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Kevin R. Malone - Nevada DMV
(702) 486-1311

Kathleen Hale - Rose/Glenn Group
(775) 827-7311

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Note: The #SMOG phone number listed on this page is no longer operational.  Please call 686-SMOG

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   September 1, 2001



(RENO, Nev.) – The Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety (DMV&PS) launches the fifth year of the Smoking Vehicle program to provide residents an opportunity to help improve the region’s air quality by simply calling 686-SMOG or #SMOG, a free call from any AT&T wireless services phone.

The smoking vehicle program was developed by DMV&PS to reduce vehicle emissions in the Truckee Meadows. The program allows residents to voluntarily participate in improving the air quality by reporting vehicles emitting visible exhaust emissions.  The program is designed to increase understanding of the correlation between vehicle maintenance and pollution, and educate the public on the benefits of a well-maintained vehicle.

Air quality affects health, livelihood, the environment and tourism – an essential component to the economic development of the Truckee Meadows.  Vehicles emitting visible smoke contribute to 80 percent of the area’s air pollution, partially contributing to the “brown cloud” hovering over the area on certain days.  Smoke in the air also releases tiny particles that can be inhaled into the lungs.  Studies show these small particles contribute to respiratory disease.  Drivers can help eliminate the cloud and promote healthy living by proper vehicle maintenance and reporting vehicles emitting visible exhaust.

If a vehicle emits visible exhaust, it is an indication that the vehicle is not running properly, resulting in higher maintenance costs to the owner and negative effects on the environment.  Poorly maintained vehicles can release as much as 10 times the emissions as a well maintained vehicle.  In addition, smoking vehicles are prohibited as part of Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 445B.100 and 445B.845.  Residents of Washoe County who own a gas or diesel powered 1968 or newer vehicle, with a gross weight under 8,500 pounds are required to have an emissions test.  Motorcycles, mopeds and vehicles made in or before 1967 are exempt from emissions testing.  

When dialing 686-SMOG or #SMOG, callers should be prepared to provide the license plate number of the smoking vehicle, the approximate time the vehicle was spotted and the location of the vehicle.  All information is confidential. 

The smoking vehicle program started in 1996, resulting in more than 32,000 calls over the last five years to the DMV.  The program has helped to get more than 5,000 smoking vehicles cleaned up resulting in cleaner air for the region. 

For more information on the smoking vehicle program call 1-877-DMV-STAT (1-877-368-7828) or access





PROGRAM:                              The smoking vehicle program began in 1996 and was developed by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety (DMV&PS).  The program allows residents to voluntarily participate in improving the region’s air quality by reporting cars or trucks emitting visible exhaust emissions.  The program is also designed to educate the public on the causes of exhaust emissions and the benefits of keeping vehicles well maintained.


THE NUMBERS:                       Drivers can easily report smoking vehicles by calling 686-SMOG and #SMOG, a free call from any AT&T wireless services phone.


RESULTS:                                The smoking vehicle program has received more than 29,000 reports of vehicles emitting visible exhaust over a five-year period, and has helped to clean up approximately 5,000 smoking vehicles resulting in cleaner air for the Truckee Meadows. 


REPORTING PROCESS:           Once a smoking vehicle is reported, the DMV&PS sends a courtesy letter to the registered owner of the car requesting the owner repair the car and includes educational information about why the car may be smoking.  If the same vehicle is reported a second time, the DMV&PS sends another courtesy letter to the owner.  If the same vehicle is reported again and is confirmed by a DMV&PS representative to be a vehicle emitting visible exhaust, DMV&PS sends a confirmed observation letter.  The registered owner has 10 days to reply to the letter.  If there is no reply, the DMV&PS sends out a notice requesting the owner make repairs to the vehicle within 30 days or the DMV&PS may cancel the owner’s registration in accordance with state law. 


STATE LAW:                            The smoking vehicle program was developed in accordance with Titles I and II of the 1990 Clean Air Act.  Nevada passed into law Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 445B.100 and 445B.845 to comply with federal regulations in developing a new system for preventing smog and attaining healthy air quality standards.


POLLUTANTS:                         Motor vehicles produce more than 80 percent of the area’s air pollution.  Vehicles emit three types of pollutants: hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide.  Hydrocarbons react with nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight and hot temperatures to form ground-level ozone.  Nitrogen oxide contributes to the formation of ozone and acid rain.  Carbon monoxide reduces the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream, which can lead to impaired mental alertness and blurred vision.  National air quality studies have reported that in urban areas, motor vehicle emissions are responsible for as much as 90 percent of carbon monoxide in the air.

 CONTACT:                                Call the smoking vehicle program at 1-877-DMV-STATE (1-877-368-7828) or access