Inspection Tips for Trailers

What types of inspections are required for trailers?

No emissions inspection is required for trailers, but annual safety inspections are required prior to registration renewal. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send you an annual vehicle registration renewal notice that will note the due date for your inspection. A safety inspection for a trailer focuses on:

  • Brake light function
  • Turn signal function
  • Tires for damage and minimum tread depth

If your vehicle passes, you'll receive a receipt with your results and the DMV will automatically be notified to clear the way for your vehicle registration renewal. If any item on the checklist fails, you'll receive instructions on what needs to be repaired and the due date for the repair to be completed. Once your repair is complete, simply return to any of our DEKRA stations for a retest.


Tips for passing your trailer inspection:

The following tips will help your trailer pass its inspection:

  • Visual check of lights
    To avoid a test failure, ask a friend to help you confirm that brake lights and turn signals are operating properly. Alternately, carefully back up the trailer close to a wall at night and use your rearview mirrors to view the reflection on the wall for confirmation of proper operation.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated 
    To avoid tire damage that could eventually cause a blow-out or test failure, regularly check the air pressure in your trailer's tires and keep them inflated according to manufacturer recommendations.
  • Check your tire tread depth
    Tread depth can also determine if your trailer passes inspection. If the tread wear indicators are in contact with the roadway at more than one location, or a tire has less than 2/32 inch tread at more than one location around the circumference of the tire in two adjacent major tread grooves, it is an automatic failure.
  • Check hubs and grease as needed 
    At the end of a short trip, or periodically for longer trips, stop and quickly touch the wheel hubs. If they are too hot to touch, it is an indication that the hubs need grease for optimal performance.


Visit a DEKRA station for more expert advice and a fast, professional vehicle inspection.


State of North Carolina Resources

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