DMV Backlog: NC auto inspectors try to keep up with demand

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – The COVID-19 pandemic is no longer an excuse for drivers traveling with expired inspections. State leniencies for past-due tags are long gone.

“What we are seeing now is a lot of expired inspections, people trying to catch up and they say, ‘hey, I didn’t leave home, or I worked from home and my car sat for six months, now I am trying to come to get it inspected,” South End Auto Inspections manager Brian Quein said.

Quein said business is back, close to pre-pandemic levels.

The is shop is primarily for walk-ins, and customers are typically in and out with 15 minutes.

“Pretty much everything for safety and emissions to make sure that is it is safe for North Carolina roads in order for you to renew your registration,” Quein said.

WJZY reached out to several auto inspectors across Charlotte to see how many cars they are inspecting.  The average was between 45 and 85 cars a day.

“I knew the inspection was coming up so just found some time go get it done,” Nick Bertero said. “It was super easy.  I think I was in and out under than 15 minutes.”

At South End Auto inspections, the window to get in has shrunk because of a staffing shortage.

“Everyone is struggling right now to maintain and keep people in employment,” Quein said. “We are usually open on Saturdays, and we are usually open 10-hour days 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Now, we are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Saturdays.”

The shop said out of the 50 to 60 cars they inspect in a day, about five fail.

Recently, Quein said they have seen issues related to cars not being used for long periods of time during the pandemic.

“Just a little more issues with, “Hey, your car is not ready or it won’t even read because a squirrel chewed through the wires,’ or something like that on the port that we use.”

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