How to Get Smog Technician Certified in North Carolina

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The state of North Carolina requires that most vehicles be inspected for emissions or have a smog check before registration. This means that any time a vehicle must be registered, the owner must take the vehicle to any of the 7,500 licensed inspection stations, and pay the fees associated with a smog check. Upon receiving a passing inspection sticker, the vehicle can be registered and legally operated on North Carolina roadways. Mechanics seeking an automotive technician job may consider seeking an inspector’s license as an excellent way to build a resume of valuable skills.

North Carolina smog technician qualifications

However, there is no specific certification necessary in the state to be a smog repair technician. In order to perform smog checks, or emissions inspections, in the state of North Carolina, an automotive service technician needs to have the following qualifications:

  • Must have already earned their safety inspection license, by completing a state-sponsored eight-hour course offered in a North Carolina community college, and passing the written exam for safety inspection.

  • Must have completed an eight-hour state-sponsored Emissions Inspection Course in a North Carolina community college.

  • Must have passed the inspector’s written examination with a score of at least 80%.

Smog check training in North Carolina

North Carolina sponsors training through many community colleges around the state. For example, Central Piedmont Community College offers an eight-hour course that requires no prerequisites, and that culminates in the smog inspection examination.

These community college courses must cover the following objectives:

  • Identification of all components that must be inspected
  • Calibration and use of special tools, such as a window tint meter
  • Successfully following all safety and emissions inspection procedures
  • Passing the inspection license exam with at least an 80%

Smog check licenses are valid for two years. In order to renew an expired license, mechanics must take a shortened version of the initial inspection courses, offered at various North Carolina community colleges.

Required smog checks and exemptions

These are the types of vehicles that are exempt from smog checks in North Carolina:

  • Vehicles manufactured before 1995
  • Diesel-operated vehicles
  • Vehicles licensed as farm vehicles
  • Vehicles with fewer than 70,000 miles that are less than three years old

If a vehicle does not fall into one of these categories, it is required to have a smog check during the registration and renewal process. North Carolina conducts smog checks using the on-board diagnostic (OBD) system.

If you’re already a certified mechanic and you’re interested in working with YourMechanic, submit an online application for an opportunity to become a mobile mechanic.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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