We have had our 2011 Leaf for just over a year. North Carolina requires most cars to have both a safety inspection and an emission check. I took our Leaf into a local Nissan dealership to have the required inspections done so the car can be registered. The service advisor told me that the leaf needed both the safety inspection AND emission check, no emission exception for the Nissan Leaf. They charged me $30 dollars for both. However, when I reviewed the paperwork when I got home I found that it was a safety only inspection and they overcharged by $16.40. I pointed out the error and they refunded the over charge. So if you live in North Carolina verify the the amount being charged for the inspection is correct.
The following URL mentions the exemption from emission testing for Plug-in Electric Vehicles (PEV):
http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/law/NC/9354" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I have also verified with the NC DMV this is correct.