What to Do if Your Car Fails Vehicle Inspection in Maryland


Maryland requires car owners to get a vehicle inspection when they first buy and register a vehicle. It’s common for a used car to fail its first inspection. If this happens to you, don’t worry; there are several steps you can take to get your car to pass.

You have 30 days or 1,000 miles to re-inspect if your car fails vehicle inspection in Maryland. If you fail to get it re-inspected within that timeframe, you will need to start the whole inspection process over. 

Reasons Your Vehicle May Fail Inspection

Most used cars fail their first vehicle inspection in Maryland for minor reasons.  Your car may fail inspection because of something as simple as the tint on your windows. Some cars fail inspection because of much more serious issues such as worn out tires, faulty brakes or electrical problems. 

Although it can be frustrating to get a fail on an inspection, it’s important to go through with the inspection process. Inspection laws are in place for your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road around you. 

Get a Second Opinion From Another Vehicle Inspection Station

If you are concerned that the inspection station failed your car incorrectly, you can always get a second opinion. Not many mechanics will fail your car in order to make money off of it, but some will. If you feel they mechanic shop “nickeled and dimed” you, you can always go to another inspection station for a second opinion. Although this may cost you a bit more money, it may help put your mind at ease. 

If You Have the Skill, Fix What You Can

You may find that your car failed inspection for something that is easy to fix. Depending on your level of skill, you could replace the failed part and get the car re-inspected. This is only recommended if you have quite a bit of skill when it comes to car repair. We do not recommend watching YouTube videos to learn how to fix your car in order to save a few dollars.  

However, if you have the skills and knowledge to make minor repairs to your car, you could take this route. After you fix whatever failed, you can bring your car back to the mechanic. 

Find a Mechanic You Trust to Fix Your Car

If your car fails inspection, a mechanic can often fix and re-inspect it all in one place. If your mechanic fails your car, it’s usually for a good reason and something that needs to be fixed for safety. You can get your mechanic to fix whatever failed and then can re-inspect your car. Usually they will not charge for the second inspection or they may charge less for the second inspection. They will generally only need to re-inspect whatever failed during the first vehicle inspection. 

Keep in mind that if your car fails vehicle inspection, it’s no reason to panic. Your used car will likely fail on the first try, and that’s ok. Maryland requires inspections for safety reasons, so it’s important to go through with the process and fix what you can. You must get an inspection before you can register your car, but then you do not usually need to go through the process again until you are ready to sell it. 

If you need a vehicle inspection, call our location that is closest to you or go here.

Bel Air: 410-836-1706

Havre De Grace: 410-939-8460

Joppa: 410-679-0091