California – Vehicle Idling Regulations

by Nov 25, 2015Fleet Management0 comments

Idling diesel trucks and buses create toxic air pollution, contribute to global warming, and waste costly fuel – and in some cases, the operator may be breaking the law. Find out how you can help keep emissions in check so we can all breathe easier.

Which vehicles are covered? 

Heavy-duty diesel vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,000 lbs. or heavier.

How long can I idle? 

Idling for more than 5 minutes is prohibited within California’s borders. While at a school, the driver must shut down the engine immediately upon arrival and leave within 30 seconds of starting the engine.

What are the fines? 

Fines start at $300 and can be as much as $1000 per day.

Are there situations where idling is allowed? 

Yes. Idling is allowed in the following situations:

• You are stuck in traffic

• When idling is necessary to inspect or service your vehicle

• You are operating a power take-off device

• You cannot move due to adverse weather conditions or mechanical failure

• You are queuing (must be beyond 100 feet from any residential area)

• Your truck’s engine meets the optional low-NOx idling emission standard, and your truck is located more than 100 feet from any residential area (clean-idle label required)

See for a complete list of exemptions.

If I can’t idle, what can I do about cab comfort? 

Listed below are some available idle reduction technologies:

• Battery-powered auxiliary power systems

• Fuel-fired heaters (restrictions apply; see

• Diesel-fueled auxiliary power systems (restrictions apply; see

• Truck stop hookups that provide heat, cooling, electricity and other services throughout California Visit for further details on these and other idle-reduction technologies.

What restrictions apply to idle-reduction technologies?

• You may not operate a diesel-fueled auxiliary power system for more than 5 minutes within a 100 feet of a residential area

• Diesel-fueled auxiliary power systems (APS) on trucks with 2007 or newer model year engines must meet additional requirements (verified clean APS label required)

• Fuel-fired heaters must meet certain emission standards Visit for further details.

If I see a truck illegally idling, what should I do? 

Call us at 1-800-END-SMOG or email with the following information:

• Date and time you saw violation

• Location (cross streets or address, and city) of the incident

• License plate number from the front of the truck, including state

• DOT, MC and MX number from side of door

• Company name and any identifying marks on the truck

• Details about the observed idling violation Your calls or email may be kept anonymous, if requested.

Where can I get more information?

  • 1-800-242-4450
  • PO BOX 2815 SACRAMENTO CA 95812
  • (800) 242-4450 REVISE
Share This