Safety Vehicle Inspection


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 approximately 1,600 of these facilities in all parts of the state. Click here to find an inspection station near you that can provide an inspection for your type of vehicle.  Most stations are authorized to inspect:

  • Passenger cars;
  • Light trucks and SUV’s with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less; and
  • Trailers that are 20 feet in length or less, without air brakes.

To be safe, always inquire whether the station has the proper authorization to inspect your vehicle. 

It is best if you schedule the safety inspection first, by phone.  Also, before you take 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 the inspection station.

The safety inspection should take about 1-½ hours for most vehicles once the registered inspection mechanic begins work.  Certain vehicles (e.g., trailers) may take less time so it is best to check with the station.  When the mechanic has finished, he will prepare an inspection report that shows the vehicle parts or systems examined and whether or not they have met Maryland’s standards.  See Appendix A for more information.

If the vehicle meets all safety standards, the registered inspection mechanic will prepare and give you two copies of the Maryland Inspection Certificate, or electronically transmit the e-inspection to the MVA.  You should take the MVA copy (green) to any full service MVA branch officeor a licensed tag and title serviceand 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.  Click here to verify an e-inspection certificate has been electronically sent to the MVA.

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 initial 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 (A(3)) for details.  Note that the inspection station can charge you for each re-inspection, unless the repair can be visually verified.  If you do not have the vehicle re inspected within 30 days or you exceed 1,000 miles, you will be required to pay for a new, complete inspection.