Smog Check in MainePage Overview
The Maine State Police (MSP) administers the state’s motor vehicle inspection program, and it’s important for all residents to adhere to state laws requiring registered vehicles to be inspected regularly.
If you have recently become a Maine resident, you have 30 days to register your vehicle with the state.
- If you had your vehicle inspected in your previous state, Maine will recognize that inspection until the sticker expires.
- If your previous state did not require vehicle inspections, you must have one performed immediately after you register. Ask your municipal office clerk for a permit to visit an inspection station.
For details on how to register your vehicle with the state for the first time, please visit our Maine Car Registration page.
In Maine, all vehicles are required to have a safety inspection completed annually. Additionally, vehicles registered in Cumberland County must also undergo an emissions inspection along with the annual safety check.
Maine Safety Inspection
During the safety test, technicians will look at various things on your vehicle, including:
- Exhaust system.
- Lights and turn signals.
- Rearview mirrors.
- Running gear.
- Seat belts.
- Windshield wipers.
- Catalytic converter (vehicles model year 1983 and newer).
- Filler neck restrictions (vehicles model year 1983 and newer).
- Steering mechanism.
- Body components.
ME Smog & Emissions Inspection
Vehicles registered in Cumberland County (except for motorcycles) are required to also undergo an emissions test—called an enhanced inspection—as part of their overall vehicle inspection.
The Maine enhanced inspection involves the following:
- All processes described above for the safety inspection.
- A fuel tank cap test on gasoline-powered vehicles model year 1974 and newer.
- An on-board diagnostic system test (OBD) on vehicles model year 1996 and newer.
You must complete a vehicle inspection if:
- You are new to Maine and need to register your car for the first time (must be completed within 30 days of establishing residency). If you have a current inspection sticker from your previous state, you must get a Maine inspection as soon as it expires.
- Your vehicle’s current ME inspection sticker is about to expire.
- You are ordered by law enforcement to submit your vehicle for inspection.
Certain vehicles are exempt from Maine vehicle inspections:
- Vehicles registered in Maine that have a valid out-of-state inspection certificate less than 1 year old.
- Mopeds or motorized bicycles/tricycles.
- Vehicles that are registered with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) as antiques.
Maine provides a list of inspection exemptions for review of other exempt vehicles, such as wood truck, fish trucks, and tractors.
Although the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) does not offer an emissions test exemption for electric cars and fuel-efficient vehicles, you can find more on other perks specific to eco-friendly driving—such as tax breaks and auto insurance discounts—on our page on green driver incentives.
To complete your safety test and/or emissions test, you must take it to a state-certified service center, garage, or auto dealership.
When you go to the inspection station, you’ll need to bring:
- Vehicle registration card.
- Driver’s license.
For information on a certified inspection station near you, you may contact the Maine State Police (MSP) at (207) 624-8939.
Maine Inspection Fees
The fees for safety and emissions testing vary depending on where you take your vehicle, as the inspection station will charge you their base hourly rate for labor. However, there are some standard inspection fee caps set by the state for the test itself (you will still be subject to labor fees):
- Vehicles that undergo the basic safety inspection will not pay more than $12.50.
- Vehicles in Cumberland County that undergo the enhanced (emissions) inspection will not pay more than:
- $15.50 for vehicles manufactured before 1996.
- $18.50 for vehicles model year 1996 and newer.
You may also review the vehicle inspection fee chart or call (207) 624-8939 if you have questions or concerns about your charges.
If your vehicle fails an inspection:
- You will be given an inspection report that lists the items that need to be fixed on your vehicle.
- Your inspection sticker will be cut diagonally, removing the portions that do not show your sticker’s expiration date.
- You must fix the issues that prevented your vehicle from passing and have it retested.
Maine does not offer a waiver for failed vehicle inspections. You must have your vehicle repaired before you may renew your registration.
If you are traveling or stationed out of the state when your inspection sticker expires, you can get an inspection from another state- or federally-approved inspection program within the state where you are located. If that state does not issue stickers, keep the inspection report in the vehicle for presentation if requested by a police officer or other official.
If your current state doesn’t offer safety and emissions inspections, you must obtain one immediately after returning to Maine.
For further information, contact the Maine State Police at (207) 624-8939.
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