To receive a vehicle safety inspection in Maryland, take the car to one of the approximately 1600 authorized inspection stations. These facilities can be found in all parts of the state and are licensed by the Maryland State Police.
All vehicles must be inspected prior to sale in the state of Maryland. For passenger cars and light trucks, the seller must obtain the inspection, but for larger trucks and other commercial vehicles, either the seller or the buyer may obtain the inspection. Most of the authorized stations can inspect passenger cars, light trucks/SUVs and trailers less than 20 feet, while more specialized attention is required for larger vehicles.
A car must be registered in either Maryland or another state to be inspected. Vehicles that cannot be registered because they are not yet inspected are eligible for a 30-day temporary registration that enables them to be legally driven to the inspection station. Inspections take between one and two hours, and the state Motor Vehicle Administration recommends that appointments be made prior to bringing a vehicle in for inspection.
If a vehicle passes inspection, the owner is provided with a report affirming that result, which can then be used at any MVA office to register the vehicle or transfer title. If any part of a vehicle fails the inspection, it cannot be registered in Maryland, and the offending part(s) must be repaired or replaced before the vehicle is once again inspected.