NC Emissions Inspections Change

As of December 1, 2018, vehicle emissions testing will no longer be required in 26 North Carolina counties including: Henderson, Haywood and Rutherford counties.

Emissions inspections remain a requirement in 48 of 100 North Carolina counties including: Buncombe county.

Vehicle safety inspections are still required for registration renewal in all 100 North Carolina counties.
Vehicles manufactured prior to 1995 are exempt from emissions inspections.
Vehicles more than 35 years old are exempt from annual safety inspections.

“This change is only possible because of the strides we’ve made in improving air quality throughout the state of North Carolina,” said Assistant Secretary for the Environment Sheila Holman.  The process to remove the emissions inspection requirement in these counties started more than four years ago. The Division of Air Quality determined that ending inspections in these rural counties would not negatively impact air quality or interfere with the attainment status or maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
For more information:
NC Department of Environmental Quality Certification Letter
NC Division of Air Quality Inspection and Maintenance page: Inspection / Maintenance Program
NC Division of Motor Vehicles: Emissions & Safety Inspections