That's right, add registering your car in Maryland to your long list of "Things to do After the Move." Automotive shops are involved in this process because you must have a Maryland Vehicle Safety Inspection Certificate. To get this certificate, a comprehensive check of all the safety systems on you car that includes aligning the headlamps has to be performed.
The Maryland inspection is performed at auto service and repair facilities around the state that have been certified to do the MD Safety Inspection. The state police oversee the program and make sure that facilities follow the Maryland Code related to vehicle safety inspections. The inspection takes from 1.0 to 1.5 hours; if the repair shop allows you to wait for this service, plan on waiting at least a couple of hours. The inspection can only be performed on dry days because the car has to have a road test on a dry surface and must be dry under the car so the rain does not cover up leaks in the brake and suspension system.
The cost varies any where from around $50 to over $100.
If your car has tinted windows you will also need to have them inspected by the state police, they will issue a sticker certifying that they meet code.
Maryland Safety Inspection Check List
- You have 60 days to register you car in Maryland.
- A Maryland Safety Inspection certificate is valid for 60 days.
- If your car fails the Maryland Safety Inspection you have 30 days to perform the repairs. Anyone can perform the repairs needed to pass the inspection.
- The inspection station that did the original Maryland Safety Inspection must perform the re-inspection.
- The inspection station can charge for a re-inspection.
On top of the Maryland Safety Inspection certificate you will also need the following to register your car.
- Proof of ownership (Title)
- Application form (w/insurance info)
In some cases you'll also need:
- Proof of value. (This is to calulate the tax you are going to pay which is 6% of the vehicle value.)
- Lien information if you are still paying for the car or a lien release if you title shows that there is a lien on the car.
- Lease agreement with proof of payments (for leased cars only -- if you have paid excise tax to another state, you may be eligible for a tax credit.)
- Power of Attorney - This is needed if someone other than the owner is signing the titling forms.
To register your vehicle you can go to the Department of Motor Vehicles, the nearest places Glen Burnie or Frederick. This can take a whole morning or afternoon, I suggest you pay a small fee and have a local title company perform this work for you. Calculating the time spent and the cost of gas it is cheaper and certainly a lot less stressful to use a title company.
In addition to registering your car, you will also need to apply for a Maryland Drivers License within 60 days. In Howard County, this can be done at our local DMV off Dobbin Road in Columbia.
For more information check out the MD MVA site.
photo courtesy of akeg