New emission inspections start Jan. 2006

10 Aug 2005 | Lance Cpl. Brandon R. Holgersen

Onslow county will be made an emissions county in January 2006, requiring annual emission testing of 1996 and newer automobiles.

This applies to all service and family members living and working here. Failure to have the emissions tested will result in a $250 fine and the owner will not be able to procure services from the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to the Department of Transportation.

The new emissions testing could pose a problem to deployed service members whose vehicles are left in storage here, according to Stephen Trubilla, the manager at the Auto Hobby Shop here and a retired sergeant major.

“A Marine could come back and get pulled over and find out his registration is void, he owes a fine for failure to have the vehicle inspected and have his license taken away,” Trubilla said.

If a military member is deployed, it is important they have proof of their extended deployment with a request for exemption from North Carolina Inspection Requirements waiver, according to Trubilla. The waiver is to be sent to the License and Theft Bureau, and the bureau will make an exemption form, which should be stored in the affected vehicle.

Even if a person has their vehicle registered in another state, they are still required to have their vehicle emissions checked if they are stationed here on active duty this also includes family members, according to the Department of Transportation.

Unlike other emissions testing, this test connects to a car’s diagnostic computer and sends the test to a computer in Raleigh, NC, according to Trubilla. The results are then sent back with whether a person passed or not. The emissions inspection only refers to vehicles newer than 1996 because not all vehicles before that date have a diagnostic computer to test the emissions of the vehicle.

The computer test is to prevent people from trying to get around having their vehicle inspected, according to Trubilla.

The vehicle must also be inspected in an emissions county, and only designated places can provide the emissions test, according to Trubilla.

The new test will also raise the price of inspections from around $10 to $30 dollars.

The Auto Hobby Shop here spent more than $6,000 and trained staff members so it will be ready for the new inspection requirements in January, according to Trubilla