Every city/county should follow the same procedure.(I emphasize should) That being said, there may be some city/county differences throughout the state. Personally, in Charlotte, I've always had the "sniffer" test. However, if I had the test done at a stealership they put it on a rack to check for the cat, but if I went to an independent shop, they generally wouldn't. Not sure about the chip deal.
2000 ZX3 Autumn Orange - faithful companion
2003 SVT Competition Orange - new playtoy