WASHINGTON — Maryland drivers who buy new cars now have an extra year before they have to bring their vehicles in for emissions inspections under new rules announced Wednesday by Gov. Larry Hogan.
Before the rule change, new vehicles had to be inspected within two years. After a new car’s initial inspection, follow-up tests are conducted every two years.
In a statement, Hogan called the rule change an example of “common-sense government.”
“Marylanders want to conduct their business as quickly and efficiently as possible — and we are making that happen,” he said.
The Maryland Department of Transportation said the new rules, which went into effect Jan. 1, would save Maryland drivers more than $2 million.
Another change: Owners of light-duty vehicles older than 1996 are now exempt from emissions inspections entirely. The state said that measure covers about 24,000 vehicles.
The changes announced Wednesday were prompted by a 2016 commission that called for revamping the vehicle emissions testing process.
Over the past few years, MDOT has added 10 24/7 self-service kiosks across the state where the emissions tests are conducted and reduced the price from $14 to $10.
Under the emissions testing program, vehicle owners receive a notification about six to eight weeks before the due date by which their vehicle needs to be inspected. Motorists can then go to a testing station kiosks — there are 18 across Maryland — for the inspection.
Drivers need to bring their test notice, registration card and money to pay the fee. The kiosks accept checks and credit cards.
Each year, about 1.6 million vehicles in Maryland undergo the emissions inspections, MDOT said.
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