emit a red or amber light.

Trailers and semitrailers 80 inches or more in overall width shall have: on the front, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side; on the rear, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side, and after June 1, 1971, 3 identification lamps grouped in a horizontal row, with lamp centers between 6 and 12 inches apart, and mounted on the permanent structure of the vehicle as close as practicable to the vertical centerline; on each side, 2 side marker lamps, 1 at or near the front and 1 at or near the rear; and on each side, 2 reflectors, 1 at or near the front and 1 at or near the side.

Rear reflectors on pole trailers may be mounted on each side of the bolster or load.

Clearance lamps shall be mounted so as to indicate the extreme width of the motor vehicle, not including mirrors, and as near the top of the vehicle as practicable.

When rear identification lamps are mounted at the extreme height of the vehicle, rear clearance lamps may be mounted at an optional height.

When mounting of the front clearance lamps at the highest point of a trailer results in those lamps failing to mark the extreme width of the trailer, they may be mounted at an optional height, but must indicate the extreme width of the trailer.

Front, side, and rear clearance and identification lamps shall be capable of being seen at all distances between 500 and 50 feet from the front and rear, respectively.

Trailers and semitrailers 30 feet or more in overall length shall have on each side, one amber side marker lamp and one amber reflector, centrally located with respect to the length of the vehicle.

Front clearance lamps, identification lamps, and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle shall be amber. Real clearance lamps, identification lamps, and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the rear or on the sides near the rear of a vehicle shall be red.


Trailer Mirrors

Where the view through the inside mirror is obstructed, 2 outside rearview mirrors are required.


Trailer Speed Limits

Same as passenger cars.


Trailer Towing

If a trailer is towed by a Class E truck, it must have a GVW of 20,000 lbs. or less.

If a trailer is towed by a Class A passenger vehicle or a Class M multipurpose vehicle, it must have a GVW of 10,000 lbs. or less.

Class A and Class M vehicles may only tow the following: boat trailers; camping trailers; travel trailers; house trailers; or utility trailers.


Trailer Other Provisions

Passengers are permitted in mobile homes but not travel trailers.

Accident Reporting

Crashes are required to be reported when in cases of injury or death.

The deadline to file a report is 15 days.


Bail Bonds

AAA Mid-Atlantic does not offer arrest bond guarantees as part of its membership.


Liability Laws

Compulsory liability minimum $30,000/60,000/15,000, and uninsured motorist coverage in like amounts. Unless waived by insured, policy shall provide no-fault coverage for medical, hospital, and disability benefits up to $2,500. General damages: no limit.

Liability insurance coverage is required at all times. Registration plates must be returned to the MVA immediately after cancellation of insurance or transfer of ownership of the vehicle. MVA monitors vehicle insurance status through several enforcement programs. If a vehicle owner is involved in an enforcement program, they must submit verification of their liability insurance to MVA upon request or face suspension of current and future registration privileges. Monetary penalties up to $2,500 per year are also imposed if vehicle is found to be uninsured.

State has non-resident service of process law; does not have guest suit law.


Weigh Stations

The Department of State Police maintains 7 vehicle weighing and measuring stations, with 1 station on Interstate 95.

The following vehicles must stop: (1) agricultural vehicles over 10,000 lbs.; (2) all commercial vehicles over 10,000 lbs.; (3) commercial buses carrying over 16 passengers; (4) any hazardous material haulers requiring placards.


Bicycles

Bicycle helmets are required for riders under age 16.

Drivers passing a bicycle must pass with a space of 3 feet between the motor vehicle and the bicycle.


Other

Maryland is party to the Non-resident Violator Compact.