If it isn’t one thing it is another. Experienced RV owners are used to the hidden expenses that appear from time to time. No matter which direction they turn, it seems they have to pay another bill and another fee, and some states add to this burden by requiring inspections.
Yes, your RV needs to be inspected prior to a sale or transfer. The onus is on the seller to get the inspection done. In some cases either party can do the inspection. RVs under 10,000 pounds GVWR are required to be inspected for registration.
To learn more about this inspection and how much it costs, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about if you are thinking of moving to Maryland or living there and want to buy an RV or trailer.
Yes, they do and the inspections are for your safety and not a means to add more expenses to your RV purchase. RVs that weigh under 10,000 GVWR and trailers that do not have air brakes are classified as a Class A vehicle.
All Class A vehicles must be inspected for the owner to get their registration. If you buy used and cannot get the RV or trailer to the inspection station, then you can apply for a temporary registration which gives you roughly 30 days to meet the inspection requirement.
According to the Maryland MVA, it is the owner’s responsibility to legally transport the vehicle to an authorized inspection station. In other words, there is no way to get around having the inspection done.
The MVA also warns or alerts people to get their inspections done at authorized inspection stations only. There may be many mechanics that offer a cheaper cost to inspect your RV or trailer but if they are not authorized, you are wasting your money.
It is highly recommended that you make an appointment first before going to an inspection station. These stations are very busy and drive-ins may not find an open time to be inspected.
Please note that the majority of the content of this article comes directly from the Maryland MVA website. You can read and get more information at this link. The bottom of the landing page has the contact information in case you have further questions.
It would be nice if there was a flat fee for this service. But in Maryland that does not seem to be the case. According to their website, the fee that is charged varies and you may pay more or less than a friend did even if you have the same RV, etc.
The actual charge you will pay depends on the labor charge of the inspection station you choose to go with. The state law does regulate the number of labor hours that can be charged to the RV owner but it does not regulate individual; labor rates.
So, a little shopping around will get you a better price and you may be able to save a little money. If the fee is not predominately displayed at the inspection station, then you should cancel your appointment and go somewhere else.
The law states the fee must be very easy to see. If your RV or trailer fails the inspection, then, unfortunately, there will be an additional re-inspection fee. This fee follows the same rules as the initial inspection fee.
The good news here is that no fee is charged if the repair work done can be visually inspected. But expect a prorated charge if the inspector or mechanic has to jack, lift, measure, or test the vehicle.
First, all Class A vehicles must be inspected. As we said this is for your safety as Maryland does not want you driving an unsafe vehicle. Class A and Class B vehicles are defined as follows:
“Class A - Passenger vehicles, autocycles, limousines, multipurpose passenger vehicles, recreational motor homes and trucks 10,000 pounds and under GVWR, and trailers not equipped with air brakes.
Class B - Any trailer, including those equipped with air brakes.”
Another requirement is that the inspection station you go to has to be properly authorized to conduct these inspections. Once the physical inspection is done, the rest of the process is conducted electronically. You will have to submit an e-mail address to get your receipt.
Then if your RV fails an inspection, all the problems contributing to this failure must be repaired and re-inspected. The catch to this is that you have to return to the same inspection station and have the same inspector look over the repairs.
When it comes to repairs, you can DIY, have the inspection station do the repairs, or go to another shop to have the repairs done. Once the repairs are done, and if they are done within 30 days of the original inspection and you have driven less than 1000 miles, the inspector only has to inspect the parts that were repaired.
After 30 days and you have driven over 1000 miles, then you have to pay for a completely new inspection. That means paying the same fee as the last time. One thing to note, while RVS and trailers are classified as Class A vehicles, they also have another classification.
These recreational vehicles are also classified as Class T for trailers and Class R for RVs. When you contact the MVA, you can ask about this duplication. No explanation is given on this landing page.
Other requirements include the following:
“A certificate of inspection, issued within 90 days of the vehicle to be titled, must accompany the application for a title. Please compare the vehicle identification number (VIN) on the inspection certificate with the one on the vehicle and the vehicle ownership documents to make certain they all agree. Altered inspection certificates will not be accepted.” (source)
There are supposed to be over 1600 inspection stations to choose from. These stations can be an automobile dealer, service station, and specialized automobile service center. There may be other options as well.
Then all of these inspection outlets must be duly licensed by the state. If the station you go to does not have this license or does not display the fee clearly, then go to another one. The MVA website provides a link to the Maryland State Police website that takes you to a link to the inspection station locator.
All you need to do is put the city, county, or zip code in the box as well as the class of the vehicle, and for Baltimore, there are 296 locations you can use. The results provide the name of the station, its address and phone number as well as the class of vehicle they inspect.
The inspection station look-up is easy to use and the results appear very quickly. Then you just call the station that you want to use and make an appointment. Do not assume that they will have free time for a drive-in.
Make the appointment so there are no problems and no hassles.
This is a fee that is separate from the inspection or re-inspection fee. Do not assume that the latter applies to the registration costs, it doesn’t. This is one of those many hidden fees when you own an RV or trailer.
It may also be a fee the dealer may not tell you about when you make your purchase. The registration fee will vary depending on the type of vehicle and its purpose. If you bought out of state, you still have to go through the registration process in Maryland.
There has been no word if this requirement has been changed if your RV was inspected in another state. The inspection is part of the registration process to drive in Maryland and do not be surprised if you are paying hundreds of dollars for the inspection. Then add in repair costs and registration fees.
Also, be prepared to leave your RV or trailer at the inspection station for most of the day. This is not something you can drive in and drive out an hour later type of situation. But this situation may vary depending on the location of your inspection station.
If you go for a 30-day temporary inspection waiver, there will be a fee for that option as well. To get an idea of registration costs, click on this link. It takes you to the MVA’s price lists.
Buying and owning an RV or trailer means you are paying more than just the purchase price and insurance premium. Depending on the state you live in, there may be a long list of hidden costs you do not know about.
You may only find out about those costs once you get your RV home and try to register it. It is definitely not cheap to own an RV or trailer.