20-183.8. Infractions and criminal offenses for violations of inspection requirements.

(a) Infractions. - A person who does any of the following commits an infraction and, if found responsible, is liable for a penalty of up to fifty dollars ($50.00):

(1) Operates a motor vehicle that is subject to inspection under this Part on a highway or public vehicular area in the State when the vehicle has not been inspected in accordance with this Part, as evidenced by the vehicle's lack of a current electronic inspection authorization or otherwise.

(2) Allows an electronic inspection authorization to be issued to a vehicle owned or operated by that person, knowing that the vehicle was not inspected before the electronic inspection authorization was issued or was not inspected properly.

(3) Issues an electronic inspection authorization on a vehicle, knowing or having reasonable grounds to know that an inspection of the vehicle was not performed or was performed improperly. A person who is cited for a civil penalty under G.S. 20-183.8B for an emissions violation involving the inspection of a vehicle may not be charged with an infraction under this subdivision based on that same vehicle.

(4) Alters the original certified configuration or data link connectors of a vehicle in such a way as to make an emissions inspection by analysis of data provided by on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment inaccurate or impossible.

(b) Defenses to Infractions. - Any of the following is a defense to a violation under subsection (a) of this section:

(1) The vehicle was continuously out of State for at least the 30 days preceding the date the electronic inspection authorization expired and a current electronic inspection authorization was obtained within 10 days after the vehicle came back to the State.

(2) The vehicle displays a dealer license plate or a transporter plate, the dealer repossessed the vehicle or otherwise acquired the vehicle within the last 10 days, and the vehicle is being driven from its place of acquisition to the dealer's place of business or to an inspection station.

(3) Repealed by Session Laws 1997-29, s. 5.

(4) The charged infraction is described in subdivision (a)(1) of this section, the vehicle is subject to a safety inspection or an emissions inspection and the vehicle owner establishes in court that the vehicle was inspected after the citation was issued and within 30 days of the expiration date of the inspection sticker that was on the vehicle or the electronic inspection authorization was issued to the vehicle when the citation was issued.

(b1) A person who performs a safety inspection without a license, as required under G.S. 20-183.4, or an emissions inspection without a license, as required under G.S. 20-183.4A, is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

(c) Felony. - A person who does any of the following commits a Class I felony:

(1) Forges an inspection sticker or inspection receipt.

(2) Buys, sells, issues, or possesses a forged inspection sticker or electronic inspection authorization.

(3) Buys, sells, issues, or possesses an electronic inspection authorization other than as the result of either of the following:

a. Having a license as an inspection station, a self-inspector, or an inspection mechanic and obtaining the electronic inspection authorization from the Division through an electronic authorization vendor in the course of business.

b. A vehicle inspection in which the vehicle passed the inspection or for which the vehicle received a waiver.

(4) Solicits or accepts anything of value in order to pass a vehicle that fails a safety or emissions inspection.

(5) Fails a vehicle for any reason not authorized by law. (1965, c. 734, s. 1; 1967, c. 692, s. 3; 1969, c. 179, s. 1; c. 620; 1973, cc. 909, 1322; 1975, c. 716, s. 5; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1180, s. 4; 1985, c. 764, s. 23; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 852, s. 17; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1997-29, s. 5; 1999-452, s. 25; 2001-504, s. 13; 2007-503, s. 14; 2009-319, s. 5.)