The state of North Carolina requires that all registered vehicles less than 35 years old are required to pass an annual safety inspection. This inspection will determine whether or not your vehicle is considered “road worthy.”
More information can also be found on the NCDMV Vehicle Emissions and Safety Inspection or NC Division of Air Quality websites.
If your vehicle is classified as a model year 1996 or newer, an emissions test (as well as a safety inspection) is likely required. This is also called the On-Board Diagnostics test (OBD). Your vehicle is plugged in to a specialized computer that confirms its identity and checks its systems. The “Check Engine” light being on while the vehicle is running will cause it to fail the emissions portion of a state inspection. There are some vehicles exempt from this portion of the inspection (see below). North Carolina no longer performs a “smog check” to check emissions. This is a computer controlled test and we have no ability to override it regardless of circumstances
There are “Waivers” issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles for problems related to the “Check Engine” light in some cases, please contact any of our locations or visit the links below for information.
Some vehicles are also exempt from this portion of the test, these typically include:
Any vehicle classified as older than model year 1996
Any vehicle three years old (or newer) with less than 70,000 miles
Any vehicle over 8500lbs gross weight rating
Any vehicle that uses diesel or an alternative (non-gasoline) fuel, or is 100% electric
Any vehicle classified as a motorcycle
Being registered in certain counties that do no participate in the emissions portion of the test
There are two types of inspections for vehicles in the state of North Carolina
The Safety and Emissions (OBD) Inspection and the Safety Only Inspection
For more information follow the link