In the state of Maryland, every vehicle has to be tested for emissions every two years. This inspection, commonly called a “smog check,” is designed to manage the air pollution levels in the state. If you are in Rockville, MD, you can come to Preferred Automotive for this vehicle service.
When Do You Need a Smog Check?
While safety inspections are only required when a vehicle is changing hands, a smog check is necessary every two years. When the vehicle is sold, or someone is moving in from another state, they need to have both a safety inspection and a smog check. Follow-up inspections for renewal of vehicle registration are required every other year and it is necessary to have a smog check done each time the registration is renewed.
To make it easy to remember when to have the inspection, the state will mail a reminder card out two months before the registration renewal is due. This reminder is a good opportunity for you to take the vehicle in for the required smog check as well as an overall inspection to see if any other repairs are needed.
Getting a Smog Check Certificate
To get the right certificate for your vehicle registration, you need to visit an authorized inspection location. The mechanic will check the emissions from your vehicle to ensure that the car meets state requirements. Then, you will get a certificate. If the vehicle fails the smog check, it might be necessary to complete some repairs and then retest the vehicle.
This certificate is good for 90-days so make sure that you complete the registration within this period. If you don’t finish the registration process within the 90-day window, you will need to take the vehicle back in for another smog check.
Do Hybrid Vehicles need a Smog Check?
If you drive a hybrid car, you might think your car is completely exempt from the smog check requirement for the life of the vehicle. Unfortunately, it is not exempt. The good news is it’s only necessary to have your hybrid car’s emission output checked after the car is three years old. From then on, you will need to follow the regular smog check schedule.
Currently, there aren’t any vehicles that are exempt from the required emissions testing. But there are waivers available for disabled and senior citizens:
What if I am Out of State When the Emissions Test is Due?
If you don’t complete the smog check and registration renewal before the due date, you could face penalty fees. These fees are accrued every 28 days after the due date.
There are options to apply for an extension if you are dealing with certain circumstances, such as being out of the state when the registration is due. In this situation, it’s important to file an extension request.
Repairing a Vehicle that Failed an Emissions Test
Don’t worry if your vehicle didn’t pass the smog check because repairs can be done to meet the requirements. After the repairs, you are eligible for one free retest as long as the repairs were completed within a certain timeframe.
There are situations where you might need a repair waiver to get more time for the repair. If you want to apply for this waiver, you need to meet all three of these requirements:
If you meet these three requirements, the testing technician can submit the forms. When a repair waiver is granted, you have two years from the first test date.
Take Your Vehicle in for Emissions Testing
When it is time for a smog check, an authorized dealer will complete the necessary steps to check the quality of your vehicle. This process includes a gas cap test for every vehicle. Additionally, an on-board diagnostics test (OBD) or an idle tailpipe test are necessary, depending on the type of vehicle you drive.
Here at Preferred Automotive, we can help with both safety inspections and a smog check. If you need these inspections or any other type of care repair, contact our team right away. We are located at 12356 Wilkins Ave, Rockville, MD 20852. Feel free to call ahead to book an appointment: (301) 881-8530.