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Vehicle Owner Information


Electronic Authorizations Q & A - Consumer

1.  What are Electronic Authorizations?

Instead of physical stickers being placed on the windshield of the vehicle upon passing an inspection, an electronic authorization number (E-Sticker) will be assigned to that vehicle and will appear on the inspection receipt. This will provide the state with an electronic record of the inspection. Electronic Authorizations will apply to both safety only inspections and safety-emissions inspections.

2.  When will inspection stations start using Electronic Authorizations?

The use of Electronic Authorizations will begin November 1, 2008 statewide.

3.  How will the Electronic Authorization Program affect inspection stations?

Inspection stations will no longer need to travel to Tag Agency offices to purchase stickers, but will be able to purchase electronic authorization numbers through their analyzer, Internet, or via phone. Downloads of these authorization numbers to the analyzer will occur instantaneously and can be purchased at any time. Stations will no longer have to keep records of paper stickers that are damaged, missing, or stolen.

4.  Since there is no longer a sticker on my windshield how will I know when my next inspection is due?

The Electronic Authorizations Program will align the vehicle's inspection due date and registration due date to expire the same month. For example, if your inspection was due March 31, 2009 and your registration was due August 31, 2009, your inspection and registration will be realigned to be due every August. Your registration invitation for renewal will be your reminder to have your vehicle inspected. Your vehicle must pass the inspection before you will be able to register your vehicle.

5.  Is there any other method where I can find out when my inspection is due other than waiting for the invitation for registration renewal letter?

Beginning November 2008, registration cards will include a new field showing the vehicle inspection due date. Your vehicle must be inspected before this date.

6.  Will there be an increase in the cost of an inspection?

Beginning with the Electronic Authorizations Program the safety only inspection will cost $13.60 while the safety/emissions inspection will remain at the current $30.00 maximum.

7.  Will I have to pay for more than one inspection in a year?

No, however it will take approximately two years to align the inspection and registration dates of all vehicles in the state. No owner will be required to receive an inspection twice in the same calendar year (January -December). During this implementation period, some owners will go beyond their 12-month inspection cycle to realign the two dates. Example: The inspection was performed November 2008 and the registration will be renewed March 2009, the next inspection will be due March 2010 (17 months between inspections).

8.  Will all North Carolina counties have this program?

All 100 counties will have this program in place beginning November 1, 2008. Safety-only stations will no longer process inspections by hand, but will perform inspections electronically and transmit the inspection data to NC-DMV via a phone line.

9.  I am new to the State, what do I need to do to get my vehicle registered and inspected?

The vehicle must be inspected before it is registered in North Carolina. For registration details refer to the NC-DMV webpage or contact NC-DMV hot line 1-877-421-0020.

10.  My North Carolina registered vehicle is out of the state when my inspection/registration is due. How do I get my vehicle registered?

If you are in a state that has an emissions program (see link state programs), have your vehicle tested and send your passing results to NC-DMV. If the state does not have an emissions program, a one year exemption can be received from NC-DMV. Contact NC-DMV Headquarters for additional information on out-of-state renewals at 1-877-421-0020.

11.  I need an inspection to renew an out-of state vehicle registration, but I am temporarily living in North Carolina. Can I have my vehicle inspected in North Carolina?

Yes, out-of state registered vehicles may be inspected in North Carolina. There are people who reside in North Carolina on a temporary basis (college students, military personnel, people on business, etc) that may need to renew vehicle registration or need an emissions inspection, but are unable to return to their home state in time to have the test completed. In these situations, you will need to have a valid and current registration from your home state. Local inspection stations are found on DMV's web site.

12.  If I am in the military and will be deployed when my vehicle inspection needs to be renewed, what do I do?

Senate Bill 509 from the General Assembly 2007 Session allows the penalty to be waived for military personnel on active military duty who cannot get their vehicle inspected within the four month grace period from the date the inspection sticker expired. You must obtain a current inspection within 30 days after returning to the State. To have the penalty waived, you must contact your local NC-DMV Office.

13.  I will be on vacation when my inspection is due, what do I do?

Under the Electronic Authorization program, you may obtain an inspection and renew your registration up to three months prior to the expiration of the vehicle inspection/registration due date. If the length of the vacation is longer than three months, you must contact NC-DMV Headquarters for additional information 1-877-421-0020.

14.  Will I be able to transfer plates?

Yes, contact NC-DMV registration or the DMV hotline for more details (1-877-421-0020).

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Last Modified: Mon August 27 09:03:56 2012
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