In Maryland if you are selling a vehicle you need to have a vehicle inspection, but beyond being a legal requirement, getting a vehicle inspection can provide the buyer with piece of mind, that is, if your inspection is provided by a respected and trusted mechanic. If the process is new to you, the share simplicity of the system can confuse new residents to Salisbury, but finding a car inspection station needn’t be problematic.
In Maryland vehicles can only get an inspection certificate from an authorized safety inspection station, however with 1,600 throughout the state you should be able to find one close to you that is authorized to inspect your passenger car or SUV. An inspection station must be licenced by the Maryland State Police and generally this authorisation will be proudly displayed – if you don’t see a current certification double check that your vehicle is being checked by an authorized station.
Why Get A Vehicle Safety Inspection?
Although a few people consider the need to have another piece of paperwork associated with their vehicle, the safety inspection helps ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive. A detailed list of what the authorized mechanic will check is available here, however they will be looking at things like ensuring that the braking system is functioning (handbrake and foot brake) and even on both sides, that the tires have enough tread to maintain grip on the road, that the exhaust system is not leaking carbon monoxide into the vehicle cab, that the lights all work and are angled appropriately and that there is no structural rust (even a little rust on certain hinge positions can be very dangerous in just a light fender bender). Although a vehicle safety inspection does not ensure that your car is mechanically sound, it does provide the security that when you purchase it you know you won’t driving a dangerous vehicle.
Do I Need An Inspection Every Year?
In short, no. In Maryland you only need to obtain a safety inspection when you are first registering a used motor vehicle under your name in the state. However, you will be required to have your vehicle undergo emissions testing around every two years and a MD Car Inspection Station in Salisbury MD will be able to also assist with this. Rules and regulations do vary for non-private vehicles and with the introduction of Uber there may be other regulation changes that effect private citizens using their personal vehicle for public transportation.
Does A Safety Inspection Effect My Insurance?
In order to be able to drive your vehicle in MD you are legally required to have at least the minimum level of insurance, a driver’s licence and a registered vehicle. You will need to have insurance organised before your vehicle undergoes the required safety inspection and certification, however if you attempt to drive a vehicle that does not have a MD safety certification you may be in breach of contract with your insurance provider, as well as being subject to legal penalties.
I’ve Just Bought a Car and I Can’t Register It!
You will not be able to transfer the vehicle title and register it in your name if the seller has not provided a safety inspection certificate. However, you can apply for a temporary registration which will allow you time to arrange your own vehicle safety inspection. Likewise, if your vehicle fails its inspection you do have time to rectify the issues and get it re-inspected. Although most people will ask the mechanic that completed the safety inspection to fix the faults that they have found, you are also able to arrange to have these fixed elsewhere, or if you are able to fix them yourself. https://www.peoples-law.org/driving-car-maryland
However, be aware that you only have 90 days to get your inspection and registration sorted or you will not be able to drive your vehicle legally until the certification has been finalised, and you will likely need to restart the process.
Tips If Your Car Fails
Your car must get 100% in the safety inspection to pass or it can’t be certified. If anything is found to be deficit you must get your vehicle re-inspected within 30 days. However, your inspection station will completely redo the inspection from the start, not just look at the previous concern. If you are able it is advisable to cast your eye over your vehicle yourself to ensure that things like your tyres are still in good condition and all the lights work as these are common areas for failing a safety inspection.