Article 3A.

Safety and Emissions Inspection Program.

Part 1.  Safe Use of Streets and Highways.

§ 20-183.1:  Repealed by Session Laws 1993 (Reg.  Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 3.

 

Part 2. Safety and Emissions Inspections of Certain Vehicles.

§ 20-183.2.  Description of vehicles subject to safety or emissions inspection; definitions.

(a)        Safety. - A motor vehicle is subject to a safety inspection in accordance with this Part if it meets all of the following requirements:

(1)        It is subject to registration with the Division under Article 3 of this Chapter.

(2)        It is not subject to inspection under 49 C.F.R. Part 396, the federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

(3)        It is not a trailer whose gross weight is less than 4,000 pounds or a house trailer.

(a1)      Safety Inspection Exceptions. - The following vehicles shall not be subject to a safety inspection pursuant to this Article:

(1)        Historic vehicles, as described in G.S. 20-79.4(b)(88).

(2)        Buses titled to a local board of education and subject to the school bus inspection requirements specified by the State Board of Education and G.S. 115C-248.

(b)        Emissions. - A motor vehicle is subject to an emissions inspection in accordance with this Part if it meets all of the following requirements:

(1)        It is subject to registration with the Division under Article 3 of this Chapter, except for motor vehicles operated on a federal installation as provided in sub-subdivision e. of subdivision (5) of this subsection.

(2)        It is not a trailer whose gross weight is less than 4,000 pounds, a house trailer, or a motorcycle.

(3)        (Effective until January 1, 2014 or until contingency met - see Editor's note) It is a 1996 or later model.

(3)        (For delayed effective date, see Editor's note) It is (i) a 1996 or later model and older than the three most recent model years or (ii) a 1996 or later model and has 70,000 miles or more on its odometer.

(4)        Repealed by Session Laws 1999-328, s. 3.11, effective July 21, 1999.

(5)        It meets any of the following descriptions:

a.         It is required to be registered in an emissions county.

b.         It is part of a fleet that is operated primarily in an emissions county.

c.         It is offered for rent in an emissions county.

d.         It is a used vehicle offered for sale by a dealer in an emissions county.

e.         It is operated on a federal installation located in an emissions county and it is not a tactical military vehicle. Vehicles operated on a federal installation include those that are owned or leased by employees of the installation and are used to commute to the installation and those owned or operated by the federal agency that conducts business at the installation.

f.          It is otherwise required by 40 C.F.R. Part 51 to be subject to an emissions inspection.

(6)        It is not licensed at the farmer rate under G.S. 20-88(b).

(7)        It is not a new motor vehicle, as defined in G.S. 20-286(10)a. and has been a used motor vehicle, as defined in G.S. 20-286(10)b., for 12 months or more. However, a motor vehicle that has been leased or rented, or offered for lease or rent, is subject to an emissions inspection when it either:

a.         Has been leased or rented, or offered for lease or rent, for 12 months or more.

b.         Is sold to a consumer-purchaser.

(8)        It is not a privately owned, nonfleet motor home or house car, as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(27)d2., that is built on a single chassis, has a gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds, and is designed primarily for recreational use.

(9)        It is not a plug-in electric vehicle as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(28a).

(10)      It is not a fuel cell electric vehicle as defined in G.S. 20-4.01(12a).

(c)        Definitions. - The following definitions apply in this Part:

(1)        Electronic inspection authorization. - An inspection authorization that is generated electronically through the electronic accounting system that creates a unique nonduplicating authorization number assigned to the vehicle's inspection receipt upon successful passage of an inspection. The term "electronic inspection authorization" shall include the term "inspection sticker" during the transition period to use of electronic inspection authorizations.

(2)        Emissions county. - A county listed in G.S. 143-215.107A(c) and certified to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles as a county in which the implementation of a motor vehicle emissions inspection program will improve ambient air quality.

(3)        Federal installation. - An installation that is owned by, leased to, or otherwise regularly used as the place of business of a federal agency.  (1965, c. 734, s. 1; 1967, c. 692, s. 1; 1969, c. 179, s. 2; cc. 219, 386; 1973, c. 679, s. 2; 1975, c. 683; c. 716, s. 5; 1979, c. 77; 1989, c. 467; 1991, c. 394, s. 1; c. 761, s. 7; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1995, c. 163, s. 10; 1997-29, s. 12; 1999-328, s. 3.11; 2000-134, ss. 7, 7.1, 9, 11; 2001-504, ss. 4, 5, 6, 10; 2004-167, s. 10; 2004-199, s. 59; 2006-255, s. 1; 2007-503, s. 2; 2008-172, s. 1; 2009-570, s. 33; 2011-95, s. 3; 2011-206, s. 3; 2012-199, s. 1; 2012-200, s. 12(b); 2013-410, s. 5.)

 

§ 20-183.3.  Scope of safety inspection and emissions inspection.

(a)        Safety. - A safety inspection of a motor vehicle consists of an inspection of the following equipment to determine if the vehicle has the equipment required by Part 9 of Article 3 of this Chapter and if the equipment is in a safe operating condition:

(1)        Brakes, as required by G.S. 20-124.

(2)        Lights, as required by G.S. 20-129 or G.S. 20-129.1.

(3)        Horn, as required by G.S. 20-125(a).

(4)        Steering mechanism, as required by G.S. 20-123.1.

(5)        Windows and windshield wipers, as required by G.S. 20-127. To determine if a vehicle window meets the window tinting restrictions, a safety inspection mechanic must first determine, based on use of an automotive film check card or knowledge of window tinting techniques, if after-factory tint has been applied to the window. If after-factory tint has been applied, the mechanic must use a light meter approved by the Commissioner to determine if the window meets the window tinting restrictions.

(6)        Directional signals, as required by G.S. 20-125.1.

(7)        Tires, as required by G.S. 20-122.1.

(8)        Mirrors, as required by G.S. 20-126.

(9)        Exhaust system and emissions control devices, as required by G.S. 20-128. For a vehicle that is subject to an emissions inspection in addition to a safety inspection, a visual inspection of the vehicle's emissions control devices is included in the emissions inspection rather than the safety inspection.

(b)        Repealed by Laws 2000-134, s. 12, effective January 1, 2006.

(b1)      Emissions. - An emissions inspection of a motor vehicle consists of a visual inspection of the vehicle's emissions control devices to determine if the devices are present, are properly connected, and are the correct type for the vehicle and an analysis of data provided by the on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment installed by the vehicle manufacturer to identify any deterioration or malfunction in the operation of the vehicle that violates standards for the model year of the vehicle set by the Environmental Management Commission. To pass an emissions inspection a vehicle must pass both the visual inspection and the OBD analysis. When an emissions inspection is performed on a vehicle, a safety inspection must be performed on the vehicle as well.

(c)        Reinspection After Failure. - The scope of a reinspection of a vehicle that has been repaired after failing an inspection is the same as the original inspection unless the vehicle is presented for reinspection within 60 days of failing the original inspection. If the vehicle is presented for reinspection within this time limit and the inspection the vehicle failed was a safety inspection, the reinspection is limited to an inspection of the equipment that failed the original inspection. If the vehicle is presented for reinspection within this time limit and the inspection the vehicle failed was an emissions inspection, the reinspection is limited to the portion of the inspection the vehicle failed and any other portion of the inspection that would be affected by repairs made to correct the failure. (1965, c. 734, s. 1; 1969, c. 378, s. 2; 1971, c. 455, s. 2; c. 478, ss. 1, 2; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1180, s. 3; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1261, s. 1; 1989, c. 391, s. 2; 1991, c. 654, s. 2; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1995, c. 473, s. 2; 2000-134, ss. 8, 10, 12; 2001-504, s. 7; 2007-364, s. 1.)

 

§ 20-183.4.  License required to perform safety inspection; qualifications for license.

(a)        License Required. - A safety inspection must be performed by one of the following methods:

(1)        At a station that has a safety inspection station license issued by the Division and by a mechanic who is employed by the station and has a safety inspection mechanic license issued by the Division.

(2)        At a place of business of a person who has a safety self-inspector license issued by the Division and by an individual who has a safety inspection mechanic license issued by the Division.

(b)        Station Qualifications. - An applicant for a license as a safety inspection station must meet all of the following requirements:

(1)        Have a place of business that has adequate facilities, space, and equipment to conduct a safety inspection. A place of business designated in a station license that has been suspended or revoked cannot be the designated place for any other license applicant during the period of the suspension or revocation, unless the Division finds that operation of the place of business as an inspection station during this period by the license applicant would not defeat the purpose of the suspension or revocation because the license applicant has no connection with the person whose license was suspended or revoked or because of another reason. A finding made by the Division under this subdivision must be set out in a written statement that includes the finding and the reason for the finding.

(2)        Regularly employ at least one mechanic who has a safety inspection mechanic license.

(3)        Designate the individual who will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the station. The individual designated must be of good character and have a reputation for honesty.

(4)        Have equipment and software approved by the Division to transfer information on safety inspections to the Division by electronic means. During the initial implementation of the electronic inspection process, the vendor selected by the Division shall provide the equipment and software at no cost to a station that holds a license on October 1, 2008.

(c)        Mechanic Qualifications. - An applicant for a license as a safety inspection mechanic must meet all of the following requirements:

(1)        Have successfully completed an eight-hour course approved by the Division that teaches students about the safety equipment a motor vehicle is required to have to pass a safety inspection and how to conduct a safety inspection using equipment to electronically transmit the vehicle information and inspection results.

(2)        Have a drivers license.

(3)        Be of good character and have a reputation for honesty.

(d)        Self-Inspector Qualifications. - An applicant for a license as a safety self-inspector must meet all of the following requirements:

(1)        Operate a fleet of at least 10 vehicles that are subject to a safety inspection.

(2)        Regularly employ or contract with an individual who has a safety inspection mechanic license and who will perform a safety inspection on the vehicles that are part of the self-inspector's fleet.  (1965, c. 734, s. 1; 1967, c. 692, s. 2; 1975, c. 716, s. 5; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1997-29, s. 1; 2007-503, s. 3; 2008-190, s. 2.)

 

§ 20-183.4A.  License required to perform emissions inspection; qualifications for license.

(a)        License Required. - An emissions inspection must be performed by one of the following methods:

(1)        At a station that has an emissions inspection station license issued by the Division and by a mechanic who is employed by the station and has an emissions inspection mechanic license issued by the Division.

(2)        At a place of business of a person who has an emissions self-inspector license issued by the Division and by an individual who has an emissions inspection mechanic license.

(b)        Station Qualifications. - An applicant for a license as an emissions inspection station must meet all of the following requirements:

(1)        Have a license as a safety inspection station.

(2)        Repealed by Session Law 2000-134, s. 15, effective January 1, 2006.

(2a)      Have equipment to analyze data provided by the on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment approved by the Environmental Management Commission.

(3)        Have equipment and software to transfer information on emissions inspections to the Division by electronic means. During the initial implementation of the electronic inspection process, the vendor selected by the Division shall provide the software at no cost to a station that holds a license on October 1, 2008.

(4)        Regularly employ at least one mechanic who has an emissions inspection mechanic license.

(c)        Mechanic Qualifications. - An applicant for a license as an emissions inspection mechanic must meet all of the following requirements:

(1)        Have a license as a safety inspection mechanic.

(2)        Repealed by Session Law 2000-134, s. 15, effective January 1, 2006.

(2a)      Have successfully completed an eight-hour course approved by the Division that teaches students about the causes and effects of the air pollution problem, the purpose of the emissions inspection program, the vehicle emission standards established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the emission control devices on vehicles, how to conduct an emissions inspection using equipment to analyze data provided by the on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment approved by the Environmental Management Commission, and any other topic required by 40 C.F.R. § 51.367 to be included in the course. Successful completion requires a passing score on a written test and on a hands-on test in which the student is required to conduct an emissions inspection of a motor vehicle.

(d)        Self-Inspector Qualifications. - An applicant for a license as an emissions self-inspector must meet all of the following requirements:

(1)        Have a license as a safety self-inspector.

(2)        Operate a fleet of at least 10 vehicles that are subject to an emissions inspection.

(3)        Repealed by Session Law 2000-134, s. 15, effective January 1, 2006.

(3a)      Have, or have a contract with a person who has, equipment to analyze data provided by the on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment approved by the Environmental Management Commission.

(4)        Regularly employ or contract with an individual who has an emissions inspection mechanic license and who will perform an emissions inspection on the vehicles that are part of the self-inspector's fleet. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 2000-134, ss. 13, 14, 15; 2007-503, s. 4.)

 

§ 20-183.4B.  Application for license; duration of license; renewal of mechanic license.

(a)        Application. - An applicant for a license issued under this Part must complete an application form provided by the Division. The application must contain the applicant's name and address and any other information needed by the Division to determine whether the applicant is qualified for the license. The Division must review an application for a license to determine if the applicant qualifies for the license. If the applicant meets the qualifications, the Division must issue the license. If the applicant does not meet the qualifications, the Division must deny the application and notify the applicant in writing of the reason for the denial.

(b)        Duration of License. - A safety inspection mechanic license expires four years after the date it is issued. An emissions mechanic inspection license expires two years after the date it is issued. A safety inspection station license, an emissions inspection station license, and a self-inspector license are effective until surrendered by the license holder or suspended or revoked by the Division.

(c)        Renewal of Mechanic License. - A safety or an emissions inspection mechanic may apply to renew a license by filing an application with the Division on a form provided by the Division. To renew an emissions inspection mechanic license, an applicant must have successfully completed a four-hour emissions refresher course approved by the Division within nine months of applying for renewal. Successful completion requires a passing score on a written test and on a hands-on test in which the student is required to conduct an emissions inspection of a motor vehicle. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1.)

 

§ 20-183.4C.  When a vehicle must be inspected; 10-day trip permit.

(a)        Inspection. - A vehicle that is subject to a safety inspection, an emissions inspection, or both must be inspected as follows:

(1)        A new vehicle must be inspected before it is sold at retail in this State. Upon purchase, a receipt approved by the Division must be provided to the new owner certifying compliance.

(1a)      A new motor vehicle dealer who is also licensed pursuant to this Article may, notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this section, examine the safety and emissions control devices on a new motor vehicle and perform such services necessary to ensure the motor vehicle conforms to the required specifications established by the manufacturer and contained in its predelivery check list. The completion of the predelivery inspection procedure required or recommended by the manufacturer on a new motor vehicle shall constitute the inspection required by subdivision (1) of this section. For the purposes of this subdivision, the date of inspection shall be deemed to be the date of the sale of the motor vehicle to a purchaser.

(2)        A used vehicle must be inspected before it is offered for sale at retail in this State by a dealer. Upon purchase, a receipt approved by the Division must be provided to the new owner certifying compliance.

(3)        Repealed by Session Law 2007-503, s. 5, effective October 1, 2008.

(4)        Except as authorized by the Commissioner for a single period of time not to exceed 12 months from the initial date of registration, a new or used vehicle acquired by a resident of this State from outside the State must be inspected before the vehicle is registered with the Division.

(5)        Except as authorized by the Commissioner for a single period of time not to exceed 12 months from the initial date of registration, a vehicle owned by a new resident of this State who transfers the registration of the vehicle from the resident's former home state to this State must be inspected before the vehicle is registered with the Division.

(5a)      Repealed by Session Law 2007-503, s. 5, effective October 1, 2008.

(6)        A vehicle that has been inspected in accordance with this Part must be inspected by the last day of the month in which the registration on the vehicle expires.

(7)        A vehicle that is required to be inspected in accordance with this Part may be inspected 90 days prior to midnight of the last day of the month as designated by the vehicle registration sticker.

(8)        A new or used vehicle acquired from a retailer or a private sale in this State and registered with the Division with a new registration or a transferred registration must be inspected in accordance with this Part when the current registration expires unless it has received a passing inspection within the previous 12 months.

(9)        Repealed by Session Laws 2010-97, s. 3, effective July 20, 2010.

(10)      An unregistered vehicle may be registered with the Division in accordance with G.S. 20-50(b) for a period not to exceed 10 days prior to the vehicle receiving a passing inspection in accordance with this Part.

(11)      A person who owns a vehicle located outside of this State when its emissions inspection becomes due may obtain an emissions inspection in the jurisdiction where the vehicle is located, in lieu of a North Carolina emissions inspection, as long as the inspection meets the requirements of 40 C.F.R. § 51.

(b)        Permit. - The Division may issue a 10-day trip permit to a person that authorizes the person to drive a vehicle whose inspection authorization or registration has expired. The permit may only be issued when the person has furnished proof of financial responsibility. The permit must describe the vehicle whose inspection authorization or registration has expired. The permit authorizes the person to drive the described vehicle for a period not to exceed 10 days from the date of issuance.

(c)        Exemption. - The Division may issue a temporary exemption from the inspection requirements of this Article for any vehicle that has been determined by the Division to be principally garaged, as defined under G.S. 58-37-1(11), in this State and is primarily operated outside a county subject to emissions inspection requirements or outside of this State.  (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1997-29, s. 2; 2001-504, s. 11; 2007-481, s. 2; 2007-503, s. 5; 2008-190, s. 3; 2009-319, s. 2; 2010-97, s. 3.)

 

§ 20-183.4D.  Procedure when a vehicle is inspected.

(a)        Receipt. - When a safety inspection mechanic or an emissions inspection mechanic inspects a vehicle, the mechanic must give the person who brought the vehicle in for inspection an inspection receipt. The inspection receipt must state the date of the inspection, identify the mechanic performing the inspection, identify the station or self-inspector where the inspection was performed, and list the components of the inspection performed and indicate for each component whether the vehicle passed or failed. A vehicle that fails a component of an inspection may be repaired at any repair facility chosen by the owner or operator of the vehicle.

(b)        Electronic Inspection Authorization. - When a vehicle that is subject to a safety inspection only passes the safety inspection, the safety inspection mechanic who performed the inspection must issue an electronic inspection authorization to the vehicle at the place designated by the Division. When a vehicle that is subject to both a safety inspection and an emissions inspection passes both inspections or passes the safety inspection and has a waiver for the emissions inspection, the emissions mechanic performing the inspection must issue an electronic inspection authorization to the vehicle at the place designated by the Division.

(c),       (d) Repealed by Session Law 2007-503, s. 6, effective October 1, 2008.

(e)        When Electronic Inspection Authorization Expires. - An electronic inspection authorization issued under this Part expires at midnight of the last day of the month designated by the vehicle registration sticker of the following year. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 2007-503, s. 6.)

 

§ 20-183.5.  When a vehicle that fails an emissions inspection may obtain a waiver from the inspection requirement.

(a)        Requirements. - The Division may issue a waiver for a vehicle, excluding a vehicle owned or being held for retail sale by a motor vehicle dealer, that meets all of the following requirements:

(1)        Fails an emissions inspection because it passes the visual inspection but fails the analysis of data provided by the on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment.

(2)        Has documented repairs costing at least the waiver amount made to the vehicle to correct the cause of the failure. The waiver amount is two hundred dollars ($200.00).

(3)        Is reinspected and again fails the inspection because it passes the visual inspection but fails the analysis of data provided by the on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment.

(4)        Meets any other waiver criteria required by 40 C.F.R. § 51.360, or as designated by the Division.

(b)        Procedure. - To obtain a waiver, a person must contact a local enforcement office of the Division. Before issuing a waiver, an employee of the Division must review the inspection receipts issued for the inspections of the vehicle, review the documents establishing what repairs were made to the vehicle and at what cost, review any statement denying warranty coverage of the repairs made, and do a visual inspection of the vehicle, if appropriate, to determine if the documented repairs were made. The Division must issue a waiver if it determines that the vehicle qualifies for a waiver. A person to whom a waiver is issued must present the waiver to the self-inspector or inspection station performing the inspection to obtain an electronic inspection authorization.

(c)        Repairs. - The following repairs and their costs cannot be considered in determining whether the cost of repairs made to a vehicle equals or exceeds the waiver amount:

(1)        Repairs covered by a warranty that applies to the vehicle.

(2)        Repairs needed as a result of tampering with an emission control device of the vehicle.

(3)        Repairs made by an individual who is not professionally engaged in the business of repairing vehicles.

(4)        OBD diagnostics without corresponding repairs.

(d)        Electronic Inspection Authorization. - An electronic inspection authorization issued to a vehicle after the vehicle receives a waiver from the requirement of passing the emissions inspection expires at the same time it would if the vehicle had passed the emissions inspection. (1965, c. 734, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 2000-134, ss. 16, 17; 2007-503, s. 7.)

 

§ 20-183.5A.  When a vehicle that fails a safety inspection because of missing emissions control devices may obtain a waiver.

(a)        Requirements. - The Division may issue a waiver for a vehicle that meets all of the following requirements:

(1)        Fails a safety inspection because it does not have one or more emissions control devices.

(2)        Has documented repairs within the previous calendar year to replace missing emissions control devices costing at least the waiver amount made to the vehicle to correct the cause of the failure. The waiver amount is two hundred dollars ($200.00) if the vehicle is a 1996 or newer model.

(b)        Procedure. - To obtain a waiver, a person must contact a local enforcement office of the Division. Before issuing a waiver, an employee of the Division must review the inspection receipts issued for the inspections of the vehicle, review the documents establishing what repairs were made to the vehicle and at what cost, review any statement denying warranty coverage of the repairs made, and do a visual inspection of the vehicle, if appropriate, to determine if the documented repairs were made. The Division must issue a waiver if it determines that the vehicle qualifies for a waiver. A person to whom a waiver is issued must present the waiver to the self-inspector or inspection station performing the inspection to obtain an electronic inspection authorization.

(c)        Repairs. - The following repairs and their costs cannot be considered in determining whether the cost of repairs made to a vehicle equals or exceeds the waiver amount:

(1)        Repairs covered by a warranty that applies to the vehicle.

(2)        Repairs needed as a result of tampering with an emission control device of the vehicle.

(3)        Repairs made by an individual who is not professionally engaged in the business of repairing vehicles.

(d)        Electronic Inspection Authorization Expiration. - An electronic inspection authorization issued to a vehicle after the vehicle receives a waiver from the requirement of passing the safety inspection expires at the same time it would if the vehicle had passed the safety inspection. (2001-504, s. 9; 2007-503, ss. 8, 9.)

 

§ 20-183.6:  Repealed by Session Laws 2007-503, s. 10, effective October 1, 2008, and applicable to offenses committed on or after that date.

 

§ 20-183.6A.  Administration of program; duties of license holders.

(a)        Division. - The Division is responsible for administering the safety inspection and the emissions inspection programs. In exercising this responsibility, the Division must:

(1)        Conduct performance audits, record audits, and equipment audits of those licensed to perform inspections to ensure that inspections are performed properly.

(2)        Ensure that Division personnel who audit license holders are knowledgeable about audit procedures and about the requirements of both the safety inspection and the emissions inspection programs.

(3)        Perform an emissions inspection on a vehicle when requested to do so by a vehicle owner so the owner can compare the result of the inspection performed by the Division with the result of an inspection performed at an emissions inspection station.

(4)        Investigate complaints about a person licensed to perform inspections and reports of irregularities in performing inspections.

(5)        Establish written procedures for the issuance of electronic inspection authorizations to persons licensed to perform electronic inspection authorizations.

(6)        Submit information and reports to the federal Environmental Protection Agency as required by 40 C.F.R. Part 51.

(b)        License Holders. - A person who is licensed by the Division under this Part must post the license at the place required by the Division and must keep a record of inspections performed. The inspection record must identify the vehicle that was inspected, indicate the type of inspection performed and the date of inspection, and contain any other information required by the Division. A self-inspector or an inspection station must send its records of inspections to the Division in the form and at the time required by the Division. An auditor of the Division may review the inspection records of a person licensed by the Division under this Part during normal business hours. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 2007-503, s. 11.)

 

§ 20-183.7.  Fees for performing an inspection and issuing an electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle; use of civil penalties.

(a)        Fee Amount. - When a fee applies to an inspection of a vehicle or the issuance of an electronic inspection authorization, the fee must be collected. The following fees apply to an inspection of a vehicle and the issuance of an electronic inspection authorization:

Type                                                      Inspection                                  Authorization

Safety Only                                             $12.75                                           $ .85

Emissions and Safety                                 23.75                                            6.25.

The fee for performing an inspection of a vehicle applies when an inspection is performed, regardless of whether the vehicle passes the inspection. The fee for an electronic inspection authorization applies when an electronic inspection authorization is issued to a vehicle. The fee for inspecting after-factory tinted windows shall be ten dollars ($10.00), and the fee applies only to an inspection performed with a light meter after a safety inspection mechanic determined that the window had after-factory tint. A safety inspection mechanic shall not inspect an after-factory tinted window of a vehicle for which the Division has issued a medical exception permit pursuant to G.S. 20-127(f).

A vehicle that is inspected at an inspection station and fails the inspection is entitled to be reinspected at the same station at any time within 60 days of the failed inspection without paying another inspection fee.

The inspection fee for an emissions and safety inspection set out in this subsection is the maximum amount that an inspection station or an inspection mechanic may charge for an emissions and safety inspection of a vehicle. An inspection station or an inspection mechanic may charge the maximum amount or any lesser amount for an emissions and safety inspection of a vehicle. The inspection fee for a safety only inspection set out in this subsection may not be increased or decreased. The authorization fees set out in this subsection may not be increased or decreased.

(b)        Self-Inspector. - The fee for an inspection does not apply to an inspection performed by a self-inspector. The fee for issuing an electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle applies to an inspection performed by a self-inspector.

(c)        Fee Distribution. - Fees collected for electronic inspection authorizations are payable to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The amount of each fee listed in the table below shall be credited to the Highway Fund, the Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund established in G.S. 58-87-5, the Rescue Squad Workers' Relief Fund established in G.S. 58-88-5, and the Division of Air Quality of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources:

Recipient                                                                                      Safety Only            Emissions and

                                                                                                     Electronic                   Safety

                                                                                                  Authorization              Electronic

                                                                                                                                  Authorization

Highway Fund                                                                                     .55                           .55

Inspection Program Account                                                                .00                         3.00

Telecommunications Account                                                               .00                         1.75

Volunteer Rescue/EMS Fund                                                              .18                           .18

Rescue Squad Workers' Relief Fund                                                    .12                           .12

Division of Air Quality                                                                         .00                           .65.

(d)  Repealed by Session Laws 2013-360, s. 34.15(c), effective July 1, 2013.

(d1)      (Repealed effective June 30, 2014 - see Editor's note) Telecommunications Account. - The Telecommunications Account is created as a nonreverting account within the Highway Fund. The Division shall administer the Account. Revenue in the Account may be used only to provide equipment and telecommunications services associated with the vehicle safety and emissions inspection and maintenance program.

(d2)      Repealed by Session Laws 2001-504, s. 3, effective July 1, 2007.

(e)        Civil Penalties. - Civil penalties collected under this Part shall be credited to the Highway Fund as nontax revenue.

(f)         Inspection Stations Required to Post Fee Information. - The Division shall approve the form and style of one or more standard signs to be used to display the information required by this subsection. The Division shall require that one or more of the standard signs be conspicuously posted at each inspection station in a manner reasonably calculated to make the information on the sign readily available to each person who presents a motor vehicle to the station for inspection. The sign shall include the following information:

(1)        The maximum and minimum amounts of the inspection fee authorized by this section.

(2)        The amount of the inspection fee charged by the inspection station and a statement that clearly indicates that the amount of the inspection fee is determined by the inspection station, that the inspection fee is retained by the inspection station to compensate the station for performing the inspection, and that the inspection fee is not paid to the State.

(3)        The amount of the electronic inspection authorization fee, if the motor vehicle passes the inspection, a statement that the electronic inspection authorization fee is paid to the State, and a brief summary of the purposes for which the electronic inspection authorization fee is collected.

(4)        The total fee to be charged if the motor vehicle passes the inspection.

(5)        A statement that a vehicle that fails an inspection may be reinspected at the same station within 60 days of the inspection without payment of another inspection fee.

(g)        Information on Receipt. - The information set out in subdivisions (1) through (5) of subsection (f) of this section shall be set out in not smaller than 12 point type and shall be shown graphically in the form of a pie chart on the inspection receipt.

(h)        Subsections (f) and (g) of this section apply only to inspection stations that perform both emissions and safety inspections.  (1965, c. 734, s. 1; 1969, c. 1242; 1973, c. 1480; 1975, c. 547; c. 716, s. 5; c. 875, s. 4; 1979, c. 688; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1180, ss. 5, 6; 1981, c. 690, s. 17; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1261, s. 2; 1985, c. 415, ss. 1-6; 1985 (Reg. Sess., 1986), c. 1018, s. 8; 1987, c. 584, ss. 1-3; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1062, ss. 3-5; 1989, c. 391, s. 3; c. 534, s. 3; 1989 (Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1066, s. 33(b); 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 943, s. 1; 1993, c. 385, s. 1; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1995, c. 473, s. 3; 1995 (Reg. Sess., 1996), c. 743, s. 1; 1997-29, s. 4; 1997-443, s. 11A.123; 2000-75, s. 3; 2001-504, ss. 1-3; 2006-230, s. 2; 2007-364, s. 2; 2007-503, s. 12; 2009-319, s. 3; 2010-96, s. 7; 2011-145, s. 6A.15; 2013-302, s. 1; 2013-360, s. 34.15(b), (c).)

 

§ 20-183.7A.  Penalties applicable to license holders and suspension or revocation of license for safety violations.

(a)        Kinds of Violations. - The civil penalty schedule established in this section applies to safety self-inspectors, safety inspection stations, and safety inspection mechanics. The schedule categorizes safety violations into serious (Type I), minor (Type II), and technical (Type III) violations. A serious violation is a violation of this Part or a rule adopted to implement this Part that directly affects the safety or emissions reduction benefits of the safety inspection program. A minor violation is a violation of this Part or a rule adopted to implement this Part that reflects negligence or carelessness in conducting a safety inspection or complying with the safety inspection requirements but does not directly affect the safety benefits or emission reduction benefits of the safety inspection program. A technical violation is a violation that is not a serious violation, a minor violation, or another type of offense under this Part.

(b)        Penalty Schedule. - The Division must take the following action for a violation:

(1)        Type I. - For a first or second Type I violation within three years by a safety self-inspector or a safety inspection station, assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and suspend the license of the business for 180 days. For a third or subsequent Type I violation within three years by a safety self-inspector or a safety inspection station, assess a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) and revoke the license of the business for two years. For a first or second Type I violation within seven years by a safety inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and suspend the mechanic's license for six months. For a third or subsequent Type I violation within seven years by a safety inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and revoke the mechanic's license for two years.

(2)        Type II. - For a first or second Type II violation within three years by a safety self-inspector or a safety inspection station, assess a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00). For a third or subsequent Type II violation within three years by a safety self-inspector or a safety inspection station, assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and suspend the license of the business for 90 days. For a first or second Type II violation within seven years by a safety inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00). For a third or subsequent Type II violation within seven years by a safety inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and suspend the mechanic's license for 90 days.

(3)        Type III. - For a first or second Type III violation within seven years by a safety self-inspector, a safety inspection station, or a safety inspection mechanic, send a warning letter. For a third or subsequent Type III violation within seven years by the same safety license holder, assess a civil penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

(c)        Station or Self-Inspector Responsibility. - It is the responsibility of a safety inspection station and a safety self-inspector to supervise the safety inspection mechanics it employs. A violation by a safety inspection mechanic is considered a violation by the station or self-inspector for whom the mechanic is employed. The Division may stay a term of suspension for a first occurrence of a Type I violation for a station if the station agrees to follow the reasonable terms and conditions of the stay as determined by the Division. In determining whether to suspend a first occurrence violation for a station, the Division may consider the supervision provided by the station over the individual or individuals who committed the violation, action that has been taken to remedy future violations, or prior knowledge of the station as to the acts committed by the individual or individuals who committed the violation, or a combination of these factors. The monetary penalty shall not be stayed or reduced.

(d)        Multiple Violations in a Single Safety Inspection. - If a safety self-inspector, a safety inspection station, or a safety inspection mechanic commits two or more violations in the course of a single safety inspection, the Division shall take only the action specified for the most significant violation.

(d1)      Multiple Violations in Separate Safety Inspections. - In the case of two or more violations committed in separate safety inspections, considered at one time, the Division shall consider each violation as a separate occurrence and shall impose a separate penalty for each violation as a first, second, or third or subsequent violation as found in the applicable penalty schedule. The Division may in its discretion direct that any suspensions for the first, second, or third or subsequent violations run concurrently. If the Division does not direct that the suspensions run concurrently, they shall run consecutively. Nothing in this section shall prohibit or limit a reviewing court's ability to affirm, reverse, remand, or modify the Division's decisions, whether discretionary or otherwise, pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(e)        Mechanic Training. - A safety inspection mechanic whose license has been suspended or revoked must retake the course required under G.S. 20-183.4 and successfully complete the course before the mechanic's license can be reinstated. Failure to successfully complete this course continues the period of suspension or revocation until the course is completed successfully.  (2001-504, s. 12; 2013-302, s. 2.)

 

§ 20-183.7B.  Acts that are Type I, II, or III safety violations.

(a)        Type I. - It is a Type I violation for a safety self-inspector, a safety inspection station, or a safety inspection mechanic to do any of the following:

(1)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle without performing a safety inspection of vehicle.

(2)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle after performing a safety inspection of the vehicle and determining that the vehicle did not pass the inspection.

(3)        Allow a person who is not licensed as a safety inspection mechanic to perform a safety inspection for a self-inspector or at a safety station.

(4)        Sell, issue, or otherwise give an electronic inspection authorization to another, other than as the result of a vehicle inspection in which the vehicle passed the inspection.

(5)        Repealed by Session Laws 2013-302, s. 3, effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to violations occurring on or after that date.

(6)        Perform a safety-only inspection on a vehicle that is subject to both a safety and an emissions inspection.

(7)        Repealed by Session Laws 2013-302, s. 3, effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to violations occurring on or after that date.

(8)        Conduct a safety inspection of a vehicle without driving the vehicle and without raising the vehicle and without opening the hood of the vehicle to check equipment located therein.

(9)        Solicit or accept anything of value to pass a vehicle other than as provided in this Part.

(b)        Type II. - It is a Type II violation for a safety self-inspector, a safety inspection station, or a safety inspection mechanic to do any of the following:

(1)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle without driving the vehicle and checking the vehicle's braking reaction, foot brake pedal reserve, and steering free play.

(2)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle without raising the vehicle to free each wheel and checking the vehicle's tires, brake lines, parking brake cables, wheel drums, exhaust system, and the emissions equipment.

(3)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle without raising the hood and checking the master cylinder, horn mounting, power steering, and emissions equipment.

(4)        Conduct a safety inspection of a vehicle outside the designated inspection area.

(5)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle with inoperative equipment, or with equipment that does not conform to the vehicle's original equipment or design specifications, or with equipment that is prohibited by any provision of law.

(6)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle without performing a visual inspection of the vehicle's exhaust system.

(7)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle without checking the exhaust system for leaks.

(8)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle that is required to have any of the following emissions control devices but does not have the device:

a.         Catalytic converter.

b.         PCV valve.

c.         Thermostatic air control.

d.         Oxygen sensor.

e.         Unleaded gas restrictor.

f.          Gasoline tank cap or capless fuel system.

g.         Air injection system.

h.         Evaporative emissions system.

i.          Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve.

(9)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle after failing to inspect four or more of following:

a.         Emergency brake.

b.         Horn.

c.         Headlight high beam indicator.

d.         Inside rearview mirror.

e.         Outside rearview mirror.

f.          Turn signals.

g.         Parking lights.

h.         Headlights - operation and lens.

i.          Headlights - aim.

j.          Stoplights.

k.         Taillights.

l.          License plate lights.

m.        Windshield wiper.

n.         Windshield wiper blades.

o.         Window tint.

(10)      Impose no fee for a safety inspection of a vehicle or the issuance of a safety electronic inspection authorization or impose a fee for one of these actions in an amount that differs from the amount set in G.S. 20-183.7.

(c)        Type III. - It is a Type III violation for a safety self-inspector, a safety inspection station, or a safety inspection mechanic to do any of the following:

(1)        Fail to post a safety inspection station license issued by the Division.

(2)        Fail to send information on safety inspections to the Division at the time or in the form required by the Division.

(3)        Fail to post all safety information required by federal law and by the Division.

(4)        Fail to put the required information on an inspection receipt in a legible manner using ink.

(5)        Issue a receipt that is signed by a person other than the safety inspection mechanic.

(6)        Repealed by Session Laws 2013-302, s. 3, effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to violations occurring on or after that date.

(7)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle after having failed to inspect three or fewer of the following:

a.         Emergency brake.

b.         Horn.

c.         Headlight high beam indicator.

d.         Inside rearview mirror.

e.         Outside rearview mirror.

f.          Turn signals.

g.         Parking lights.

h.         Headlights - operation and lens.

i.          Headlights - aim.

j.          Stoplights.

k.         Taillights.

l.          License plate lights.

m.        Windshield wiper.

n.         Windshield wiper blades.

o.         Window tint.

(d)        Other Acts. - The lists in this section of the acts that are Type I, Type II, or Type III violations are not the only acts that are one of these types of violations. The Division may designate other acts that are a Type I, Type II, or Type III violation.  (2001-504, s. 12; 2007-503, s. 13; 2013-302, s. 3.)

 

§ 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.)

 

§ 20-183.8A.  Civil penalties against motorists for emissions violations; waiver.

(a)        Civil Penalties. - The Division must assess a civil penalty against a person who owns or leases a vehicle that is subject to an inspection and who engages in any of the emissions violations set out in this subsection. As provided in G.S. 20-54, the registration of a vehicle may not be renewed until a penalty imposed under this subsection has been paid. The civil penalties and violations are as follows:

(1)        Fifty dollars ($50.00) for failure to have the vehicle inspected within four months after it is required to be inspected under this Part.

(2)        Two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for instructing or allowing a person to tamper with an emission control device of the vehicle so as to make the device inoperative or fail to work properly.

(3)        Two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) for incorrectly stating the vehicle's county of registration to avoid having an emissions inspection of the vehicle.

(b)        Waiver. - The Division must waive the civil penalty assessed under subdivision (a)(1) of this section against a person who establishes the following:

(1)        The person was continuously out of the State on active military duty from the date the electronic authorization expired to the date the four-month grace period expired.

(2)        No person operated the vehicle from the date the electronic authorization expired to the date the four-month grace period expired.

(3)        The person obtained a current electronic authorization within 30 days after returning to the State.  (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, ss. 1, 8; 1998-212, s. 27.6(b); 2007-364, ss. 3, 4; 2007-503, s. 15; 2009-319, s. 4.)

 

§ 20-183.8B.  Civil penalties against license holders and suspension or revocation of license for emissions violations.

(a)        Kinds of Violations. - The civil penalty schedule established in this section applies to emissions self-inspectors, emissions inspection stations, and emissions inspection mechanics. The schedule categorizes emissions violations into serious (Type I), minor (Type II), and technical (Type III) violations.

A serious violation is a violation of this Part or a rule adopted to implement this Part that directly affects the emission reduction benefits of the emissions inspection program. A minor violation is a violation of this Part or a rule adopted to implement this Part that reflects negligence or carelessness in conducting an emissions inspection or complying with the emissions inspection requirements but does not directly affect the emission reduction benefits of the emissions inspection program. A technical violation is a violation that is not a serious violation, a minor violation, or another type of offense under this Part.

(b)        Penalty Schedule. - The Division must take the following action for a violation:

(1)        Type I. - For a first or second Type I violation by an emissions self-inspector or an emissions inspection station, assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and suspend the license of the business for 180 days. For a third or subsequent Type I violation within three years by an emissions self-inspector or an emissions inspection station, assess a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) and revoke the license of the business for two years.

For a first or second Type I violation by an emissions inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and suspend the mechanic's license for 180 days. For a third or subsequent Type I violation within seven years by an emissions inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and revoke the mechanic's license for two years.

(2)        Type II. - For a first or second Type II violation by an emissions self-inspector or an emissions inspection station, assess a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00). For a third or subsequent Type II violation within three years by an emissions self-inspector or an emissions inspection station, assess a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and suspend the license of the business for 90 days.

For a first or second Type II violation by an emissions inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of fifty dollars ($50.00). For a third or subsequent Type II violation within seven years by an emissions inspection mechanic, assess a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100.00) and suspend the mechanic's license for 90 days.

(3)        Type III. - For a first or second Type III violation by an emissions self-inspector, an emissions inspection station, or an emissions inspection mechanic, send a warning letter. For a third or subsequent Type III violation within three years by the same emissions license holder, assess a civil penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25.00).

(c)        Station or Self-Inspector Responsibility. - It is the responsibility of an emissions inspection station and an emissions self-inspector to supervise the emissions mechanics it employs. A violation by an emissions inspector mechanic is considered a violation by the station or self-inspector for whom the mechanic is employed. The Division may stay a term of suspension for a first occurrence of a Type I violation for a station if the station agrees to follow the reasonable terms and conditions of the stay as determined by the Division. In determining whether to suspend a first occurrence violation for a station, the Division may consider the supervision provided by the station over the individual or individuals who committed the violation, action that has been taken to remedy future violations, or prior knowledge of the station as to the acts committed by the individual or individuals who committed the violation, or a combination of these factors. The monetary penalty shall not be stayed or reduced.

(c1)      Multiple Violations in a Single Emissions Inspection. - If an emissions self-inspector, an emissions inspection station, or an emissions inspection mechanic commits two or more violations in the course of a single emissions inspection, the Division shall take only the action specified for the most significant violation.

(c2)      Multiple Violations in Separate Emissions Inspections. - In the case of two or more violations committed in separate emissions inspections, considered at one time, the Division shall consider each violation as a separate occurrence and shall impose a separate penalty for each violation as a first, second, or third or subsequent violation as found in the applicable penalty schedule. The Division may in its discretion direct that any suspensions for the first, second, or third or subsequent violations run concurrently. If the Division does not direct that the suspensions run concurrently, they shall run consecutively. Nothing in this section shall prohibit or limit a reviewing court's ability to affirm, reverse, remand, or modify the Division's decisions, whether discretionary or otherwise, pursuant to Article 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes.

(d),       (d1) Repealed by Session Laws 2013-302, s. 4, effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to violations occurring on or after that date.

(e)        Mechanic Training. - An emissions inspection mechanic whose license has been suspended or revoked must retake the course required under G.S. 20-183.4A and successfully complete the course before the mechanic's license can be reinstated. Failure to successfully complete this course continues the period of suspension or revocation until the course is completed successfully.  (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1997-29, s. 6; 2001-504, s. 14; 2013-302, s. 4.)

 

§ 20-183.8C.  Acts that are Type I, II, or III emissions violations.

(a)        Type I. - It is a Type I violation for an emissions self-inspector, an emissions inspection station, or an emissions inspection mechanic to do any of the following:

(1)        Issue an emissions electronic inspection authorization on a vehicle without performing an emissions inspection of the vehicle.

(1a)      Issue an emissions electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle after performing an emissions inspection of the vehicle and determining that the vehicle did not pass the inspection.

(2)        Use a test-defeating strategy when conducting an emissions inspection by changing the emission standards for a vehicle by incorrectly entering the vehicle type or model year, or using data provided by the on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment of another vehicle to achieve a passing result.

(3)        Allow a person who is not licensed as an emissions inspection mechanic to perform an emissions inspection for a self-inspector or at an emissions station.

(4)        Sell, issue, or otherwise give an electronic inspection authorization to another other than as the result of a vehicle inspection in which the vehicle passed the inspection or for which the vehicle received a waiver.

(5)        Repealed by Session Laws 2013-302, s. 5, effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to violations occurring on or after that date.

(6)        Perform a safety-only inspection on a vehicle that is subject to both a safety and an emissions inspection.

(7)        Repealed by Session Laws 2013-302, s. 5, effective October 1, 2013, and applicable to violations occurring on or after that date.

(b)        Type II. - It is a Type II violation for an emissions self-inspector, an emissions inspection station, or an emissions inspection mechanic to do any of the following:

(1)        Use the identification code of another to gain access to an emissions analyzer or to equipment to analyze data provided by on-board diagnostic (OBD) equipment.

(2)        Keep compliance documents in a manner that makes them easily accessible to individuals who are not inspection mechanics.

(3)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization or an emissions electronic inspection authorization on a vehicle that is required to have one of the following emissions control devices but does not have it:

a.         Catalytic converter.

b.         PCV valve.

c.         Thermostatic air control.

d.         Oxygen sensor.

e.         Unleaded gas restrictor.

f.          Gasoline tank cap or capless fuel system.

g.         Air injection system.

h.         Evaporative emissions system.

i.          Exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve.

(4)        Issue a safety electronic inspection authorization or an emissions electronic inspection authorization on a vehicle without performing a visual inspection of the vehicle's exhaust system and checking the exhaust system for leaks.

(5)        Impose no fee for an emissions inspection of a vehicle or the issuance of an emissions electronic inspection authorization or impose a fee for one of these actions in an amount that differs from the amount set in G.S. 20-183.7.

(6)        Issue an emissions electronic inspection authorization to a vehicle with a faulty Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) or to a vehicle that has been made inoperable.

(c)        Type III. - It is a Type III violation for an emissions self-inspector, an emissions inspection station, or an emissions inspection mechanic to do any of the following:

(1)        Fail to post an emissions license issued by the Division.

(2)        Fail to send information on emissions inspections to the Division at the time or in the form required by the Division.

(3)        Fail to post emissions information required by federal law to be posted.

(4)        Repealed by Session Laws 2007-503, s. 16, effective October 1, 2008.

(5)        Fail to put the required information on an inspection receipt in a legible manner.

(6)        Repealed by Session Laws 2007-503, s. 16, effective October 1, 2008.

(d)        Other Acts. - The lists in this section of the acts that are Type I, Type II, or Type III violations are not the only acts that are one of these types of violations. The Division may designate other acts that are a Type I, Type II, or Type III violation.  (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1995, c. 163, s. 11; 1997-29, s. 7; 1997-456, s. 35; 2000-134, ss. 18, 19; 2001-504, ss. 15, 16, 19; 2007-503, s. 16; 2013-302, s. 5.)

 

§ 20-183.8D.  Suspension or revocation of license.

(a)        Safety. - The Division may suspend or revoke a safety self-inspector license, a safety inspection station license, and a safety inspection mechanic license issued under this Part if the license holder fails to comply with this Part or a rule adopted by the Commissioner to implement this Part.

(b)        Emissions. - The Division may suspend or revoke an emissions self-inspector license, an emissions inspection station license, and an emissions inspection mechanic license issued under this Part for any of the following reasons:

(1)        The suspension or revocation is imposed under G.S. 20-183.8B.

(2)        Failure to pay a civil penalty imposed under G.S. 20-183.8B within 30 days after it is imposed. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1997-29, s. 8.)

 

§ 20-183.8E:  Recodified as G.S.  20-183.8G at the direction of the Revisor of Statutes.

 

§ 20-183.8F.  Requirements for giving license holders notice of violations and for taking summary action.

(a)        Repealed by Session Laws 2011-145, s. 28.23B(a), effective July 1, 2011.

(b)        Notice of Charges. - When the Division decides to charge an inspection station, a self-inspector, or a mechanic with a violation that could result in the suspension or revocation of the person's license, the Division must deliver a written statement of the charges to the affected license holder. The statement of charges must inform the license holder of the right to request a hearing, instruct the person on how to obtain a hearing, and inform the license holder of the effect of not requesting a hearing. The license holder has the right to a hearing before the license is suspended or revoked. G.S. 20-183.8G sets out the procedure for obtaining a hearing.

(c)        Exception for Summary Action. - The right granted by subsection (b) of this section to have a hearing before a license is suspended or revoked does not apply if the Division summarily suspends or revokes the license after a judge has reviewed and authorized the proposed action. A license issued to an inspection station, a self-inspector, or a mechanic is a substantial property interest that cannot be summarily suspended or revoked without judicial review.

(d)        A notice or statement prepared pursuant to this section or an order of the Division that is directed to a mechanic may be served on the mechanic by delivering a copy of the notice, statement, or order to the station or to the place of business of the self-inspector where the mechanic is employed. Delivery under this section to any person may be made via certified mail or by hand delivery.  (1997-29, s. 9; 1999-328, s. 3.13; 2001-504, s. 17; 2011-145, s. 28.23B(a).)

 

§ 20-183.8G.  Administrative and judicial review.

(a)        Right to Hearing. - A person who applies for a license or registration under this Part or who has a license or registration issued under this Part has the right to a hearing when any of the following occurs:

(1)        The Division denies the person's application for a license or registration.

(2)        The Division delivers to the person a written statement of charges of a violation that could result in the suspension or revocation of the person's license.

(3)        The Division summarily suspends or revokes the person's license following review and authorization of the proposed adverse action by a judge.

(4)        The Division assesses a civil penalty against the person.

(5)        The Division issues a warning letter to the person.

(6)        The Division cancels the person's registration.

(b)        Hearing After Statement of Charges. - When a license holder receives a statement of charges of a violation that could result in the suspension or revocation of the person's license, the person can obtain a hearing by making a request for a hearing. The person must make the request to the Division within 10 days after receiving the statement of the charges. A person who does not request a hearing within this time limit waives the right to a hearing.

The Division must hold a hearing requested under this subsection within 30 days after receiving the request. The hearing must be held at the location designated by the Division. Suspension or revocation of the license is stayed until a decision is made following the hearing.

If a person does not request a hearing within the time allowed for making the request, the proposed suspension or revocation becomes effective the day after the time for making the request ends. If a person requests a hearing but does not attend the hearing, the proposed suspension or revocation becomes effective the day after the date set for the hearing.

(c)        Hearing After Summary Action. - When the Division summarily suspends a license issued under this Part after judicial review and authorization of the proposed action, the person whose license was suspended or revoked may obtain a hearing by filing with the Division a written request for a hearing. The request must be filed within 10 days after the person was notified of the summary action. The Division must hold a hearing requested under this subsection within 14 days after receiving the request.

(d)        All Other Hearings. - When this section gives a person the right to a hearing and subsection (b) or (c) of this section does not apply to the hearing, the person may obtain a hearing by filing with the Division a written request for a hearing. The request must be filed within 10 days after the person receives written notice of the action for which a hearing is requested. The Division must hold a hearing within 90 days after the Division receives the request.

(e)        Review by Commissioner. - The Commissioner may conduct a hearing required under this section or may designate a person to conduct the hearing. When a person designated by the Commissioner holds a hearing and makes a decision, the person who requested the hearing has the right to request the Commissioner to review the decision. The procedure set by the Division governs the review by the Commissioner of a decision made by a person designated by the Commissioner.

(f)         Decision. - Upon the Commissioner's review of a decision made after a hearing on the imposition of a monetary penalty against a motorist for an emissions violation or on a Type I, II, or III violation by a license holder, the Commissioner must uphold any monetary penalty, license suspension, license revocation, or warning required by G.S. 20-183.7A, G.S. 20-183.8A or G.S. 20-183.8B, respectively, if the decision is based on evidence presented at the hearing that supports the hearing officer's determination that the motorist or license holder committed the act for which the monetary penalty, license suspension, license revocation, or warning was imposed. Pursuant to the authority under G.S. 20-183.7A(c) and G.S. 20-183.8B(c), the Commissioner may order a suspension for a first occurrence Type I violation of a station to be stayed upon reasonable compliance terms to be determined by the Commissioner. Pursuant to the authority under G.S. 20-183.7A(d1) and G.S. 183.8B(c2), the Commissioner may order the suspensions against a license holder to run consecutively or concurrently. The Commissioner may uphold, dismiss, or modify a decision made after a hearing on any other action.

(g)        Judicial Review. - Article 4 of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes governs judicial review of an administrative decision made under this section.  (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 754, s. 1; 1997-29, s. 10; 1999-328, s. 3.14; 1999-456, s. 69; 2009-550, s. 3.1; 2011-145, s. 28.23B(b); 2013-302, s. 6.)