Emissions Inspections Exempt 20-Year-Old Vehicles

On Dec. 1, 2019, North Carolina’s Vehicle inspections requirement began exempting vehicles 20 years old from obtaining a yearly emissions test in the 22 counties in which testing is required. For example, a 1999 model year vehicle is exempt from obtaining an emissions inspection as of Dec. 1, 2019. The following year, a 2000 model year vehicle would be exempt from obtaining an emissions inspection. The change came about as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 131 (Regulatory Reform Act of 20162017). The bill was signed into law in 2017 and then approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. The 20-year rolling inspection is outlined in N.C.G.S. 20-183.2 (b)(3) (https://www.ncleg.gov/EnactedLegislation/ Statutes/PDF/BySection/Chapter_20/GS_20-183.2.pdf) By law, a motor vehicle must pass an annual safety inspection before it can be registered in North Carolina or the registration can be renewed. All North Carolina counties still require the safety inspection. Emissions inspections for any vehicle under 20 years old are still required in 22 counties across North Carolina. They include: Alamance; Buncombe; Cabarrus; Cumberland; Davidson; Durham; Forsyth; Franklin; Gaston; Guilford; Iredell; Johnston; Lee; Lincoln; Mecklenburg; New Hanover; Onslow; Randolph; Rockingham; Rowan; Union; and Wake.