What is a Maryland State Inspection and why is one needed? I put together this YouTube video the help you get some insight into the Inspection process and when and why it needs to be done.

In an effort to keep unsafe vehicles off the road, the State of Maryland requires that a vehicle pass a basic Safety Inspection before they will issue license plates allowing the vehicle on the road.  Unlike some states that have routine inspection every year or two, the Maryland safety inspection is a one-time inspection that is good for as long as you own the vehicle.

The question of who is responsible for having the inspection done, the buyer or the seller comes up from time to time? If you are buying a vehicle from a license Maryland dealer, the vehicle must pass the inspection before they can sell it. If you are buying from a private party, it would be part of the negotiation. There is no legal requirement for a private party to have a vehicle pass inspection. Often the seller will do the inspection as it generally increases the amount they can sell the vehicle for.

There are a few situations where an inspection is not required they are included but not limited to:

-When transferring ownership from parent to child, or child to parent.

-When a co-owners name is being removed from a title.

-When spouses are transferring ownership as part of a divorce settlement prior to the divorce.

It is my understanding that Maryland is currently updating the safety standards and inspection procedures, so you may find the current ones a bit dated or un-applicable. In fact, we had a Tesla in for an inspection recently and a good part of the inspection check list was unusable.

This is the inspection sheet, used to do the inspection as of February 3, 2017.

Maryland State Vehicle Safety Inspection Sheet

If you need a license plate to get the vehicle to an inspection station, you can go to the MVA or a Tag and Title agent and obtain a 30 day temporary tag. A quick FYI, I recently registered several of our courtesy loaner cars. I found that if I got the 30 day tag and went back for the permanent sticker, I had a choice of a one year or two year registration. However, if I did everything the same day, I had to purchase a two year registration. The person helping me was not sure if that was a policy issue or if it was a software issue.

Maryland also requires all vehicles be insured, so before you go to register you vehicle, make sure you have proof of insurance. If you are a new resident in the state of Maryland, you have 60 days to register your vehicle with the MVA. You can find more info for new residents here on the MVA site:

Previously paper certificates were issued when a vehicle passed the State Inspection. You were required to bring those certificated to the MVA. The system is now electronic and the inspection station will submit the info right to the State of Maryland via the Maryland State Police website, so the MVA will have the info long before you arrive there.

If you need a Maryland State Inspection, we would love for you to come see us, but if you are not in our area, you can search the Maryland State Police Inspection Station Search page here: also, here is the link to the MVA page containing Maryland State Vehicle Safety Inspection requirements.

As licensed inspectors, we can also sign off on or certify Police issue citations or SERO’s Service Equipment Repair Orders. You can find more info on SEROs on the MVA site at

We are also Maryland Tag and Title Agents. Along with inspections, we can also handle your Tag and Title work for the ultimate convenience. Just think, no more trips to the MVA.

If you have any other questions about Maryland State Safety Inspections, give us a call or send us an email.

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