Laws On State Inspections With Emissions

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CHARLOTTE – Curious if your car needs an emissions test this year? Here are the facts you need to know.

First, the state defines a vehicle’s age by its model year, not when it was built. So for example, a 2001 Toyota Camry is an ’01 vehicle in the eyes of the law even if it was built in 2000.

Second, the state defines a car’s mileage by the whole number, not the tenth. So a vehicle with 50,000.5 miles on the odometer is a 50,000-mile car in the eyes of the law.

Vehicles that are three model years old or newer and have under 70,000 miles are exempt from emissions tests. however, a vehicle will be required to receive an emissions test once it turns four model-years old or hits 70,001 miles, whichever comes first. It’s an all-or-nothing package, so even a 2021 model vehicle would be subject to an emissions test if you managed to drive 70,001 miles this year.

A recently new addition is the “rolling 20” rule. In the past, all vehicles 1996 and up were required to receive emissions tests, as they were equipped with OBDII. However, the new rule requires only those vehicles 19 model years old or newer to receive one. As of today, vehicles model-year 2001 and older are now safety only. This will continue to roll going forward: in 2022, 2002 vehicles will become safety only, and so on.

Lastly, Vehicles 8501 or more pounds as specified by the information sticker installed on the car are considered heavy-duty and are exempt from emissions tests no matter their age or mileage.

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