Maryland State Vehicle Safety Inspection
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Most used vehicles are required by Maryland Law to undergo a safety inspection prior to its sale or transfer. Generally, the seller or transferor of the vehicle is required to obtain the inspection certificate. However, for class E trucks (exceeding ¾ ton manufacturer’s rated capacity), class F truck tractors, and class G freight trailers, semi-trailers and dump service semi-trailers, either the seller/transferor or the purchaser/transferee may obtain the inspection certificate. The purchaser/transferee then submits the inspection certificate to the MVA in order to register the vehicle.
How do I obtain a Maryland Inspection Certificate for my vehicle?
To obtain an inspection certificate, you must have your vehicle inspected at an authorized safety inspection station in Maryland. The Maryland State Police has licensed the Western Tires and Auto facility to perform these inspections:
Light trucks and SUV’s with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less
Trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less
It is best if you schedule the safety inspection first, by phone. Also, before you bring the vehicle to be inspected, ensure that it is properly registered, either in Maryland or in another state. If you are not able to register the vehicle because it has not yet received a safety inspection, you may qualify for a 30-day temporary registration that will enable you to legally drive the vehicle to our inspection station.
When we have finished the inspection, we will prepare an inspection report that shows the vehicle parts or systems examined and whether or not they have met Maryland’s standards.
If the vehicle meets all safety standards, the registered inspection mechanic will prepare and give you two copies of the Maryland Inspection Certificate. You should take the MVA copy (green) to any full service MVA branch office and submit it with the other documents needed to title and register your vehicle in Maryland. The Purchaser’s copy (goldenrod) is for your records. If a dealer owns the vehicle, the Purchaser’s copy must be affixed to the vehicle’s window.
What happens if my vehicle fails the safety inspection?
If your vehicle fails to meet even one safety standard, the Maryland Inspection Certificate cannot be issued. You must have the problem(s) identified on the station’s inspection report fixed and then have the vehicle re-inspected by the same registered inspection mechanic at the same station. You have the option of fixing the problem yourself, having the inspection station fix the problem, or taking the vehicle to another facility for repairs.
If the vehicle is re-inspected within 30 days after the original inspection date and you have driven it less than 1,000 miles, the inspection station will only need to inspect the defective equipment identified during the inspection. However, if a new defect is visually observed during the re-inspection, the newly discovered defect must also be repaired and re-inspected. See Maryland's regulations (COMAR 11.14.01.10 A(3)) for details. Note that the inspection station can charge you for each re-inspection, unless the repair can be visually veriifed. If you wait too long, however, you will have to pay for a new, complete inspection.
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