Maryland Car Inspection

Maryland car inspection requirements require you to get an emissions inspection every two years if you are registered in a stated county.
Written by Tiffany Leung
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
, you are only required to do an emissions inspection every two years if you are registered in a stated county. A safety inspection must also be done on vehicles before a sale or transfer of ownership.
To ensure good air quality, the 1977 amendment to the Clean Air Act required states to implement vehicle emissions inspection programs in areas where the quality of air didn’t meet federal standards. Each state has its own requirements and they can be different depending on your vehicle and zip code.
To help you ensure your vehicle is compliant, we compiled a list of what you need to know about car inspections in Maryland.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍
Gabriella R.
Find insurance savings (100% Free)
rating primary
4.7/5 Rating on App Store

What are the vehicle inspection requirements in Maryland?

When you
register a vehicle
in one of the 13 counties and Baltimore city, you’re required to get an emissions inspection every two years for vehicles year 1996 or newer. Hybrid vehicles over three years old must also get a smog check. This ensures that all required vehicles meet the state’s emission standards and helps maintain good air quality.
To find out if you need an inspection to complete your registration renewal, check
If your car doesn’t pass the smog inspection, you will need to have the emissions-related issues fixed and then get retested—remember to bring the initial test results with you. 

Exceptions to the state requirements

Some vehicles registered in Cumberland County are exempt from the state of Maryland’s emissions inspection. You don’t need a smog inspection if your vehicle fits one of the following criteria:
  • Vehicles made in the 1976 model year or older
  • Vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds
  • Vehicles powered solely by diesel or electric
  • Motorcycles
  • Vehicles registered as a farm truck, farm truck tractor, or farm-area vehicle
  • Historic or Antique vehicles
  • New vehicles under 24 months, and qualified hybrids under 36 months after receiving their title and registration
  • Firefighting vehicles owned or leased by the State of Maryland, a county, a municipality, a volunteer fire department, or a rescue squad
  • Maryland-registered ambulances currently exempted will remain exempt
  • Vehicles registered to senior citizens over 70
  • Vehicles registered with metal disabled registration tags and driven less than 5,000 miles per year. Mileage must be recertified every two years to continue to receive the waiver. If co-owned, both owners must qualify for the waiver and can apply for a waiver for the balance of the two-year test cycle 
  • Vehicles registered as a Class N street rod
  • Military vehicles owned by the federal government and used for tactical, combat, relief operations, or training
  • Vehicles registered as Class H school vehicles or as Class P passenger buses

Where to get a car inspection in Maryland

You’ll need to visit a smog check station that is authorized by the Maryland MVA to complete your vehicle inspection. The Maryland state website maintains a
list of inspection stations
you can visit.

How often do you need a car inspection?

If your vehicle was manufactured after 1996 and is registered in one of the 13 counties and Baltimore city, you’re required to get an emissions inspection every two years.

Finding affordable car insurance 

Once you pass your emissions inspection, be sure to also review your current car insurance policy as you are likely to find a better rate for the same coverage. The car insurance broker app
helps you compare quotes from 50+ top providers so you know you’re getting the best coverage for the most affordable price!
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever


You are required to get a safety inspection before any sale or transfer of vehicle ownership. Emissions inspections follow the same rules.
A vehicle’s initial smog check fee is $14 in Maryland. The first retest is free if it is done before the deadline, otherwise, it is $15 every subsequent 28 days you are late in testing your vehicle.
Are you overpaying for car insurance?
Compare quotes and find out in 45 seconds.
Try Jerry (It’s 100% Free)

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

No long forms
No spam or unwanted phone calls
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free