emmissions test exemption

Posted in the Bel Air Forum

disgruntled new resident

Abingdon, MD

#1 Jul 19, 2011
To Whom It May Concern:
I am new to the state and have just encountered the state emissions testing requirement or the first time.
I moved here from out of state to live with my daughter’s family due to handicaps making it difficult to continue living alone and managing for myself.
I was pleased to see you had a waiver for seniors or handicapped individuals driving less than 5000 miles annually.
Happily, I promptly applied for that exemption. Well, I just received the answer from your MVA. I could not be approved because I chose to purchase the less expensive handicapped hanging plaque instead of the metal plate.
I decided to call in an effort to gain a better understanding of the situation. The explanation for the rejection was that the hanging plaque could be transferred to any vehicle. Is it my imagination or has everyone forgotten that even the hanging plaques are identified and registered to specific vehicles just like the metal plates? They can be checked with the MVA as easily as the metal plates. In addition, the metal plates can also be easily transferred to another vehicle by anyone so inclined, with nothing more than a screwdriver. In my opinion, these facts make the justification for denying my request invalid. So, the choice I was given was to pay $20.00 every two years for metal plates or $14.00 every two years for the emissions test. I own a well-maintained 1999 Honda Civic with less than 60,000 miles. Passing the emissions test is not a concern.
My concern is that I am trying to live on a fixed annual income considerably under the poverty level. I am already paying a higher car insurance rate for living in this state; I paid a ludicrous amount for moving into this state and getting my vehicle registered and licensed here, and now this slap in the face. Where does it end? I have repeatedly encountered situations in this state that make me feel that the government is simply trying to find any and every possible means of parting its population from as many dollars as it can to support itself. The main focus appears to be to make the government larger and more in control at the expense of the general population. This does not feel like government for the people, of the people and by the people, no, not at all.
However, if this proves to be the mantra of the general population, then too many of you have bought into the Machiavellian philosophies and methods and forgotten the principals on which this county was founded.
A disgruntled new resident of the state of Maryland
Anonymous

New Park, PA

#2 Jul 19, 2011
Disgruntled New Resident,
While getting the emmissions can be a pain I do understand where MVA is coming from in regards to your "hang-tag" Unfortunately law enforcement is unable to check the registration of a hangtag. Besides... if you needed to borrow your daughters car to travel to the grocery or anywhere else.. you have the ability of taking your hang-tag and law enforcement wouldn't be the wiser. As far as paying for your metal license plates.. It is called a specialty tag and you do not have to pay that specialty tag fee every two years. It is a one time fee at the beginning of the vehicle registration. I also have a specialty tag. You are however required to renew your vehicle registration every two years. That might be what you are thinking of and it cost far more than $20. A passenger vehicle cost $128 every two years to renew. I do not know if they give stipulations for seniors or less miles driven though. I hope this helps some and I'm sorry to hear that you are already disgruntled with Maryland.
disgruntled new resident

Abingdon, MD

#3 Jul 20, 2011
Anonymous wrote:
Disgruntled New Resident,
While getting the emmissions can be a pain I do understand where MVA is coming from in regards to your "hang-tag" Unfortunately law enforcement is unable to check the registration of a hangtag. Besides... if you needed to borrow your daughters car to travel to the grocery or anywhere else.. you have the ability of taking your hang-tag and law enforcement wouldn't be the wiser. As far as paying for your metal license plates.. It is called a specialty tag and you do not have to pay that specialty tag fee every two years. It is a one time fee at the beginning of the vehicle registration. I also have a specialty tag. You are however required to renew your vehicle registration every two years. That might be what you are thinking of and it cost far more than $20. A passenger vehicle cost $128 every two years to renew. I do not know if they give stipulations for seniors or less miles driven though. I hope this helps some and I'm sorry to hear that you are already disgruntled with Maryland.
Dear Anonymous, Thank you for the clarification on the cost of the specialty tag. You have explained that differently than what I understood the young woman from the MVA to say. What you explained makes much more sense to me. However, you may never have purchased the hang-tag and may not be aware of the fact that they too are numbered and assigned by the MVA to specific vehicles. Those numbers printed on the hang-tag are most certainly traceable to a specific vehicle. I purchased 2 hang-tags because I can keep one in my car all the time and my daughter has one in her glove box so when we travel together we can park in areas where I can still access the facility we are going to. Although easily carried from one vehicle to another, the metal plate is almost as easily transferred from one vehicle to another.
Still digruntled, but feeling a little better in Maryland
Arch Stanton

United States

#4 Jul 21, 2011
You should have been around when the State decided to abandon / demolish all of the former emissions inspection facilities and replace them with more expensive facilities, often right next to the previous station. What a racket that was! These "new" facilities were supposed to measure emissions at significantly lower levels, levels so low as to be deemed imperceptible by many in the environmental community. And what's more, you once had to surrender your vehicle to a test station attendant which amounts to the State seizing your property for a period of time (which is both illegal and unconstitutional). Not sure if that is still the case or not. Anyway, the only ones who are making out are the guys building the test stations and the people manning them.
You will quickly find that those in know refer to MD as "The People's Republic of Maryland" because of its stifling taxes and far reaching government intrusion. Still, it's a nice place to live if you can stomach the politics.

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