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FAQ: Will I Pass My Annual NC Car Inspection?

When it comes time to renew a car’s registration, many drivers fear it might fail the inspection. Thankfully, passing your North Carolina car inspection is easier than you might expect. Our local mechanics are here with an FAQ on common questions about passing your inspection. 

Will My Car Pass Inspection?

Unless your car is experiencing a safety hazard, you will not have trouble passing the state inspection. Ask yourself, “Does my car feel safe to drive?” In summary, this test will check the health and functioning of your:

  • Lights
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Brakes
  • Mirrors
  • Turn signals
  • Steering wheel
  • Windshield wipers
  • Exhaust system

If you are worried about failing your inspection, you can precheck many of these items at home—or ask a mechanic to take a look at your concerns. For more information, you can read our detailed list of everything checked during your car safety inspection here

I Passed My Car Inspection: Why Can’t I Renew My Registration?

It takes up to 2 hours for the inspection center to upload your “pass” status to the NCDOT. If you are still experiencing this issue after two hours, you can call your inspection center or mechanic for assistance. 

Will a Cracked Windshield Cause Inspection Failure?

The short answer is no; a windshield crack or chip will not cause you to fail your NC car inspection. Contrary to popular belief, a cracked windshield is not a safety hazard nor prone to shattering/inward collapse. Rather, your windshield works more like an industrial-grade plexiglass designed to protect passengers even under impact. Unless your windshield is so cracked that it impacts your visibility, it will not cause inspection failure. 

Can I Get My NC Car Inspected In Another State?

Yes, you can get your NC vehicle inspection completed by a mechanic or inspection center in another state. 

What if you happen to be traveling across state lines when you realize your registration has expired? In these cases, getting your car inspected as quickly as possible is essential so you can renew your registration, pay your taxes, and avoid a traffic ticket for expired tags. Even without the physical sticker on your license plate, you should be safe from a ticket once you renew your registration online.

You must complete safety and emissions inspections in compliance with NC legislation. Speak with your inspection professional to ensure they comply. For example, some states do not require safety or emissions inspections—which might make it hard to find an inspection center. At the time of publication, the following states do not require car inspections:

  • Wyoming
  • Washington
  • South Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Montana
  • Mississippi
  • Minnesota
  • Michigan
  • Iowa
  • Arkansas
  • Alaska

If you are living out of state or traveling for an extended period, you can apply for an out-of-state exemption. Learn more here from the NCDOT

NC Car Inspections Near Me: Chapel Hill Tire

If you need a local car inspection service in Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham, Cary, Apex, or Carrboro—Chapel Hill Tire is here for you. We proudly serve the greater Triangle area with 10 locations across Cary, Apex, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham. 

Our local mechanics also serve nearby communities, including KnightdalePittsboroWake ForestHillsborough, and Morrisville. We invite you to make an appointmentbrowse our promotions, or give us a call to get started today!

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