DMV & Emissions Testing Locations In Maryland

Maryland

Maryland Smog Check / Emissions Test




The Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) runs a vehicle emissions test program in an effort to help clean the air and water in Maryland. Vehicles required to meet Maryland’s testing standards must pass a smog check every two years. Maryland also requires new residents to get their vehicles to pass a vehicle safety inspection.

If you know you need an Emissions test done click here to select your county and find the nearest location.

Requirements to Pass the Maryland Smog Check

All required Maryland – registered vehicles must get a an emissions inspections every two years. Smog checks usually coincide with a vehicle’s registration renewal date. Vehicle owners will receive a smog check notice in the mail 8 weeks before their registration renewal deadline. As of 2012, hybrid vehicles must get a a smog check after they are 3 years old.

Smog Check Exemptions for Maryland Drivers

The state of Maryland, offers smog check extensions, waivers, and exemptions if vehicles meet certain criteria.




Maryland Smog Check Extensions

Vehicle owners unable to have their vehicle tested by the specified due date may be eligible for an extension. There are a number of ways to apply for a Maryland Emissions Testing Extension:

  • The MVA website
  • MVA kiosks
  • In-person at any of the 18 VEIP stations located throughout Maryland
  • In-person at any of the MVA full service branch offices
  • Contacting the Glen Burnie branch office by mail
  • Contacting VEIP office by phone
  • Contacting the MVA Customer Service Center by phone

Maryland Vehicle Smog Check Exemptions

The following vehicles qualify for a vehicle emissions test exemption:

  • Vehicles made in the 1976 model year or older
  • Vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs
  • 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 for the first 24 months, and qualified hybrids for the first 36 months after receiving their title and registration
  • Fire fighting 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 (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) Mileage must be recertified every two years to continue to receive the waiver
  • 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 a Class H school vehicles or as a Class P passenger bus

Maryland Vehicle Emissions Repair Waivers

If a vehicle owner meets the following requirements after failing the initial smog check and failing one retest, the owner may be eligible for a Repair waiver:

  • The owner spends $450 or more on emissions-related vehicle repairs
  • The owner completes the backside of their VIR after the vehicle’s initial test  
  • The owner submits receipts/invoices for the emissions-related repairs completed on the vehicle
  • The owner had the repairs done within 30 days of the initial inspection and up to 120 days after the vehicle’s last inspection

The Maryland Vehicle Administration provides a list of Certified Emissions Repair Facilities (CERF). Vehicle owners, however, may find their own mechanic, or complete the repairs themselves. If the vehicle is still under its emissions system warranty, a dealership may complete the repairs for free.

Note: Maryland also provides waivers for the elderly and the disabled.

Smog Check Fees

The State of Maryland charges a $14 fee for a vehicle’s initial smog check. The first retest if a vehicle fails its initial smog check is free. There is an additional $15 fee for getting tested late after the initial testing deadline, and an added $15 fee for every subsequent 28 days the vehicle owner is late getting the vehicle tested.

Maryland vehicle emissions testing locations accept the following forms of payment: credit card, money order, cash, and personal check(vehicle owners must provide two valid forms of ID when paying by personal check).

Performing Emissions Testing in Maryland

Maryland vehicle owners will receive a vehicle testing notice about eight weeks before the test deadline. Once the owner receives the notice, they must drive their vehicle to a Maryland testing facility before the deadline to get tested. If a vehicle owner forgets to bring their testing notice to the test facility, they may provide the vehicle’s registration instead.

During the test procedure vehicle owners must pull their vehicle into one of the facility’s test lanes, leave the vehicle running, and place it in park.  A certified Maryland emissions inspector will do a visual inspection for leaks, excessive smoke, exhaust system tampering, gas cap malfunction, warning lights, and worn tires. Then, inspector will administer one of the following tests.

OBDII Test The Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) requires this test for:

  • Passenger Vehicles and light duty trucks made in the 1996 model year or later
  • Heavy duty vehicles up to 14,000 pounds made in 2008 model year or later

During and OBDII Test an emissions inspector connects a diagnostic computer to a port under the vehicle’s dashboard. The diagnostic computer then checks the emissions control components to make sure they are in working order. If the vehicle’s “Check Engine” light is on, the vehicle will fail the test.

Idle Tailpipe Test The MVA requires this test for:

  • Passenger vehicles and light duty trucks made between the 1977 and 1995 model years
  • Heavy-duty vehicles weighing up to 14,000 lbs, and made between the 1977 and 2007 model years
  • Heavy-duty vehicles weighing between 14,000 and 26,000 pounds made in 1977 model year or later.

Before getting this test, the MVA advises vehicle owners to drive their vehicles at highway speeds for at least 20 minutes before testing to “warm up” the vehicle. If the vehicle has any exhaust holes or leaks, it will fail the test.

Gas Cap Test The MVA requires this test for:

  • Passenger vehicles and light duty trucks made between the 1977 and 1995 model years
  • Heavy-duty vehicles weighing up to 14,000 lbs, and made between the 1977 and 2007 model years
  • Heavy-duty vehicles weighing between 14,000 and 26,000 pounds made in 1977 model year or later.

A vehicle will fail the gas cap test if it leaks, has damage, the vehicle does not have a gas cap, or the vehicle does not have the correct gas cap for the make and model of the vehicle.

Visual Catalytic Converter Inspectionall vehicles will have a visual inspection of their catalytic converter to check to see if it’s working correctly, hasn’t been damaged, or shows signs of tampering.

After a vehicle completes its emissions inspection, test personnel will provide a Vehicle Inspection Report (VIR) detailing the results of the inspection. In the event a vehicle did not pass the emissions test the VIR states in detail the required emissions-related repairs the owner must address for the vehicle.

Failed Smog Inspections – Next Steps

There are several possible reasons a vehicle does not pass a Maryland smog check, including:

  • The vehicle’s hydrocarbon emissions exceeded the allowable limits
  • The vehicle’s carbon monoxide emissions exceeded the allowable limits
  • The vehicle had a sample dilution failure
  • The vehicle failed some portion of the OBDII test
  • The vehicle could have missing, disconnected, or broken emissions control equipment
  • The vehicle failed its gas cap test due to vapors or fuel leaking from the fuel system

The Maryland MVA requires all vehicles that do not pass their smog check to get their emissions-related mechanical issues fixed and then retested.  When getting a vehicle retested, the vehicle owner should bring the initial test results and any paperwork from the garage or service center that repaired the vehicle’s emissions issues. The first retest of your vehicle is free, but if the vehicle does not pass the first retest, the second retest is not free.

Moved to Maryland – Smog Check Requirements

New residence have 60 days after establishing residency to get their vehicles registered. Once registered, typically residents will receive a testing notice in the mail from the MVA notifying the vehicle owner of when their testing date deadline is.

Special Tips to Pass the Maryland Emissions Test

Maryland vehicle owners may want to get their vehicles tested as soon as they receive their first testing notice. Allow extra time to get any needed repairs done before your registration expires. Also, if a vehicle owner plans to be out of town during the date when their registration expires, planning early will give owners time to meet the deadline. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure passing a Maryland vehicle emissions test:

  • Make sure the vehicle does not have its “Check Engine” light on; If it does, it will not pass the test. To fix, check to make sure the gas cap is on tight and is not broken. Keep the sealing surfaces in the cap clean so it can make a good seal.  If it is not, tighten it and drive around to see if the light goes off.  
  • Follow the vehicle’s recommended maintenance schedule. Many of the mechanical issues that cause vehicles to fail their tests can be addressed during a routine check-up
  • If your vehicle is a make and model year when catalytic converters came standard on the vehicle, make sure your vehicle has one and is not malfunctioning; If it does not have one or it is not working, it will not pass the test
  • Allow your vehicle to run for at least 10 minutes before it takes a test to insure an accurate reading
  • Research your vehicle manufacturer’s recalls, Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs), and warranties before getting any repairs done. The cost of their repair maybe covered by the manufacturer.
  • If your vehicle’s On Board Diagnostic (OBDII) system is showing trouble codes, make sure to get them fixed by a certified emissions mechanic. Do not just try to clear the codes.Test personnel will know and the vehicle will not pass inspection.
  • If your vehicle is misfiring when it is idling, make sure to get this addressed before taking the test
  • If a vehicle’s battery is brand new, drive the vehicle for a couple of days before taking it to get an On Board Diagnostics test so as to allow the OBD system to reset
  • Make sure the vehicle’s oil is not dirty. Get the oil changed on a routine basis
  • Maintain the recommended air pressure in your vehicle’s tires
  • Inspect your vehicle’s hoses and belts for wear. Get them replaced if necessary
  • Get any mechanical issues with your vehicle’s transmission address and fixed. Transmissions problems can affect your vehicle’s emissions and cause your vehicle to fail its test.
  • If your motor vehicle’s emissions system has a mechanical issue, check your manufacturer’s warranty. Federal law states emissions systems on vehicles made in the 1995 and newer model years must have their emissions systems warrantied for two years or 24,000 miles. 
  • If the OBDII diagnostic system or catalytic converter on your vehicle made in the 1995 model year or newer has a mechanical issue, check your vehicle’s manufacturer’s warranty also. Federal regulation states these vehicles must have a warranty on their OBDII and catalytic converters for eight years or 80,000 miles.

Find Smog Check Stations Near Me

To stay in compliance of the State of Maryland’s smog check requirements, Maryland-registered drivers required to get their vehicles to pass a smog check can check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Maryland pages below to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.

Smog Check Stations in Baltimore, Maryland

The city of Baltimore has a population of 621,000 and is the biggest city in Maryland and the largest independent city in the U.S. Maryland-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in or around the Baltimore area must get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Baltimore, Maryland page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.

Smog Check Stations in Howard County, Maryland

Howard County, Maryland is where City of Columbia is and has a population of 100,000. Maryland-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing and living in Howard County area may have to get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Howard County, Maryland page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.

Smog Check Stations in Germantown, Maryland

The city of Germantown, in Montgomery County, Maryland, has a population of 86,000. Maryland-registered drivers with vehicles that require testing, and living in or around Germantown may have to get their vehicles to pass an emissions inspection. Check out our DMV & Emissions Testing Locations in Germantown, Maryland page to find a DMV office or testing location in your area.