The California Department of Motor Vehicles is working to address unlicensed vehicle dismantling with a statewide campaign.
The new campaign will work to inform the public of the health and safety risks involved.
Dismantling a vehicle without a license is against the law and can involve stripping down vehicles, selling used vehicle parts illegally, and dumping hazardous waste into the environment.
According to the DMV, an estimated 1.2 million vehicles are disposed annually in California – and approximately 360,000 wind up in the hands of unlicensed and unregulated dismantlers.
Officials said individuals who dismantle vehicles without permits typically do not properly dispose of chemicals such as engine oil and transmission and radiator fluids which can lead to hazardous waste in rivers and streams.
“Unlicensed vehicle dismantlers operate in the underground economy and do not comply with licensing requirements,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said. “These individuals ignore environmental regulatory requirements, insurance and tax obligations, and workplace safety requirements. Vehicle fluids can seep and contaminate ground water and defective parts can be sold to unsuspecting people, creating a potential public safety hazard.”
The DMV Vehicle Dismantler Industry Strike Team is collaborating with representatives from the California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA), Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB), Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), California Air Resources Board (CARB), and California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) to investigate the occurrences of unlicensed and unregulated vehicle dismantling.
DMV’s investigators will continue focusing on problem areas throughout the state by identifying and citing unlicensed vehicle dismantlers, as well as checking for compliance with state law and environmental regulations.
The DMV encourages the public to report unlicensed vehicle dismantling activity. Anyone who suspects a person or business may be dismantling vehicles without a proper license or permit should complete the online complaint form which can be found here.
For more information on the Dismantler Industry Strike Team, click here.