Commercial and recreational water vessels equipped with mechanical propulsion must be titled and registered in Maryland through the Department of Natural Resources. Boat trailers, however, must be titled and registered through the Department of Transportation.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources imposes a 5 percent excise tax on boat purchases, which must be registered and paid within 30 days of tax liability. Trailers, however, are not included within the purchase price and must be titled and registered separately through the Department of Transportation.
Trailer Titling and Registration
All trailers used mainly in the state of Maryland must be titled and registered under the same regulations that apply to all Class A motor vehicles. Homemade trailers must be photographed for application for a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) before registration.
Certificate of Inspection
Used trailers must be inspected for safety by a licensed Maryland inspection station before titling and registration. Service centers and dealerships across the state are available to perform this service.
Obtaining or Transferring Plates
Upon application, license plates are issued based on the type of vehicle. An owner may transfer plates from a previous vehicle to a newly-acquired vehicle of the same type, including boat trailers.
Boat trailers must carry liability, personal injury and uninsured motorist coverage. These coverages are generally available as riders to your auto insurance policy. Proof of insurance is required for trailer registration.
Article Written By Timothy Aldinger
Timothy Aldinger brings 20 years of experience as an instructional design consultant and corporate training strategist in the automotive, environmental, health and insurance industries. His professional writings have been published by Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Corporation, General Motors, Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan and many other major corporations. Aldinger received his Bachelor of Arts in political theory from Michigan State University.