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Everything You Need to Know About Maryland Vehicle Safety Inspection

vehicle speed meterWhen do you need to get your vehicle inspected?

In Maryland, unlike in many other states, you don’t need to have your vehicle inspected on a regular basis. According to the Maryland law, you only need to have your car inspected in two situations:


(1)    Your vehicle is registered in another state and you have just moved to Maryland. In this case, you have 60 days to register your vehicle in Maryland, and to do that your car must pass Maryland state inspection.

(2)    You are a resident of Maryland and you have become an owner of a used vehicle (you purchased, inherited it or it was a gift). You will need a Maryland Safety Inspection certificate dated no more than 90 days prior to the registration date. This means even if the car you bought has already been inspected this year, you will still need to go through the inspection process again, because the certificate is only valid for 90 days.

Note: if you have purchased your new car from an out-of-state dealership, you don’t need to obtain the inspection certificate. Only used vehicles are required to be inspected.

Where can you get your vehicle inspected in Maryland?

MVA will only accept certificates from authorized safety inspection stations located in Maryland. Ormsby Auto is a station #8047-A and we have several Master Technicians certified by the State of Maryland who can perform safety inspections. A typical inspection usually takes between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours depending on the type of the vehicle.

What does Maryland Safety Inspection cover?

Depending on the type and capacity of the vehicle, different items may be inspected. Generally, the safety inspection covers breaks, steering, lights, exhaust, safety belts and other crucial components of the vehicle. You can refer to the MVA website for the complete list.

Among other things, State of Maryland has certain regulations when it comes to tinted windows. If your car has tinted windows, here’s what you need to know:

-    Prior to 2012 you had to have Maryland State Police Officer from ASED division measure and sign off on your window tint. Now you can have it done at any Maryland State Inspection facility.

-    All windows on a standard sedan vehicle have to let through at least 35% of light.

-    Red, yellow, amber and reflective tint is prohibited by law.

-    Only top 5 inches of a windshield can be tinted.

-    On SUVs, trucks and limousines only the front windshield and two front passenger windows have to meet the 35% requirement; back windows can be as dark as you wish.

-    If less that 35% of light is coming through, the vehicle fails inspection and the tint must be removed.

-    All non-factory custom tint has to be measured and stations may request a separate fee for this procedure.

-    If you plan on removing the tint anyway, remove it prior to an inspection to avoid being charged for tint measurement.

What happens if you don’t pass the inspection?

If everything checks out, the safety inspection station will issue an inspection certificate that you can take to your local MVA office to apply for title and registration. If your car fails the inspection, you will be given a reason why and a recommendation from your mechanic. You have an option to have the necessary repairs performed at the inspection station or you could take your car to your preferred auto service shop.

A few things to keep in mind:

-    You will have 30 days or 1000 miles (whichever occurs first) from the initial inspection to complete the repairs, bring the car for re-inspection and be issued a certificate of compliance. If you wait longer, you will have to start all over.

-    If the repair can be visually confirmed (e.g. new light or a replaced windshield wiper) during the re-inspection, you shouldn’t be charged additional fee for it.

-    If the re-inspection requires lifting the vehicle or removing components, you may be charged for re-inspection, depending on the station’s policies.

We hope we made the procedure of inspecting your car in MD a bit clearer. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and we’ll explain all ins and outs in more detail.