There are three types of vehicle registration systems:
- Year-Round Registration
- Four-Month Non-Staggered Registration
- Four-Month Staggered Registration
Year-Round Registration: Individuals
Most counties have year-round registration. Individuals (not businesses) who reside in these counties have a thirty-day (30) period before their birthday to register. This period ends at midnight on the birthday of the first person listed on the title and/or tag registration certificate (tag receipt). For example, if your birthday is July 8, your registration period would be June 9 to July 8.
Year-Round Registration: Businesses and IRP
Businesses are a bit different. Since they don't really have a birthday, the registration period depends on the first letter of the business name (the name listed first on the vehicle's title and/or tag registration certificate). This is the same system used for vehicles registered in Georgia under the International Registration Plan (IRP). If you are an individual and primary owner, use the first character of your last name (as shown on the vehicle's cab card) to determine your registration month. Listed below is the schedule:
A or B: January
C or D: February
E or F: March
G or H: April
I or J: May
K or L: June
M or N: July
O or P: August
Q or R: September
S or T: October
U, V, or W: November
X, Y, or Z: December
Year-Round Registration: Other
The registration period for vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds (non-IRP) and trucks transporting forest products is December 1 through February 15. Vehicles operating interstate in this category must obtain an apportioned license plate. Apportioned license plates are issued by this Department's International Registration Plan (IRP) of the Motor Vehicle Division. Keep in mind that forest products include pulpwood, pulpwood chips, logs, raw gum, fuel wood, bark, pine straw, pinecones, and other unprocessed products of the forest. It does not include lumber, which is a manufactured product, or any other product manufactured or distilled from the trees of the forest.
Note: Owners of trucks or truck-tractors to whom Forest Product Tags have been issued may transport skidders, tractors, loaders and other logging equipment owned by the owner of such trucks or truck-tractors.
Four-Month Non-Staggered Registration
There are four (4) counties that participate in four-month non-staggered registration:
The registration period for residents and businesses located in one of these counties is January 1 through April 30.
Four-Month Staggered Registration: Individuals
Talbot County is the only four-month staggered registration system. As with year-round registration, if you live in Talbot County, use your birthday to determine when to register (or the birthday of the owner whose name appears first on your vehicle's title or tag receipt). Use the table below to determine which month you would be able to register.
Birthday Month: Registration Period
January, February, or March: January 1 - January 31
April, May, or June: February 1 - February 28 (or February 29 in a Leap Year)
July, August, or September: March 1 - March 31
October, November, or December: April 1 - April 30
Four-Month Staggered Registration: Businesses
As with registration for year round businesses, four-month staggered business registration uses the first alpha character of the business name that appears first on the vehicle's title and tag receipt to determine the correct registration period.
A, B, C, or D: January 1 - January 31
E, F, G, H, I, J, or K: February 1 - February 28 (February 29 in a Leap Year)
L, M, N, O, P, Q, or R: March 1 - March 31
S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z: April 1 - April 30