Junkyard Regulations


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The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) Office of Real Estate is responsible for regulating junkyards within 1,000 feet of a Federal-Aid Primary, National Highway System or Interstate highway. Junkyards include automobile graveyards, landfills, and recycling operations along state-maintained highways.

Junkyards built or expanded after January 1, 1968 must have an MDOT SHA junkyard license and conform to all federal and State regulations.

Junkyards established before January 1, 1968 are considered “non-conforming” and do not need an MDOT SHA license but must be monitored on a regular basis. Non-conforming junkyards cannot expand their operation without first obtaining all necessary federal/State approvals and licenses.

Enforcement actions by MDOT SHA occur in partnership with the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) and Maryland State Police (MSP).

What is classified as a junkyard?

A junkyard is an establishment or place of business that maintains, operates or is used for storing, keeping, buying, or selling items classified as junk.  Junkyards include automobile graveyards, garbage dumps, sanitary landfills and recycling operations along State-maintained highways.

Why do I need a junkyard license?

The Federal Highway Beautification Act of 1965 requires states to provide effective control of junkyards along federally-funded highways. In addition, State laws regulate junkyards along state-maintained highways (Sections 8-801 thru 8-812, of the Annotated Code of Maryland). These laws allow MDOT SHA, as the regulatory agency, to monitor junkyards and keep our highways and roadsides beautiful and safe.

What is the annual cost of a junkyard license?

The annual license fee is $100. The license must be renewed each year before December 31.

Am I required to renew my license to operate my junkyard, landfill, or recycling operation each year?

Yes; the license expires on December 31st and must be renewed annually.

Does my property need to be screened along the highway?​

Any new junkyard, landfill, or recycling operation established after January 1, 1968 must be screened according to federal and State regulations. Junkyards and businesses established before 1968 must also maintain their existing screening along the highway.

Contact Information

To obtain a license or seek information about this MDOT SHA junkyard control program, contact the MDOT SHA Headquarters Office of Real Estate:

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration
Office of Real Estate
707 North Calvert Street – Mail Stop M201
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-545-2819 or 1-888-204-4245 (toll-free)