Every state has different laws regarding the frequency and need for car inspections. Some states require annual inspections or safety and emissions, while others do not require them at all. To make it even more confusing, other states have rules that fall somewhere in-between. If you are in a state requires inspections, you may not be able to get your renewed vehicle registration you get your car inspected. North and South Carolina even have very different rules regarding car inspections. Since there are of differences in the laws between NC and SC, it is good to know how to get your car inspected in each state.
How-to Get Your Car Inspected in the Carolinas: Differences by State
In 1995, South Carolina got rid of their vehicle safety inspection law. Today, there are no safety, emissions, or VIN inspections in South Carolina. This means residents of SC do not have to get their car inspected. SC is one of only 15 states in the US that do not have such laws. In 2017, they considered bringing the law back. However, lawmakers turned down the idea before it ever became a law.
Since there is no mandatory routine checkups for vehicles, it is up to the owners to make sure everything is in good shape. You can take your car to a dealership or an auto body shop and they can look over everything for you. Alternatively, you can perform your own vehicle inspection yourself. If you plan to do your own check, make sure to look at your tire tread, headlights and fluid levels.
On the other hand, North Carolina does require vehicle safety inspections. In order to renew a vehicle’s annual registration or register a new car in NC, the vehicle must pass a safety inspection. The inspection must be completed no more than 90 days prior In order for the inspection to count towards the annual vehicle registration renewal.. A licensed mechanic will examine the vehicle’s headlights, signals, brakes, steering, windows and tires.
Additionally, there are 22 counties in NC that require vehicles to pass an emissions inspection as well. They will complete this extra inspection at the same time as the other safety inspections. This will be part of what you need for your annual renewal as well.
As you can see, there are big differences between the safety and emissions inspection requirements between NC and SC. This also applies to all of the other states in the country as well. If you are moving to a new state, make sure to familiarize yourself with the laws around vehicle inspections. That will help prevent you from running into any issues in the future.