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Report smoky vehicles

FAQs about smoky vehicles + Expand all Collapse all

  • What information do I have to include with my report?

    We need to have:

    • the registration number.
    • a description of the vehicle –
      • make
      • body type (sedan, utility, van, etc.)
      • colour
      • model (if possible)..

    EPA supports safe driving practices. You should use an appropriate, safe means of recording these details. These details enable us to cross-check the registered details on the VicRoads database to avoid mistakes.

    We also need to know where and when you saw the vehicle:

    • road, suburb or town
    • date
    • time (including am or pm).

    We may not be able to process your report without all this information.

    The Portal provides dropdown lists where you can select the relevant item.

    If you don't have information such as vehicle make or vehicle body type, select ‘Unlisted’ from the list and enter any information in the ‘Vehicle model’ field that may help us identify the vehicle, such as any signage identifying the owner.

    Be sure to keep your notes even after completing the online form, in case we need to contact you to clarify the information.

  • Do I have to give my name?

    We ask for your name and contact details in case a query arises. They’re not released to anyone.

  • What does EPA do with the smoky vehicle reports?

    If the vehicle description registered with VicRoads doesn’t match the reported description, no further action will be taken. If the details match, we’ll send a letter to the owner advising them their vehicle has been reported as emitting smoke and may need repairs. The letter also says that, if the vehicle is observed emitting smoke by an EPA or police officer, the owner may be fined.

  • Can I report interstate vehicles on the Portal?

    At this stage, EPA can only process reports for Victorian-registered motor vehicles. This is something we may revisit in the future. We encourage you to continue to report pollution – we couldn’t run the program without your help.

  • How long do I have to lodge a smoky vehicle report through the Portal?

    To help us process reports promptly, please submit them within seven days of the offence. In the date and time section, you will only be able to select a date from the last fourteen days. EPA cannot accept reports older than this.

  • Are there any other restrictions on the vehicles that I can report?

    No. But if you report a semi-trailer or other similar vehicle emitting smoke, we can only act if you give us the registration number of the prime mover section at the front. Trailer registrations such as ‘12345 S’ can’t be followed up.

  • How much smoke defines a smoky vehicle?

    The legislation defines a smoky vehicle as one which continuously emits visible smoke for 10 seconds or more.

  • Is water (steam) vapour emitted from the vehicle a problem as well?

    No. When reporting a smoky vehicle, take care that it’s not just emitting water vapour (steam). For a while after starting the engine, water vapour is emitted from the exhaust pipe, which, when cooled by the surrounding air, can look like smoke. The wispy looking water vapour is very evident when the vehicle is started on cold mornings.

  • Are diesel vehicles exempt?

    The regulation applies to all cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles, regardless of the engine type or even whether they are going up a hill. Diesel-engined vehicles are not exempt.

  • Can I report a noisy vehicle?

    EPA cannot process public reports of noisy vehicles. You can report a noisy vehicle to the highway patrol unit at your local police station. If a police officer assesses the vehicle as being too noisy, the vehicle will be referred to EPA for noise testing.

    Get more information about motor vehicle, train and tram noise and motor vehicle noise testers approved by EPA.

  • Why doesn’t my existing reporting account work on the Portal?

    EPA has recently upgraded a number of our systems into one centralised Portal. All active litter and smoky reporting accounts have been migrated from the old system into the Portal.

    Unfortunately, this means that if you weren’t an active reporter you may need to re-register for a Portal account.

    To register for litter and smoky vehicle reporting, click on the Create account link. If we already have a record of your email address, it means you already have an account. You’ll then be able to reset your password.

    Please note that there is a limit of 40 characters in the username field for the Portal. Please contact EPA if you have an email address longer than this length.

  • I've forgotten my password. How can I access the Portal?

    Your username for the Portal is your email address.

    You can reset your password using the Forgotten password? option on the Portal login screen. An email will be sent to you with instructions on what to do next.

    We recommend you choose a password that is unique and not easy to guess. Your password is case-sensitive and must have a minimum of eight characters. It should contain a combination of upper and lower-case letters, numbers and special characters.
  • My contact details have changed. How can I change them on the Portal?

    Once you’ve logged in to the Portal, you can update your contact details or your password in the ‘Account management’ section.

Page last updated on 22 May 2013