Driving a Car in Maryland

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What Does Maryland Require Before Driving a Car?

Registration and Tags

For information on registering your car and getting tags visit your local branch office of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration or visit the the Maryland MVA's Vehicle Title and Registration web pages at http://www.mva.maryland.gov/Vehicle-Services/REG/default.htm

Under a law that went into a effect June 1, 2011, the Motor Vehicle Administration may not the driver's license, renew a vehicle registration, or transfer a vehicle registration of an applicant who has not paid all Undisputed Taxes and/or Unemployment Insurance Contributions. The new law is MD Code Transportation § 13-406.2. Read the Text: House Bill 72.

Inspection

A Safety Inspection is required for all used cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, special equipment, and class "B" for hire vehicles being titled and registered in Maryland. A licensed Maryland inspection station, such as an automobile dealer, a service station or a specialized automobile service center, must inspect your car. If your car passes, they will issue you a certificate of inspection, which you must bring with you to the MVA to register you
car.

Valid Driver’s License

Before you can take your new car out on the road you have to apply for your Maryland Driver’s License.  Information on getting a driver license in Maryland is located at http://www.mva.maryland.gov/Driver-Services/Apply/default.htm. This site provides information on what you need to bring with you, general requirements to qualify for a license, as well as what you should do if your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked.  Note: Driving without a valid license is against the law. 

Emissions Test

Maryland requires that every car registered in the state to pass an emissions test to help cut down on the car pollution.  At some point during your two-year registration period, you'll receive a notice from the MVA requiring that you have your vehicle inspected. When you get the notice, bring your car to one of the testing stations listed in the notice. The test costs $14 and can be paid with cash, check, Visa, or Mastercard. If your car doesn't pass, the first re-test is free, provided you visit the station representative to discuss the test results before you leave. Click here for locations and details.

Insurance

Maryland requires you to obtain an appropriate level of car insurance.   See Insurance Requirements for Maryland Vehicles at http://www.mva.maryland.gov/Vehicle-Services/INSURANCE/default.htm

Is this legal advice?

This site offers legal information, not legal advice.  We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information and to clearly explain your options.  However we do not provide legal advice - the application of the law to your individual circumstances. For legal advice, you should consult an attorney.  The Maryland State Law Library, a court-related agency of the Maryland Judiciary, sponsors this site.  In the absence of file-specific attribution or copyright, the Maryland State Law Library may hold the copyright to parts of this website. You are free to copy the information for your own use or for other non-commercial purposes with the following language “Source: Maryland's People’s Law Library – www.peoples-law.org. © Maryland State Law Library, 2014.”