How to Return License Plates to Maryland MVA

Maryland law needs an individual to return their licence plates to the MVA as and when their vehicle’s insurance gets cancelled or in case an individual is planning to move out of Maryland and will not require the plate anymore. Under any of these conditions, the individual is eligible to get a partial refund against the returned licence plate. However, a process needs to be followed to return the MVA licence plate to keep the process simple and hassle-free. 

What Do I Need to Return License Plates in MD

In Maryland license plate return is important under conditions like- insurance cancelled or moving out of Maryland. In either of the case, the licence needs to be returned and in lieu a person is eligible for a partial refund. There is a certain process to do the same- 

  1. Individuals can return the plates in person at any of the MVA branch office. 
  2. Licence can be returned to any of the authorized MVA tag and title service providers. 
  3. You can also drop the licence plate into the drop box of return plates within 24 hours. 
  4. One could also mail the same to the MVA office through a certified mail and request for a return receipt for the same. 

How to Return Maryland License Plates by Mail

In order to return the Maryland licence plate, there are several processes to follow. However, if you wish to return the same via a registered mail, you need to follow a simple process. There is no need to book an maryland department of motor vehicles appointment for the same as you can directly mail your license plate to the MVA office. Use the official address provided on their website to post the return licence plate along with the phone numbers, etc. Do not forget to ask for a return receipt on package receipt to ensure your package is rightly delivered. 

How Long Do You Have to Return License Plates in Maryland?

Generally, one should return the licence plate no longer in use within 24hours. Post 6 weeks of the return of the licence plate to the official centre, the refund amount should reflect in the individual’s account. However, in case a refund is not reflected, one should reach out to the official at the MV office. MD drivers license from out of state should also be returned to their respective branch offices, when not in use anymore. 

Maryland License Plate Return Form

One should use the Maryland licence plate return form to fill in the details and descriptions and then submit the licence plate to the authorized centres or send it via mail to the official office address of MV. Please find the licence plate return form given below.

How to Check Maryland MVA Return Tags Refund

Once you license plate return mva, in normal course you must receive you refund within 6 weeks of returning the plates. However, if in case you fail to receive the same within the given time, you can always get in touch with the MVA branch office to enquire about the status of your return tags refund. Even the maryland temp plates should be returned back once the permanent tag is received to avoid any penalties. You can directly call on the official number of your nearest branch office of MVA or make a personal visit to enquire about your refund status.

Fine for Not Returning License Plates in Maryland

There is an officially levied fine for returning the licence plates within the given time limit in Maryland. $150 is the levied penalty for the first month followed by $7 for rest of the days, one fails to return the plates.

In case you’re uncertain about the status of your license plates or suspect that there might be an issue with your MVA records, it’s a wise decision to perform an MVA license suspension check to ensure you’re in compliance with Maryland’s regulations.

Do You Need an Appointment to Return Plates in MD

As per the MD law, licence plates must be returned within 24 hours of their non-continuance. To return the plates, no appointment needs to be booked. One can directly walk-in to their nearest MV brand office or mail the same to their official address or simply drop the plates in the drop box, available at each branch office. 

Can You Cancel Insurance Before Turning In Plates in MD

One should never cancel their insurance unless they are sure that MDOT MVA has received their license plates. Failing which, you may be liable to pay a penalty. So, never do the same. 


Maryland’s MVA return plates process is straightforward and penalty-free for timely returns. If you’re looking for an alternative, consider donating your vehicle to a charity (MVA gift car). This not only benefits those in need but may also offer advantages to the donor. You can return plates by walking in, mailing them, or using the drop box at branch offices, which provide various services to vehicle owners, from title transfers to Maryland driving records and lost license plate assistance.

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