Vehicle Safety Inspection

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 certification. 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 certification. Once your vehicle is inspected your inspection certification will be electronically sent to the MVA.

How do I obtain a Maryland Safety Inspection Certification for my vehicle?
To obtain an inspection certification, you must have your vehicle inspected at a licensed vehicle safety inspection station in Maryland. There are approximately 1,600 of these facilities throughout the state.  Stations are authorized to inspect certain types of vehicles, some inspect multiple types, see below for the station class you need.  Most vehicles on the road are class A vehicles.

Vehicle Classes
  • Class A - Passenger vehicles, autocycles, limousines, multipurpose passenger vehicles, recreational motor homes and trucks 10,000 pounds and under GVWR, and trailers not equipped with air brakes. 
  • Class B - Any trailer, including those equipped with air brakes.
  • Class C - Trucks, truck tractors, buses, recreational motor homes, converted buses, and limousines over 10,000 pounds GVWR.
  • Class M - Motorcycles, 3-wheeled motorcycles, and trailers that are not equipped with air brakes.
  • Class T - Any trailer not equipped with air brakes.
  • Class R - Recreational motor homes and converted buses.
Always inquire whether the station has the proper authorization to inspect your vehicle.  To locate a licensed vehicle safety inspection station near you use this link Inspection Station Lookup.

It is recommended that you schedule the safety inspection with the inspection station.  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 certification, you may qualify for a 30-day temporary registration that will enable you to legally drive the vehicle to the inspection station.  It is the vehicle owner’s responsibility to legally transport the vehicle to the ​inspection station. 

The Inspection is completed electronically within the Maryland Safety Inspection System.  Once the vehicle is determined to meet or exceed the Maryland Safety Standards the inspection mechanic will electronically certify the inspection and the information is transmitted electronically to the MVA.  The owner should provide an email address so they will be able to receive the electronic receipt of the inspection. 

If the customer has a temporary vehicle registration, the business day following a passed inspection, the customer can go online:  myMVA to have the registration card and stickers, valid for two years, mailed to them, eliminating a trip to the MVA.

What happens if my vehicle fails the safety inspection?
If your vehicle fails to meet any safety standard, the Maryland Inspection Certification 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.

  • The fee for a vehicle safety inspection varies with the inspection station’s labor rate. Maryland regulations regulate the number of labor hours billed by the station for an inspection, but they do not regulate the station’s labor rate. The fee charged for a safety inspection must be prominently displayed in each station.
  • The fee for the re-inspection of a vehicle varies with the inspection station’s labor rate and the specific parts or systems that need to be re-inspected. A re-inspection fee is not to be charged if the repair can be visually confirmed, such as an inoperable light.  If the re-inspection requires jacking, lifting, measuring, or testing the vehicle, a prorated fee may be charged. 

Contact Information:

Maryland State Police
Automotive Safety Enforcement Division (ASED)
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062


For Telephone Questions:
MVA Customer Service Center:    1-800-950-1MVA (1682) or 410-768-7000
Out-of-State:                                      1-301-729-4550
TTY/Hearing Impaired:                    1-301-729-4563

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