Frequently Asked Questions
Is window tint allowed in Maryland?
Yes, and No. On trucks, vans and limousines, the rear windows may be as dark as you like. However, for the front drivers’ and passenger windows on trucks, vans or limo’s, and all the windows on regular passenger cars, (except any windshields) only a very light tint is allowed, and even that must undergo an inspection test and approval by an authorized inspection station.
What does Maryland State Inspection look at?
Quite frankly, it’s a very long list. A link at the top of the Home page will show you to a list of categories of safety equipment that we inspect for soundness and operation. Maryland State Inspection is only concerned with a vehicles safe operation. For example, the State of Maryland doesn’t care if your car won’t start and your air conditioning & radio don’t work, but the State does want to make sure that your car will stop efficiently, and that the brake lights, windshield wipers and seat belts are all in good working order.
Do I have to inspect my car every year in Maryland?
No. Vehicle Safety inspections are only required when a vehicle changes ownership and/or is registered in Maryland.
I am moving in from another state where I just passed my annual inspection. Do I still have to have a Maryland State Inspection?
Yes. Maryland does not recognize safety inspections from any other jurisdiction.
There’s a stone chip on my windshield. Will I have to replace the whole glass to pass Maryland State Inspection?
Not necessarily. If it is not too large and not too contaminated with road dust and moisture, most stone chips can be completely repaired, or at least reduced in size to meet Maryland State Inspection standards, (not greater than 1/2 inch in wiper sweep or greater than 1/4 inch in front of drivers’ face). Stone chip repair is one of the specialty services that I provide. See Prices and Services link for details.
How long does Maryland State Inspection take?
The time varies from about 45 minutes for a compact car like a Honda Civic to about 1 and 1/2 hours for a series 3500 Van or Truck.
Do you charge re-inspection fees?
No, I do not. When I am able, I will stop what I’m doing and re-inspect the required repairs and then issue your certificate so that you may be quickly on your way. However, repaired vehicles MUST be returned for re- inspection before 30 days OR 1,000 miles, WHICHEVER OCCURS FIRST, or a new inspection must be performed at the full price. The Maryland State Police have good reason to be very strict about their policies, so please don’t delay your repairs or exceed the mileage limits.
I have a small hole in my exhaust. Can I fix it with exhaust putty and pass Maryland State Inspection?
No. Despite what the manufacturer may claim, these temporary repairs very quickly deteriorate and will again leak carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that is very harmful to people and pets. Maryland State Inspection specifications require all exhaust repairs be permanent, either with new steel components or by welding.
The car I bought seems to be in pretty good shape, but it does have 150,000 miles on it. Is it going to fail miserably??
Not necessarily. It all depends on how well that vehicle was maintained. After more than 4,500 inspections, I know that I cannot pre judge a vehicle by it’s mileage alone. The most remarkable inspection story I have is about an 18 year old Mercedes that had 235,000 miles on it and went straight thru inspection. Even the headlamps were aimed correctly. Not a drop of oil anywhere. That’s the distance from the Earth to the Moon ! By the same token, I’ve seen vehicles come thru with less than 50,000 miles and need hundred’s of dollars worth of repair work. So, it’s all about the maintenance, not the miles.