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Report Smoking Vehicles

Why was the SMOKING VEHICLE program established?

The SMOKING VEHICLE Program was established to reduce visible exhaust from vehicles traveling in the basin.

District's SMOKING VEHICLE program depends on public participation. Residents can call the District's toll-free number (1-800-55-99-AIR) with a complaint about a smoking vehicle they have seen traveling the basin's roads and freeways.

How does SMOKING VEHICLE program work?

Drivers who spot a vehicle emitting excessive amounts of exhaust smoke can call the District's toll free number (1-800-55-99-AIR) and report it.

A District staff member will ask callers to use the toll-free line:

  • the smoking vehicle's license plate number (the program only has jurisdiction over vehicles registered in the State of California);
  • the vehicle make; and
  • the date, time and location of the observation.

Using the Department of Motor Vehicle's database, District retrieves the owner's registration information and mails an advisory letter to the owner informing them that a complaint has been filed against their vehicle. All information involved in the program remains confidential.

What does the advisory letter say and what must the owner do after receiving one?

The letter advises smoking vehicle owners that their vehicle was reported to be smoking and recommends they have it repaired to eliminate excessive emissions.

The letter also alerts the owner to the fact that excessively smoking vehicles violate the State of California Motor Vehicle Codes (Sections 27153 and 27153.5) which carries a fine of $100 to $250, -- depending on the type of vehicle -- for first time offenders.

After owners make the necessary repairs, they are asked to complete the Smoking Vehicle Compliance Form attached to the advisory letter and return it to District.

Can District impose fines on vehicle owners who have been reported through the SMOKING VEHICLE program?

No. However the California Highway Patrol (CHP) can cite passenger vehicles as well as big rigs and buses for excessive smoke and if warranted impose a fine.

Can District's toll free number be reached anytime, day or night?

Yes. Residents can report a smoking vehicle to District's 1-800-55-99-AIR 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Has District's SMOKING VEHICLE program made a difference?

On average, more than 40% of the vehicle owners who receive an advisory letter return their completed compliance forms to the District, stating that they have attended to their vehicle, either having it checked and if warranted having any needed repairs made.