Maryland Vehicle Safety Inspection

When does a vehicle require the MD State Vehicle Inspection?

Unlike most other states, vehicles do not require inspection on a regular basis. Maryland state law requires inspections for the following two scenarios:

  1. The vehicle is registered in another state and the owner has moved to Maryland. There is a time period of 60 days to register the vehicle in Maryland, and registration requires the vehicle pass the Maryland state safety inspection.
  2. When residents of Maryland purchase, inherit, or are given a used vehicle, a Maryland Safety Inspection certificate dated no more than 90 days prior to the vehicle registration date. The certificate is only valid for 90 days.

Note: When a new car is purchased from an out-of-state dealer an inspection is not required as only used vehicles require the inspection.

Where in Maryland can a vehicle be inspected?

Only certificates from authorized safety inspections, such as A1 Auto Three Brothers, are accepted by the MVA. A1 Auto Three Brothers is station #5916 and employs Master Technicians that are certified by Maryland to perform vehicle safety inspections. Typically, a Maryland State Vehicle Inspection requires between 45 to 90 minutes, dependent upon the type of vehicle.

What is covered by the Maryland State Vehicle Safety Inspection?

Dependent upon the capacity and type of vehicle, varying items require inspection. Usually, the inspected items are the brakes, steering, lights, safety belts, exhaust, and other various crucial parts of the vehicle. The MVA website has a complete listing of all items on the list.

In addition to other things, Maryland maintains regulations as related to windows that are tinted. Owners of vehicles that have tinted windows should be aware of the following considerations:

  • Whereas before 2012, vehicles with tinted windows required a Maryland State Police Officer from the ASED to sign off on tinted windows. Currently, this can be done at any Maryland State Inspection facility like A1 Auto Three Brothers.
  • Tinting on all standard sedan vehicles must allow at least 35% of light to pass through the tinted windows.
  • Amber, yellow, and red tinted windows are not allowed by law.
  • Only the top 5 inches of a windshield are permitted to be tinted.
  • On limousines, SUVs, and trucks, only the two front passenger windows and windshield have to meet the 35% requirement. Rear windows may be tinted as dark as desired.
  • In a situation that less than 35% of the light penetrates the vehicle's tinting, the vehicle fails inspection and the tint must be removed.
  • Non-factory tint that is custom is required to be measured and A1 Auto Three Brothers may request a separate fee for this procedure.
  • When planning to remove tint, removing it from vehicle prior to inspection will avoid any charges.
What if vehicle fails inspection?

When a vehicle passes inspection, A1 Auto Three Brothers will issue an inspection certificate that can be taken to a local MVA office when applying for title and registration. When a vehicle passes the safety inspection, reasons will be provided as well as recommendations from A1 Auto Three Brothers. At this time the option will be to have A1 Auto Three Brothers perform repairs or take the car to the auto repair shop of your choice.

A few considerations to keep in mind:

A period of 30 days or 100 miles (whichever occurs first) from the date of inspection is required to complete the repairs. The vehicle then requires re-inspection for a certificate of compliance to be issued.

In such a situation that a repair can be confirmed visually, such as a new light or windshield wiper, during re-inspection, there normally is not any additional fee charged.

When a re-inspection requires the vehicle being lifted or the removal of parts, there may be re-inspection charge. This will vary depending on A1 Auto Three Brothers policies.

A1 Auto Three Brothers hopes this information has provided some clarity to the process of having a vehicle inspected to comply with Maryland state regulations. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.