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Inspection / Maintenance (I/M) Program

For Station Owners & Inspectors For Analyzer Vendors

Update on efforts to remove 26 counties from the State Inspection and Maintenance Program

Effective December 1, 2018, emissions inspections will no longer be required in 26 counties: Brunswick, Burke, Caldwell, Carteret, Catawba, Chatham, Cleveland, Craven, Edgecombe, Granville, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Lenoir, Moore, Nash, Orange, Pitt, Robeson, Rutherford, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Wayne, Wilkes, and Wilson. The removal of these counties from the Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) program was enacted in Session Law 2017-10, Senate Bill 131 of the 2017 session of the North Carolina General Assembly.  

On September 28, 2018, the NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) provided a letter to the Revisor of Statutes, certifying the Environmental Protection Agency's approval of the change. The Division of Motor Vehicle will handle implementation of the changes to the I&M program.

Information for customers in these counties who had a failed emissions inspection prior to Dec 1, 2018

Note: All counties will still require the safety inspection. Emissions inspections remain a requirement in Buncombe, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Guilford, Iredell, Johnston, Lee, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Onslow, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Union, and Wake Counties. 

Visit the Exemption Calculator page for additional information.

 

Update on efforts to change the vehicle model year coverage to 20 years for the remaining 22 counties in the State Inspection and Maintenance Program after December 1, 2018

The following process needs to be completed before North Carolina can change the vehicle model year coverage from 1996 and newer to a revolving 20 years for the 22 counties (Alamance, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Davidson, Durham, Franklin, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Johnston, Iredell, Lee, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Onslow, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Union and Wake) remaining in the Inspection and Maintenance (I&M) program after December 1, 2018. This model year coverage change was enacted in Session Law 2017-10, Senate Bill 131 of the 2017 session of the North Carolina General Assembly. 

NC Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Division of Air Quality (DAQ), submitted the revised I&M State Implementation Plan (SIP) and Clean Air Act Section (CAA) 110(l) noninterference demonstration to change the model year coverage for the remaining 22 counties in the I&M program to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval on July 25, 2018.

Next Steps:
  • EPA has up to 18 months to complete final approval. 
  • EPA will publish a notice in the Federal Register proposing to approve the revised I&M State Implementation Plan and CAA Section 110(l) noninterference demonstration to change the model year coverage in the remaining 22 counties in the I&M program and will take public comments on the proposal for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. 
  • EPA will publish its final approval in the Federal Register addressing any public comments received.
  • NC DEQ Secretary will submit a certification letter of the SIP approval by EPA to the Reviser of Statutes after the final EPA approval is published in the Federal Register.
  • Division of Motor Vehicles implementation of the program change must occur on the first day of a month that is 60 days after the DEQ Secretary certifies to the Revisor of Statutes that EPA has approved the amendment to the SIP.

Inspection / Maintenance

The Inspection/Maintenance (I/M) Program for cars and trucks makes sure that the air pollution controls are working properly on vehicles. This is important because motor vehicles contribute substantially to air quality problems.

Emissions Testing

North Carolina requires emission systems tests for cars and light-duty trucks as part of the annual safety inspection in 48 counties. Vehicles from 1996 and newer are usually equipped with On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) systems, which help inspectors check that the vehicle's pollution controls are working.

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