Emissions testing in Maryland is a process overseen by the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program (VEIP) under the authority of the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Generally, drivers must complete a vehicle inspection once every 2 years. As a reminder of an upcoming smog inspection, the MVA emails drivers 11 weeks prior to the testing due date.

The MVA sends a reminder by mail at least 6 to 8 weeks in advance if the state does not have an email address on file for the motorist. However, drivers do not need an inspection notice to perform the VEIP test, and vehicles may undergo a car emission test at any time. To learn more about vehicle testing in Maryland, review the sections below.

Maryland Emissions and Smog Check Requirements

Unless a vehicle is exempt from Maryland emissions testing, it must undergo a VEIP inspection every two years around registration renewal periods. Generally, safety and smog inspection requirements vary depending on a vehicle’s model year, weight and the county in which the vehicle owner registers the vehicle. Currently, emission test requirements pertain to Baltimore City and the following counties:

  • Anne Arundel
  • Baltimore
  • Carroll
  • Calvert
  • Cecil
  • Charles
  • Fredrick
  • Howard
  • Hartford
  • Montgomery
  • Prince George’s
  • Queen Anne’s
  • Washington

During the vehicle emissions testing process, the MVA conducts the following tests, depending on the vehicle’s model year and weight:

  • An onboard diagnostic test (OBD) – for vehicle model years 1996 and newer weighing less than 8,500 lbs. or heavy-duty vehicles with model years newer than 2008 and weighing between 8,501 and 14,001 lbs.
  • Gas cap test – for vehicle model years between 1977 and 1995 with a vehicle weight of less than 8,500 lbs.
  • Tailpipe test/idle test – for vehicle model years between 1977 and 1995 weighing up to 26,000 lbs. and heavy-duty vehicles with model years newer than 2008 and weighing between 14,001 and 26,000 lbs.

To obtain a smog certification in MD, vehicle owners must bring their vehicle, the VEIP testing notice and payment for the test fee to a testing center. Drivers may pay for the smog inspection by cash, check, traveler’s check, money order or credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Checks must be made payable to VEIP. If vehicle owners did not receive a smog testing notice, then they may present their vehicle’s registration card instead.

Smog Check Exemptions in Maryland

Car emissions testing is a requirement in 14 different regions of the state. Unless car owners register their vehicles outside of the counties requiring an emissions certification, vehicles must undergo an exam before the testing due date. However, eligible vehicle owners may apply for a MVA inspection exemption by completing the reverse side of the VEIP inspection form (Form EP-1) and mailing or hand-delivering the form to the MVA.

Generally, safety and emissions test exemptions are allowed for the following vehicles:

  • Vehicle models older than 1976 or vehicles weighing more than 26,000 lbs.
  • Electric or diesel-powered vehicles.
  • Motorcycles, farm equipment and historic/antique vehicles.
  • Hybrid vehicles, following the first 36 months after titling and registration.
  • New vehicles, following the first 24 months after titling and registration.
  • Fire apparatus, ambulances, military vehicles, and Class H, N or P vehicles.
  • Vehicles owned by senior citizens over 70 years of age or qualifying vehicles with metal disability tags (if the vehicle is driven less than 5,000 miles per year).

Drivers may mail the MD emissions check exemption form to the following address or submit it in person at any VEIP location in the state.

Maryland MVA
Attn: VEIP
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

Out-of-State Emissions Testing in Maryland

If drivers cannot complete their MD safety and smog test before the test date, they may request an extension from the MVA using the reverse side of the VEIP inspection notice. After requesting a test extension, the state sends motorists a notice 6 to 8 weeks before the new testing deadline. Alternately, drivers may complete a smog check while out of state if the state they are in conducts emissions testing. If the state does not offer smog testing, then drivers must contact the VEIP by telephone at 410-768-7000.

Note: There is no charge to request an extension for car smoke tests, as long the vehicle undergoes the test before the next deadline date.

Emissions Waivers in Maryland

Cars that have been inspected but do not pass the smog test may be eligible for a repair waiver after spending at least $450 on emissions-related repairs. However, car owners cannot obtain a smog testing waiver until they meet the minimum repair requirement of $450.

To apply for a car smoke test repair waiver, vehicle owners must complete the repair waiver request on the opposite side of the inspection certificate and submit it to the VEIP station. Additionally, motorists must submit all original invoices, repair orders and emissions-related repair receipts.

Note: Two other types of emissions check waivers are also available. These waivers include the senior citizen and disabled citizen emissions waivers. To apply for waivers such as these, motorists must complete the reverse side of the VEIP inspection form (Form EP-1) and submit it to the MVA.

Testing Fees in Maryland

The MD smog check price is $14. However, there is a $15 penalty for late tests. The emission test cost begins to increase the day after the testing deadline and an additional late fee accumulates every 4 weeks thereafter. When drivers visit one of the 10 self-service emissions testing stations, the testing fee is $10.

Where to Perform an Emissions Check in Maryland

Currently, there are 18 VEIP testing locations throughout the state. Drivers may visit a Maryland emissions testing center in any of the 14 cities or counties requiring a test. Alternately, drivers may visit one of the 10 self-service smog testing stations in Columbia, Curtis Bay, Halethorpe, Owings Mills, Annapolis, Beltsville, Frederick, Waldorf, Bel Air and Gaithersburg.

Note: Not all vehicles may undergo an emissions check at a self-service station. Self-service smog testing centers are only available for tests on qualifying vehicles that are not past due. For instance, self-service auto emissions testing is available to vehicle model years newer than 2005 and with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 8,500 lbs. and vehicle models newer than 2008 and with a gross vehicle weight rating of between 8,501 and 14,001 lbs. Additionally, motorists must pay by credit card when using a kiosk.

Failing a Maryland Smog and Emissions Test

If a car fails its emissions certification in Maryland, the vehicle owner is permitted one free re-inspection after performing all necessary car repairs. However, a driver must pay a car inspection fee for each subsequent retest. A vehicle must undergo smog checks until it passes inspection or until the car owner obtains a repair waiver.

Note: When making emissions testing repairs, a car owner must present the repair technician with the diagnostic report and the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Certificate (VEIC).

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.