I am new to Maryland and am trying to resister and title my vehicle. On the MVA website, it states the following:

If you qualify for the tax credit by titling in MD within 60 days of residency, vehicle(s) titled in a state with a tax rate equal to or higher than Maryland's 6% tax rate will cost $100.

If the vehicle is registered in a state that imposes no tax or you have been a resident over 60 days, the tax will be assessed at 6% of the value of the vehicle.

I do not want to pay an extra 6% of my car’s value, but I have no clue when the start of residency is. Does it refer to the start of my apartment lease, my actual move-in date (a couple of months after the lease started), the 183rd day living in Maryland (full-time tax residency definition), or when I get my driver’s license?

How do they determine the residency start date?

1 Answer 1


There is a requirement that you register your vehicle in Maryland within 60 days of having moved to Maryland. There is no statutory definition of "moving", so the courts apply an "ordinary meaning" interpretation to the concept. Various things constitute evidence that you have "moved" to a new state, for example, moving out of some other state and arriving in Maryland. Tax residency is completely unrelated to vehicle-registration residency (or in-state tuition residency). It has nothing to do with your driver's license, and everything to do with actually living in Maryland. It also does not have anything to do with signing a lease. For example, if you stay with a friend for a few weeks after arriving in Maryland, you have been living in Maryland. It is possible that you are on a road trip (with all of your stuff, having decided that no matter what you won't live in Ohio anymore), spend a week on vacation in Maryland, then decide "I should just live here", in that case there is some discrepancy between when you first appeared in the state vs. when you started "living" there. Barring any such complications, it starts with when you arrived in Maryland, with the intention to live there.

The lease / move-in discrepancy is mildly peculiar, but I can imagine a situation where you have to nab an apartment in advance, while living in Ohio, and then you actually move there two months later. It comes down to when you actually started living there, even if you leave the state for short trips.

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