Watauga Democrat
August 26, 2008


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Inspection stickers

phasing out
By Melanie Davis

Window inspection stickers will soon be an item of the past. As of Oct. 1, vehicle inspections will be electronically linked to a vehicle’s registration.

A statement issued by the N.C. Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles says the N.C. General Assembly passed the legislation to increase inspection compliance statewide and further benefit the state’s air quality and highway safety.

The inspection process will not change. A certified mechanic will inspect and test a vehicle for safety and emissions standards.

The customer will receive a receipt and inspection report, but not a windshield sticker.


Instead, the inspection will be entered electronically into the DMV vehicle registration database. The inspection will then be next due during the same month of the registration renewal. Registration cards will reflect both renewal dates.


The DMV Web site indicates that depending on the expiration date of a current inspection, the next vehicle inspection may be greater than 12 months from the window sticker issue date. No vehicle will be required to be inspected more than once in a one-year period.

The safety inspections must be completed up to 90 days prior to annual vehicle registration, but no less than the last day of the month of registration expiration. The registration renewal will automatically be blocked if an inspection is not entered within the specified time frame.

There will be a $50 penalty for failure to obtain a safety inspection.


To assist motorists in determining when their next inspection is due, an inspection calculator is available online at www.ncdot.org/dmv.

A link on the left side of the homepage will direct visitors to the electronic inspection information page.


New and used vehicles purchased from a dealership must be inspected prior to retail sale. The inspection conducted prior to purchase is valid until the license plate is due for renewal.

A used vehicle purchased through a private sale must undergo an inspection prior to registration, unless it has received a passing inspection within the previous 12 months.


A three-day permit to drive an insured vehicle for the purpose of inspection and registration is available through the DMV License and Theft Bureau district office in Newton.


For more information call (828) 466-5511.


Safety inspection fees will increase from $8.25 to $12.75 as a part of the change.



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