Gifting a vehicle from DC to MD

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Topic: Gifting a vehicle from DC to MD

Auto January 17, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Gifting a vehicle from DC to MD

Hi all – 
My friend has generously offered to give me her car. All i have to do is complete the transfer of title/registration process. Looking for info on how to do this has led me on an hour-long search through DC and MD DMV and government websites. I’m hoping someone here can help me out. First, some more details:
*roommate is not charging me anything for the car. It’s a 1998 Saturn coupe.
*car was previously registered under my friend’s name, in DC
*car is not currently registered
*I am currently living in DC but moving to MD
What do I have to do to get this car’s title legally transferred into my name? 
Thanks a lot for any help –

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I’ve only done this once and the circumstances were slightly different in that the car was from NC and being given to me in DC. I could be missing some necessary info but, to my knowledge, all you need to do is transfer the title to your name. This is as simple as going to a bank so that a notary can witness the transfer. Once the transfer is officially in your name then the ball is in your court to get the car registered, etc. If the car is not registered to anyone right now I don’t know if/how this could affect things. I would say, however, that if you are moving to MD soon then I would wait to register the car until you move so you don’t have to deal with DC DMV and then MD’s DMV. It’s a pretty basic (albeit time-consuming, tedious) process (in no particular order) of registering your vehicle, getting your tags, getting your title, getting your insurance, and paying tax on the car, which is determined at the DMV. Hope this helps – good luck!

Disclaimer: Not intended to be legal advice. Because giving the car as a gift may have tax implications, you may want to have her “sell” it to you for a nominal amount– I’ve heard of other people doing this, but I’m not sure why. You may want to research it.

The process:
-become a MD resident & get MD license
-insure the vehicle & take proof of insurance and car’s title [signed over to you] to MD MVA along with a bill of sale [does not need to be notarized]:
and the ‘Application for Certificate of Title’:
Even though someone gave you the car, you’re better off having them ‘sell’ it to you for $700 on paper, and pay the appropriate taxes [6% = $42].  If you claim it was free, you will probably have to provide additional/notarized documentation.  Suck it up and pay the $42.
As the vehicle is not currently registered and located out of the state of MD, you will need temp tags – tell the MVA agent this and get 30 day tags. You then need to get the vehicle inspected. Most good gas station in MD can do this. Once you have the inspection certificate, go back to the MVA and finish the process by getting your real tags.  Feel free to email me at my username @gmail if you have any questions.  Just helped my mom go through the process [twice].

All very good responses, the only thing I would add from my experience is to ask the owner if they have proof of payment of taxes when they originally bought the car. In the end, I had to pay additional tax because the owner couldn’t find proof (original sales receipt) that tax had been paid in the state the car was purchased.

A friend of mine (in VA) gave her car to her sister (in MD) and I recall her car didn’t pass vehicle emissions testing in MD so she had to have it fixed up at the last minute.  Just something else to keep in mind.

I recently transferred a car from my parents name to mine (Titile and registration in MD) to be able to register it in DC. When I was looking through title transfer info in MD, there was a tax or large fee if it was not being transferred to a direct family member. I wish I knew more specifics, but I imagine DC has a similar policy for taxing the transfer of the vehicle (as someone else has mentioned), so I would definitley be prepared for that.

I transferred a title in DC on a gift car, and it cost me over $700 in excise taxes. They look up the current value in their computer and charge you a high % excise tax. They really should have to offer to buy the car for the value they claim, because there was no way my POS car should have required a $700 payment. But I digress – if you try to transfer the title in DC, you’re going to pay a big excise tax.

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