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The Inspection Process

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 on the Emissions (OBD) inspection portion, please visit




No documents are needed for us to perform an inspection



The Safety Inspection - A General Checklist

       Suspension & Steering



  • Tires (wear and condition)

  • Steering linkage, bearings, and joints

  • Steering free-play

  • Shocks/struts, springs and bushings

  • Brakes (operation, fluid, and condition)

  • Power steering (operation, fluid, leaks)

  • Drive/serpentine belt condition

  • Parking (emergency) brake operation




The following are checked for operation and condition

  • Headlights (low-beams, high-beams and indicator)

  • Brake lights

  • Directional signals

  • Parking lights

  • Horn

  • Windshield wipers


Inspection Fees

       Other Systems


  • Presence of original emissions components

  • Exhaust system (leaks, holes, mufflers)

  • Rear view mirrors (mounting and clear view)

  • After-factory window tinting (see below) must have at least 32% light transmittance


This is a general overview, for the official comprehensive list - see the link to the regulations provided at the bottom of this page


$30.00 - Safety and Emissions Inspection


$13.60 - Safety Only Inspection


+$10.00 - Yearly test of after-factory*** window tinting


***If applicable. After-factory window tinting is now often being applied to a brand new vehicle to boost profits by dealerships, this is not factory as it has been added as an optional accessory after production. This is a state-mandated charge.

Failing Inspection

If any component of a vehicle is found to be unsatisfactory according to the state inspection guidelines, the vehicle will fail inspection. The customer will receive a receipt stating the faulty conditions and will have 60 days to make the neccessary repairs. Only the item(s) that failed will be re-checked so the reinspection is typically significantly faster. They will pay a portion of the total inspection fee depending on the type of inspection they require. A vehicle with after-factory window tinting will be an additional $10.00 on the first attempt only.


For a Safety and Emissions Inspection, $23.75 will be due upon failure - the remaining $6.25 will be due upon repair completion.

For a Safety Only Inspection, $12.75 will be due upon failure - the remaining $0.85 will be due upon repair completion.


For even more information you can view the Safety and Emissions Inspection Regulations Manual direct from the NCDMV.

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