North Carolina State Vehicle Safety and Emissions Inspection Service

For Faster Service Call 828-254-8661

NC State InspectionCox Auto Service can perform your NC state inspection. We are an official NC state certified auto safety and emissions inspection center.
We have been inspecting vehicles for their annual North Carolina State Vehicle Safety and Emissions Inspection since 1970. Our team of expert, ASE-certified car inspection technicians is able to quickly and accurately complete your state inspection. As well as, diagnose any potential issues that would cause a vehicle to fail state inspection. If repair is necessary, we work quickly & effectively to rectify any problem found using our proven trustworthy A+ Better Business Bureau rated repair service.

Let us share our decades of experience and wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today to set up an appointment for your state inspection. If it’s more convenient to just drop in for an on the spot car or truck NC State Vehicle Safety and Emissions Inspection, we can help you.
We are conveniently located on Druid Drive, right off of Patton Avenue, nearby AB Tech Community College and Westgate shopping center. Our team of friendly certified inspection professionals are standing by to assist you in getting your vehicle inspected, passed, and back on the road as quickly and hassle-free as possible.

Don’t forget to bring in your vehicle’s registration information with you so we can expedite the renewal process by automatically entering the car or truck’s VIN number into the DMV’s computerized inspection verification system.

NC State Inspection

By law, before any vehicle can be registered in the state of North Carolina it must first pass the legally mandated, NC State Annual Safety and Emissions Inspection. The mandatory yearly state safety inspection was implemented to ensure the safety of all motorists on the road.

While the regulatory emissions standards are meant to verify vehicles registered within counties, that require emissions inspections, are abiding by legal regulations meant to mitigate the negative environmental and health impacts caused by the release of harmful hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide gases. Revenue generated from inspection fees helps pay for municipal road and transportation services. Below is a checklist of the criteria and requirements for the state auto safety and emissions inspection.

  • Headlights

All lights are in working order, properly fastened, with no damage

  • Accessory Lights

Bulbs work properly with no visible damage

  • Directional Signals

Lights blink properly, bulbs and lenses in working order

  • Foot Brake

Functions properly, pads and components in good condition, no screeching

  • Parking Brake

In working order, intelligent/electronic brake systems work properly

  • Steering

Steering wheel moves freely, no visible damage, no power steering fluid leaks

  • Windshield

No cracks at all on the driver side of the glass, no cracks that obstruct wiper blades in the slightest way

  • Windshield Wipers

All blades are in working order, controls function properly

  • Tinted Windows (if applicable)

No less than 32% light penetration permitted

  • Horn

Proper working order, not excessively loud or quiet, no visible damage

  • Mirrors

Side and rear mirrors are present, properly mounted, no cracks or damage

  • Tires

In good condition with no visible damage and at least 2/32-inch of tread

  • Suspension

In good condition, no damage to component or springs, no visible sagging

  • Check Engine Light

Analyzed by diagnostic computer without issue

  • Exhaust

Muffler components are in working order, no abnormal sounds or emissions

  • Emissions

Analyzed by a diagnostic computer, hydro carbon & carbon monoxide levels are in an acceptable range


Failed NC State Inspection

If a vehicle fails either the state auto safety and/or emissions inspection, Cox Auto Service will gladly diagnose the problem and correct it quickly and affordably. Any car or truck that fails a state inspection may be brought back for re-inspection within 60 days. For both vehicle safety, as well as emissions re-inspections, only the failed criteria will be re-examined.

For instance, if a vehicle passes the emissions inspection but fails only the headlight portion of the safety inspection, only the headlights will be required to be re-inspected. Just be certain to bring your car or truck back to us for re-examination within 60 days.

Failure to inspect a vehicle on an annual basis can lead to fines, as well as disqualifying the car or truck from the DMV’s registration and renewal system until it passes state inspection.


Your car or truck may be exempt from having to undergo an annual auto safety and/or emissions state inspection if it qualifies for one or more of the following criteria.

The vehicle in question is exempt from both the safety and emissions inspections if…

  • Car or truck is 35 years or older The vehicle in question is exempt from the emissions inspection only if it is…
  • Newer than three years old and has accumulated less than 70,000-miles
  • Manufactured before 1995
  • Registered in one of the 26 state counties that don’t require emissions inspections
  • Registered as a farm vehicle
  • Powered by a diesel engine
  • Motorcycles

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