NC State Inspection Station for Wilmington

NC State Inspection Station for Wilmington

The service department at Matthews Motors of Wilmington is a fully authorized North Carolina State Inspection station. Our licensed technicians all NC Department of Transportation and DMV policies to perform Safety and Emissions inspections.

NC Emissions Inspections

By law, vehicles registered in New Hanover County must be subjected to an annual emissions inspection to make sure the car complies with U.S. EPA guidelines. Certain vehicles are exempt from this inspection, including:

  • Some light-duty vehicles that are less than 3 years old or that have under 70,000 miles
  • Vehicles manufactured prior to 1995
  • Diesel-operated vehicles
  • Vehicles registered as farm equipment

NC Safety Inspections

Before you can renew your car's registration, it must pass an annual safety inspection. This inspection has to take place no more than 90 days before renewal.

During the inspection, a Matthews Motors technician will inspect your car's headlights, brakes, steering, and other components and vital safety systems.

Vehicles more than 35 years old are exempt from NC safety inspections.

FAQs About NC Inspections

Do I need to have my new car inspected?

By law, all cars must pass inspection before they are eligible to be sold in North Carolina. This includes new cars and used cars. You'll get a receipt certifying the inspection when you purchase the car which you can then use to get a license plate.

What if I bought a used car privately?

Cars not sold by a retailer must be inspected before they are registered unless they have passed inspection in the past year.

Does my car have to be inspected if I move?

If you move to New Hanover County or another county that requires an emissions inspection from a county that doesn't, you don't need to have your car re-inspected until the next time you have to renew your registration.

Does my heavy-duty vehicle need an emissions inspection?

Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating over 8,500 pounds are exempt from inspections.

My car passed its safety inspection but failed its emissions inspection. What do I do?

Your car may be eligible for a waiver. Speak to a member of our service department for more information.

If you still have questions, visit the official NC DMV website for more information.

You can schedule a service appointment to get your car inspected, or if your car needs maintenance in order to pass inspection, reach out to our service department.


Matthews Motors Wilmington

5723 Market St
Directions Wilmington, NC 28405

  • Sales: 910-240-3600
  • Service: 910-294-5883

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  • Monday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Tuesday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Wednesday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Thursday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Friday 9:00AM - 7:00PM
  • Saturday 9:00AM - 6:00PM
  • Sunday Closed