Maryland MVA Bulletin to dealers on trade-ins and registration fees

Maryland MVA Bulletin to dealers on trade-ins and registration fees

The following alerts came from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to dealers last week in the form of an MVA Bulletin, dated May 6, 2016. The Bulletin dealt with trade-in allowance and registration fees.

Trade-in allowance

MVA has determined that auto sales transactions to consumers involving trade-ins are being processed by dealers with trade-in valuations that are too high and not substantiated by acceptable used car value publications and/or proper documentation. Whether the value is overstated to be higher than it should be, or not documented with backup paper work, MVA reminds dealers of their obligation to correctly value trade-ins as part of the sales transaction, to include supporting paper work.

According to MVA, proper documentation includes the following:

1. Evidence of the amount required to release the lien on the trade-in;

2. Evidence of vehicle customization that increases the vehicle value;

3. A current valuation from an alternative used car value book, acceptable to MVA; or,

4. The actual resale price of a vehicle taken in trade that has been sold.

To help ensure compliance with the law, MVA is asking for one of these forms of documentation to justify higher trade-in values:

« A copy of lien release, with payoff amount of trade-in;

« A copy of page from national publication of used-car values that displays the trade-in vehicleês make, model, year, VIN and listing of customized values selected; or

« A statement from the dealer — on dealership letterhead — identifying the trade-in vehicle by make, model, year, and VIN, along with a listing of customized items and the value assessed.

Registration fees

On another front, MVA reports they are concerned that dealers arenêt charging current registration fees. MVA uncovered this through audits of the dealers by its Business Licensing Division. Dealers are reminded that the buyerês order must show the same fees as the fees noted on the transaction receipt from MVA and the vendorês software. If the dealerês system defaults to the higher registration fee, the dealer should contact his or her vendor immediately to resolve the issue.

The fees collected from the customer should be accurate and compared with the buyerês order before submitting the transaction electronically, or through a field office. If a customer is overcharged, the additional fees should be immediately refunded by the dealer.

Visit for the current listing of registration fees. Questions should be directed to the MVA at

Download Bulletin PDF