Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO)

A Maryland State Police trooper or other law enforcement officer may issue a Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO) to the operator of a vehicle that is observed to be defective or not functioning in accordance with Maryland laws and regulations. Appendix A lists the types of defects for which a SERO can be issued.

The SERO requires the vehicle owner to have the problems cited on the SERO repaired within 10 days, and a certification of the repair to be submitted to the Maryland State Police (MSP) Automotive Safety Enforcement Division (ASED) within 30 days.

An SERO can be issued for defective safety equipment on all classes of Maryland registered motor vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers except those vehicles displaying the following types of license plates:

  • Historic license plates;
  • Interchangeable license plates (dealer, transporter, finance company, special mobile equipment); and
  • Temporary registration plates (cardboard).


How do I resolve a Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO)?

To resolve an SERO issued for your vehicle, you must have the vehicle repaired within ten (10) days.  The repairs may be made at any garage or repair shop of your choice, or you may do it yourself.

After the vehicle is repaired, you will need to take the SERO (Copy 3, 4 and 5) to an MSP authorized inspection station in order to have the repair inspected and certified.  The registered inspection mechanic will sign and stamp all copies of the SERO to certify that all defects cited on the SERO have been fixed correctly. The registered inspection mechanic will retain Copy 3 (yellow) for his/her records.

  • If all of the defects identified on the SERO are followed by an asterisk (*), indicating that the repair can be visually inspected, you may ask a Maryland State Police trooper or local police officer in a participating police department to certify the repair, instead of a registered inspection mechanic. The inspector must inspect your vehicle during daylight hours, while the weather is not inclement. However, be sure that all of the defects identified on your SERO have an asterisk.
  • If the defect identified on the SERO is aftermarket window tint, Effective February 1, 2012, all vehicles must be taken to an authorized inspection station for certification, even if all the tint has been removed. Vehicle owners with a medical exemption must contact a trooper assigned to ASED.

When the repair has been certified and the SERO has been signed and stamped, you must submit Copy 5 (buff card stock) of the SERO to the Maryland State Police ASED. The copy must be submitted no later than 30 days after the date on which the SERO was issued. Either mail or hand-deliver Copy 5 of the SERO to:

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

You should retain Copy 4 (goldenrod) of the SERO for your records.


What happens if I don’t return the signed copy of my SERO within 30 days?

If the Maryland State Police ASED does not receive the signed Copy 5 of your SERO within 30 days after the date that the SERO was issued, you will receive a notice that your vehicle registration will be suspended.

The suspension will take place five (5) days after the notice of suspension is mailed. When your vehicle registration is suspended you cannot:

  • Legally drive the vehicle; or
  • Renew the vehicle's license plates.

If your vehicle's registration is suspended, you must immediately return the license plates to an MVA branch office. If you do not return the license plates within 10 days after the date on which the suspension notice was mailed, a tag pick up order will be issued. The license plates then will be subject to immediate confiscation by a police officer.


What should I do if I got rid of my vehicle after the SERO was issued?

If your vehicle has been traded, sold, repossessed, junked or otherwise disposed of, you must submit a document that indicates the vehicle’s disposition and includes the vehicle identification number (VIN), make, model, title number, and the date of the disposition. The document should be attached to Copy 5 of the SERO when it is submitted to the ASED. The type of documentation required depends upon the vehicle’s disposition:

  • Traded – submit a copy of the contract with the dealer who accepted the vehicle as trade-in.
  • Sold – submit a notarized statement signed by you.
  • Repossessed – submit a statement on the letterhead of the company that repossessed the vehicle (usually a financial institution).
  • Junked – submit a statement on the letterhead of the automotive dismantler or recycler who received the vehicle.
  • Otherwise disposed of – submit a notarized statement signed by you.


What should I do if I lost my SERO and need a duplicate?

If you lose your SERO, you may contact the MSP Automotive Safety Enforcement Division or your local MSP barracks between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and ask about obtaining a copy.


I noticed that window tinting could be a reason for issuing an SERO. How can I tell if my window tint is legal?

On passenger cars, convertibles, and station wagons:

  • All windows with aftermarket (added) tint must have at least 35% light transmittance.
  • Red, yellow, amber, and reflective window tint is prohibited.

On multipurpose vehicles, vans, and class “E” trucks that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) equal to or less than 10,000 pounds:

  • Windows on the driver and right front passenger doors with aftermarket (added) tint must have at least 35% light transmittance.  Red, yellow, amber, and reflective tint is prohibited on these windows.
  • All other windows can be tinted to any degree of darkness or color. However, reflective tint is prohibited.

Note: as of February 1, 2012, Limousines are not permitted to have tint on the windows right and left of the driver.


Are blue headlights legal?

No, blue headlights are not legal. Headlights must be white in color. Any required lamp, lens, or reflector that is obscured by any object or shielded by a nontransparent material, or any headlamp equipped with aftermarket clear, tinted or screen type color is prohibited.  For more information see Maryland law.


Fees:

  • The vehicle owner must pay for the repairs needed to correct the vehicle defect(s).
  • There may be a fee charged by the registered inspection mechanic based on a flat, hourly rate, which is set by the inspection station where he works. Even if the repaired defect can be visually confirmed, the mechanic may still charge a fee if the inspection requires jacking, lifting, measuring, or testing the vehicle.


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:             1-410-768-7000
TTY/Hearing Impaired:                             1-301-729-4563


APPENDIX A
Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO) Defects

Nu​​m​ber

Defect Description

Comments

50

Brakes

   

51

Tires

   

52

Steering

   

53

Exhaust System

    

54*

Windshield Wipers

   

55*

Headlights

• Any required or permitted bulb fails to light
• Bulbs must be white in color.

55

Headlight aim

• Headlight beam is not properly aimed.

56*

Taillights

   

57*

Horn

   

58

Driver's Seat

   

59

Suspension / Shocks

   

60*

Bumpers

   

61*

Glass

   

61

TINT

• The percentage of outside light shining through the glass is less than 35%.
• Red, Yellow, and Amber window tint is prohibited on all regulated windows.
• Reflective window tint is prohibited on all vehicles.

62*

Load Cover

   

64*

Stop Lights

   

65*

Tag Light(s)

   

66*

Dash Lights

   

67

Wheel Alignment

   

68*

Rearview Mirrors

   

69*

Door Latch / Handle

   

70

Fuel System

   

70*

Cap

   

71*

Turn Signals

   

72

Wheels / Lugs

   

73*

Hood Catch(s)

   

74

Floor / Trunk Pan(s)

   

76*

Fender(s) / Flap(s)

   

77

Speedometer / Odometer

   

78*

Hazard Warning Lamp

   

79*

Park Lamp

   

80*

Side Marker Lamp

   

81

Fog / Auxiliary Driving Lamps

   

82*

Emergency Warning Lamp

   

83*

Back Up Lamp

   

84*

Reflectors

   

85

External Air Brake Component

   

86*

Low Air Warning Device

       

87*

Clearance Lamp

   

88*

Identification Lamp

   

89

Safety Belts

   

90

Lift Axle Air / Weight Ratio

   


Note: Numbers marked with an asterisk (*) are visual defects. A MSP trooper or police officer in a participating police department can inspect the repair during daylight hours, as long as the weather is not inclement. A registered inspection mechanic at an authorized inspection also can inspect the repair.

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