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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Pardeep

20 years of experience
648 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Jose, California
If I could give 6 stars out of 5 I would. Very friendly and accomodating. Please retain and take care of Pardeep.
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Jose, California
Great service. Timely, efficient, and friendly. Also gave good advice on services I actually needed.

Andrew

14 years of experience
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Andrew
14 years of experience
Ford Escape - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Portland, Oregon
Andrew has come to fix my car on two occasions and both times he was on time for the appointment, professional , and extremely thorough in his examination of my car and diagnosis. He is honest and straightforward as to what my vehicle actually needs done immediately, and what I can hold off on for awhile. Money can be tight sometimes, so I do appreciate that. I highly recommend this mechanic!

Christopher

19 years of experience
152 reviews
Christopher
19 years of experience
Honda Pilot - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Land O Lakes, Florida
Would book again. On time, knowledgeable and friendly. Will definitely have him on my next appointment.

Theodore

15 years of experience
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Theodore
15 years of experience
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
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