In conjunction with an annual safety inspection, motor vehicles registered in 22 North Carolina counties in the table below must undergo an on-board diagnostic emissions inspection as part of requirements to keep air quality standards in compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.*
Vehicles are exempt from emissions inspections under the following conditions:
Vehicles 30 years old or older may qualify for an antique automobile license plate
. Those vehicles with an antique automobile license plate are exempt from both annual safety and emissions inspections. Antique plates should be used for vehicles primarily used for exhibitions, club activities, parades and other public interest events.
Failure to Pass Inspection
The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ License & Theft Bureau may issue a waiver for a vehicle that meets all the following conditions:
- It passes the safety inspection but fails the emissions inspection analysis of data provided by the on-board diagnostic equipment.
- It has documented repairs costing at least the $200 waiver amount to correct the cause of the failure.
- It is re-inspected and again passes the safety inspection but fails the on-board diagnostic analysis.
The vehicle’s owner must then bring the vehicle and all the above supporting documentation to a License & Theft Bureau to receive a repair waiver.
All safety items must pass. A waiver cannot be issued for the failure of a safety item.