Inspection / Maintenance (I/M) Program

For Station Owners & Inspectors For Analyzer Vendors

Proposed Exemptions for Annual Emissions Testing

North Carolina likely will exempt an additional 26 counties from annual motor vehicle emissions testing, beginning some time in 2018. A “pre-draft” of amendments to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) was submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for review in August. On October 5, the Division of Air Quality initiated a 30-day public comment period as required for amendments to federally approved SIPs. These comments will be submitted to the EPA, which has up to 18 months to review and approve the plan.

Forty-eight North Carolina counties currently do not require annual emissions testing. The 26 additional counties that would become exempt from annual emissions testing include: 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.

All counties will still require the safety inspection. Visit the Exemption Calculator page for additional information.

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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