nctcog logo
 
transportation label

 

 

RSVP FAQs

RSVP logoGo to the RSVP home page

Click on the questions for the answer.

How do I report a smoking vehicle?

Can out of state vehicles be reported?

Do people get a ticket if I report them?

I have a diesel. Why was I reported?

I sold my vehicle months ago, but I received the smoking vehicle report. What can I do?

My vehicle doesn't smoke. Why was it reported?

I just paid to have an emissions check. Why am I receiving this letter?

I think my neighbor is victimizing me. What do I do?

Are smoking vehicles really any worse than other vehicles?

Can I report any type of vehicle or equipment I see smoking?

What are the major sources of pollution?

What can I do to improve air quality?

What is air pollution?

What are the criteria pollutants for air pollution?

Where are the other non-attainment areas in Texas?

Are there any regions in Texas that have the EPA designation as attainment, after being classified as non-attainment?

How is Ozone being formed?

What are the health effects of Ozone?

What are common causes for smoking vehicles or visible exhaust?

 

Q: How do I report a smoking vehicle?

A: Anyone who sees a smoking vehicle will need to note the following information: the license plate, date and time, type of vehicle (i.e.: car or truck, etc.), and location.

Return to top

Q: Can out-of-state vehicles be reported?

A: RSVP is not designed to accept reports on vehicles that are registered outside of Texas. We do not have the resources or the authority to retrieve data on vehicle owners from other states.

However, state law prohibits any person from operating a motor vehicle emitting visible smoke for 10 seconds or longer on Texas roadways. Therefore, law enforcement authorities statewide do have the authority to issue citations to the drivers of out-of-state vehicles if they are observed violating this law.

Return to top

Q: Do people get a ticket if I report them?

A: No. If a smoking vehicle is called in, the vehicle owner is sent a letter informing them that their vehicle was reported for smoking. We encourage the owner/operator to have the vehicle checked out by their mechanic and to voluntarily repair it, if necessary.

Return to top

Q: I have a diesel. Why was I reported?

A: Many diesels, even when properly maintained, have slight smoke emissions. Proper maintenance of your vehicle will greatly decrease smoke emissions and increase engine efficiency. However, the Texas Transportation Code states:

Sec. 547.605. EMISSION SYSTEMS REQUIRED.

  1. The engine and power mechanism of a motor vehicle shall be equipped and adjusted to prevent the escape of excessive smoke or fumes.
  2. A motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, of a model year after 1967, shall be equipped to prevent the discharge of crankcase emissions into the ambient atmosphere.
  3. The owner or operator of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine, of a model year after 1967, that is equipped with an exhaust emission system:
    1. Shall maintain the system in good working condition;
    2. shall use the system when the motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine is operated; and
    3. may not remove the system or a part of the system or intentionally make the system inoperable in this state, unless the owner or operator removes the system or part to install another system or part intended to be equally effective in reducing atmospheric emissions.
  4. Except when travel conditions require the downshifting or use of lower gears to maintain reasonable momentum, a person commits an offense if the person operates, or as an owner knowingly permits another person to operate, a vehicle that emits:
    1. visible smoke for 10 seconds or longer; or
    2. visible smoke that remains suspended in the air for 10 seconds or longer before fully dissipating.
  5. An offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $1 and not more than $350 for each violation. If a person has previously been convicted of an offense under this section, an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $200 and not more than $1,000 for each violation.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 1075, Sec. 6, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Return to top

Q: I sold my vehicle months ago, but I received the smoking vehicle report. What can I do?

A: If you do not own the vehicle that was reported, you should notify the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) or your county tax office to have their records corrected. It is likely that the new owner has not transferred the title to their name. If you have further questions about the vehicle title and registration process, please call the TxDMV at 888-368-4689.

Return to top

Q: My vehicle doesn't smoke. Why was it reported?

A: A small percentage of calls received on our RSVP line and our website do report incorrect or transposed license plate numbers and we apologize if yours was one of those. Rest assured, as long as your vehicle’s maintenance is performed and it is running clean, it is highly unlikely that you will ever receive another letter.

Return to top

Q: I just paid to have an emissions check. Why am I receiving this letter?

A: Your car could pass an emissions test and still emit excessive smoke. Check with your mechanic to see if repairs are needed.

Return to top

Q: I think my neighbor is victimizing me. What do I do?

A: We are sorry if that is the motivation behind the complaint lodged against your vehicle. This notification does not affect your driving record and does not carry any penalties.

Return to top

Q: Are smoking vehicles really any worse than other vehicles?

A: Yes! Statistics indicate that 10% of the vehicles create more than 50% of the emissions.

Return to top

Q: Can I report any type of vehicle or equipment I see smoking?

A: No. This program is designed for “On Road Vehicles”. Here are examples of what you can report to this program:

  • Cars, Mini-Vans, Pickup Trucks, SUV’s, Passenger or Delivery Vans and Trucks, Diesel Cars and Pickup Trucks, Heavy Duty Diesel Trucks and Busses.
  • If state law permits the vehicle to be driven on the road it must comply with the transportation code.

Return to top

Q: What are the major sources of pollution?

A: Sources of air pollution can be classified as stationary, area, or mobile sources.

  • Stationary sources include relatively large, fixed facilities such as power plants, chemical process industries, petroleum refineries and cement kilns.
  • Area sources are small, stationary, nontransportation sources that collectively contribute to air pollution, and include such sources as dry cleaners and bakeries, surface coating operations, home furnaces, and crop burning.
  • Mobile sources include on-road vehicles such as cars, trucks, and buses; and off-road sources such as trains, ships, airplanes, boats, lawnmowers, and construction equipment.

Return to top

Q: What can I do to improve air quality?

A: Reduce use of solvents, reduce use of energy, keep vehicles in good repair, use alternative commuting options, select low emission vehicles, reduce unnecessary trips, postpone polluting activities on high ozone days, reduce emissions from off-road sources.

Additional information can be found here.

Return to top

Q: What is air pollution?

A: Air pollution is the presence of substances, both gases and particles, in the air in amounts that are harmful to the health or comfort of humans or animals, or can cause damage to plants or materials (properties). This is usually the result of industrial processes and/or vehicle activities.

Return to top

Q: What are the criteria pollutants for air pollution?

A: There are six (6) criteria pollutants: ozone, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and lead.

Return to top

Q: Where are the other non-attainment areas in Texas?

A: The non-attainment areas are: Beaumont-Port Arthur, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston-Galveston.

Return to top

Q: Are there any regions in Texas that has the EPA designation as attainment, after being classified as non-attainment?

A: Yes. El Paso recently achieved the EPA designation as attainment for their region, and continue their emission reduction programs for the benefits.

Return to top

Q: How is Ozone being formed?

A: Ozone is formed as a consequence of chemical reactions in the atmosphere where the reactants are nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sun light.

Return to top

Q: What are the health effects of Ozone?

A: Ozone poses health problems for children, the elderly, asthmatics, and even healthy adults.

  • It can cause acute respiratory problems.
  • It can aggravate asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.
  • It can lead to hospital admissions and emergency room visit.
  • It can impair the immune system.

Return to top

7/14/2017 05/19/2009 MG

 CONTACT US | SITE MAP | LEGAL | SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Find Us on Facebook  Follow Us on Twitter  Tubin with the COG Trans  Grammin with CogTrans
 North Central Texas Council of Governments | P.O. Box 5888 Arlington, TX 76005-5888
 Main Operator: (817) 640-3300 | Fax: (817) 608-2315