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News Release

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

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

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(RENO, Nev.) – Residents of the Truckee Meadows have reported more than 32,000 smoking vehicles since the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) launched the Smoking Vehicle program five years ago in 1996.  July was the most successful month for 2001 so far with 1,118 calls to the Smoking Vehicle hotline.  

The program provides residents with an opportunity to help improve the region’s air quality by simply calling 686-SMOG.  The smoking vehicle program was developed by DMV to reduce vehicle emissions in the Truckee Meadows by allowing 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 while educating 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, 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


** NOTE: These requirements have changes since this news release was issued. See Emissions for current regulations.