NC changing vehicle inspection system

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

RALEIGH (AP) ó The state of North Carolina is changing its automobile inspection system to require safety and emissions checks before automobile license plates can be renewed.
The state now uses windshield stickers to indicate when an inspection is due and drivers have a separate deadline to renew license plates.
The News & Observer reported Tuesday that the new online system will give the state Division of Motor Vehicles more control over vehicle safety and emissions.
Starting in October, the state will require that a vehicle owner get an inspection before renewing license plates or getting new ones. After the system is fully operational, vehicle owners will have to remember only one date each year.
Enforcement of the current system isnít even, the newspaper said.
There are 3 million vehicles that must get safety inspections, but 81 percent comply. There are another 4 million vehicles in urban areas that also get emissions inspections and their compliance is 94 percent.
ěItís a better way of doing business,î said Gordon Zeigler, who oversees DMVís inspection program. ěThe consumer has one compliance date theyíre looking at. They get the vehicle inspected, and then they can go get it registered.î
Zeigler said officials are expecting the compliance rate to hit 98 percent.
In addition to giving drivers only one date to remember, the new system will relieve operators of the stateís 7,000 inspection stations of going to the DMV to buy inspection stickers.
As the new system replaces the old one, the newspaper said that some vehicles will go as much as 23 months between inspections. It said a car now due for inspection in November and plate renewal in March wonít have to be inspected and renewed again until March 2010.
Information from: The News & Observer,