How to Complete a VIN Inspection in Maryland
Most Maryland vehicles are required to receive a VIN verification as a part of their safety inspections. As a whole, a VIN inspection in MD involves scheduling the procedure, visiting an approved inspection station and submitting all of the necessary documentation. While motorists may perform optional VIN lookups to learn more about a car before purchasing or selling it, the procedure to verify a VIN number is mandatory and can only be performed by state officials. For instance, this procedure is an essential part of the vehicle registration process in the state.
The following sections detail how a vehicle verification and other types of inspections are related during the overall process to register a car in MD. Moreover, the sections below outline the requirements for a Maryland DMV VIN verification form to be properly filled out and submitted. Thus, to learn more about this procedure and all of its steps, read the sections below.
When is a Maryland VIN verification required?
Maryland VIN verifications are required for most used vehicles that are sold or transferred to new owners in the state. In addition, this type of verification is required for car owners who have recently relocated to MD and need to register their vehicles. Typically, the seller or transferor of the vehicle title must request a DMV VIN verification form in order obtain an inspection certificate. However, the buyer or anticipated owner of the car may request the inspection if the vehicle is a class E or F truck, a class G freight trailer or a dump service semi-trailer.
As a general rule, the car verification process must occur before the sale or title transfer of the vehicle. In addition to confirming a vehicle’s VIN, inspections also ensure that all cars being driven in the state meet safety standards and abide by vehicle emissions guidelines. Furthermore, car owners are responsible for undergoing a vehicle VIN verification whenever it is required, and are encouraged to check the accuracy of all of their documents in relation to the printed VIN on their cars.
Note: Car safety and VIN number validation certificates issued in the state of Maryland are only valid for 90 days following an inspection. Within this period, motorists must complete and submit the application for a car title in order to register their vehicles.
Where can I go to obtain a VIN inspection in Maryland?
A new vehicle inspection in MD must be performed at an authorized safety inspection location. As such, vehicles requiring an inspection must be taken to nearby car inspection stations that can accommodate each particular type of vehicle.
In general, most stations are able to inspect passenger vehicles, light trucks, SUVs and short trailers. If you own a different type of vehicle, you are encouraged to contact your preferred inspection office by phone and inquire about their availability to inspect your vehicle prior to scheduling an appointment.
According to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), most VIN inspections last approximately one and a half hours. Thus, you must plan your day accordingly upon taking your car to one of these stations.
Note: Because vehicles awaiting VIN verifications are not yet registered in Maryland, car owners may need to obtain a temporary registration that allows them to legally drive these vehicles to a local station. The MD Motor Vehicle Administration offers 30-day registrations to qualifying car owners upon request.
What to Bring to a VIN Number Verification in Maryland
The documents needed to complete a VIN verification in Maryland include an acceptable payment method for the fees related to the associated safety inspection procedures. Despite the fact that these safety and VIN inspection fees vary according to each station, the MD State Police requires all stations to inform their inspection costs in advance to motorists.
If applicable, car owners must also pay the fees for subsequent inspections, which may vary. Other documents needed for a state car inspection may include the following:
- Proof of vehicle ownership, such as a car title.
- Previous inspection certificates, if applicable.
- The ID card or driver’s license of the vehicle owner.
Note: If necessary, vehicle inspectors will require car owners to provide additional documents.
What to Do After Completing a VIN Inspection in Maryland
After the Maryland vehicle inspection is complete, car owners will be required to visit an MVA branch with all of the supporting documents required to title their vehicles. Car owners must use the vehicle inspection form or certificate that they receive from an inspector as evidence of this recent procedure. Once a car has undergone the necessary VIN inspections and complied with state standards, the authorized inspector will issue a verification certificate in one of two ways:
- Electronically through e-Inspections. This online resource enables the MVA to issue inspection certificates immediately. Moreover, it allows car owners to search for recent vehicle inspections. However, only certain car inspection stations offer e-certificates. If you wish to obtain one, you are encouraged to ask in advance whether your preferred station offers this delivery method.
- A physical copy with the inspector’s signature. Vehicle owners will receive two physical copies of an inspection certificate. The green copy must be delivered to the MVA via any full-service office. Conversely, the goldenrod-colored copy of this document must be kept by car owners for their own records.
After moving to Maryland, you will have 60 days to title and register your vehicles in the state, which will require you to verify the VIN number of the car. Furthermore, you must title your car within 90 days of the date of the inspection. If you fail to do so, your vehicle will be required to undergo another VIN inspection in a timely manner.