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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm moving to the DC area this summer and was wondering if anyone had some insight on vehicle registration, inspection, taxes, insurance, laws (like tint), etc for Virginia and Maryland. I can live in either and don't want to make a decision until I have as much info as I can. For example, just from a quick google search it looks like I have to have my car inspected every year in Virginia but only once in Maryland.

Thoughts?
 

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I'm moving to the DC area this summer and was wondering if anyone had some insight on vehicle registration, inspection, taxes, insurance, laws (like tint), etc for Virginia and Maryland. I can live in either and don't want to make a decision until I have as much info as I can. For example, just from a quick google search it looks like I have to have my car inspected every year in Virginia but only once in Maryland.

Thoughts?
Yup, need to get your car inspected in MD to get tags. Also emissions checked. After that, for the time being emissions every two years, no more safety inspections unless you're pulled over for a violation of some kind (lights out, for example).

When you get your car registered in MD, there is a mistaken idea that there is a sales tax. Well, what there is functions as a sales tax, but it's really an excise tax. If it were a true sales tax, they couldn't charge you when you moved into the state any more than they could charge you sales tax again on any/all of your personal belongings.

So, at time of registration you will need to show info about your car, they will value it, and you will need to document that you paid tax in your state on the car. MD's tax is 6%, so they will compute 6% of the value of your car, and that's the tax you owe. If your orginating state documentation shows you paid tax equal to or more than that, no more tax is due (but you DO still have to pay for tags, title, and some other fees). If what you paid is less than what MD computes, you will owe MD the difference.

In Virginia I believe you also have to pay an annual Personal Property Tax on your car. Folks here can tell you what that might come to. In MD you don't have that tax. That's only because MD hasn't thought of it yet, they will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great info thanks ... thats one of the things I was trying to avoid was the outrages "annual registration fee" that is a percentage of your cars value rather than a flat fee ($150, etc.). Wyoming has that and I think parts of Colorado as well.

So the Maryland one is excise tax and if I have already paid that amount (WY is 6% also) I don't have to pay it again? Its not recurring?

I would assume both states have front plate requirements (so does WY but i have never been hassled) any issues with window tint?

I hated waiting in line at the inspections stations in NJ and they would always get me for my tint. Cops never pulled me over, but whenever I went to get the car inspected I would get dinged.
 

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Great info thanks ... thats one of the things I was trying to avoid was the outrages "annual registration fee" that is a percentage of your cars value rather than a flat fee ($150, etc.). Wyoming has that and I think parts of Colorado as well.

So the Maryland one is excise tax and if I have already paid that amount (WY is 6% also) I don't have to pay it again? Its not recurring?

I would assume both states have front plate requirements (so does WY but i have never been hassled) any issues with window tint?

I hated waiting in line at the inspections stations in NJ and they would always get me for my tint. Cops never pulled me over, but whenever I went to get the car inspected I would get dinged.
MD you need front tags. $60 ticket. You can go for years without one and not get a ticket, then run into every other cop wanting to pull you over for it. With revenue being down, look for more pullovers on this.

I believe tint is limited to 50%, perhaps even less. I think it's in the MVA laws online if you wade through them. Things like tint get you when you're pulled over for other things...seat belt not being used, speeding, lights blown, stop sign/red light, etc. cops use things like that to pile on if they're in a bad mood, or if the driver has an attitude...

Oh yeah, our legislature just passed laws re distracted driving to include use of cell phones, texting, eating, drinking, etc. Soon as the gov. signs you'll get nailed for those things, too.

There's also the matter of putting it back right when you go to sell the car, as when a used car changes hands it does have to go through the whole safety inspection again before it can be registered.
 

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Yup, need to get your car inspected in MD to get tags. Also emissions checked. After that, for the time being emissions every two years, no more safety inspections unless you're pulled over for a violation of some kind (lights out, for example)...

In Virginia I believe you also have to pay an annual Personal Property Tax on your car. Folks here can tell you what that might come to. In MD you don't have that tax. That's only because MD hasn't thought of it yet, they will.
Annual safety inspections in VA currently cost $16. Every year I fail on at least one car because of "torn wiper blade(s)" and am offered the option of buying new wipers from the shop for $50 to not fail. That includes the two years that I replaced the wiper blades the day before getting the car inspected. I have now found a trustworthy shop.

Great info thanks ... thats one of the things I was trying to avoid was the outrages "annual registration fee" that is a percentage of your cars value rather than a flat fee ($150, etc.). Wyoming has that and I think parts of Colorado as well.
VA has a flat registration fee but a personal property tax based on the DMV determined "value" of the car. Currently my Elise is valued above the market value and yearly tax is about $1400. My house tax value is currently also above the fair market value and I get over taxed on that as well.

I would assume both states have front plate requirements (so does WY but i have never been hassled) any issues with window tint?
VA requires front plates. I have my front plate secured in the boot. No trouble but that is not what I understand occurs in NoVA/MD/DC. I have read about DC metermaids ticketing parked cars from MD/VA for no front plate.

I believe tint is limited to 50%, perhaps even less.
VA tint law for regular passenger cars:
Windshield: No sun shading. It used to be that non-reflective tint was allowed along the top of the windshield above the manufacturer's AS-1 line. That line is marked on your windshield and in the Elise/Exige is just about where the bottom of the sun visors are when they are pushed against the glass. Currently the DMV says no shading on the windscreen at all (except with a medical waver).

Front Side windows: Must allow more than 50% of light in.
Back Side windows: Must allow more than 35% of light in.
Rear window: Must allow more than 35% of light in.

Front Side windows must not be more than 20% reflective.
Back Side windows must not be more than 20% reflective.

Red, Amber or Yellow tints are not legal.

We have three cop cars here in town with what appears to be 0% VLT on all windows. One is a K-9 unit (which I understand to keep the dog cool) but the other two aren't K-9 units. I've never been ballsy enough to ask them about it.
 

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Dont move to VA because you will raped for every little things by the cops....


Lotusforsale had really good pointers and as far as i know what he said is 100% accurate.

The tint law in MD is 35% is legal for front and back side windows, the rear window is also 35% but they dont hassle you for that. Windshield tint is illegal but if you want to tint your windshield 35% they wouldnt care.

Front plate tickets are $60....my dad just got one yesterday. His daily driver is tinted 20% on the front and back sides, rear window is tinted 5% and the cop didn't even care.
 

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Virginia

Virginia SUCKS man!
It's the only state in the us where possessing and using a radar detector is illegal.. And not having front L.plate ticket's fines apply in all three: DC, MD and VA.

Also, cops in VA have no compassion or forgiveness at all. Well, maybe this is true in most State.:shrug:
And if you end up being at court for traffic violation, judges are pretty strict too; I know this from many personal experiences.:p

I have been in Maryland Court only once for 'Not fully stopping at the stop sign' and the judge on the day was awesomely sympathetic to everyone, and did his best to reduce the fines. Very cool judge!

The rush hours traffic really suck in Northern VA.:wallbang:

Anyway, if I have a choice to make between the 3, I'd pick MD.
 

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Possessing a radar detector in VA is not illegal if it is not near a power supply which constitutes operating the dector. It is illegal to operate a radar detector in VA and also in DC.
When we go to VA we usually keep the radar in the car out of the view of cops, but if for whatever reason we do get pulled we unplug it and drop it on the floor.

they cant give you a ticket unless they see that you were using your radar, then again its VA cops so anything is possible.

One of my friends got their tints scratched by a VA cops because his tints were illegal.
 
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