California’s New HOV Stickers – Coming Soon

Beginning January 1, 2019, Assembly Bill 544 creates a new decal program to allow certain low emission vehicles to access high-occupancy vehicle lanes, regardless of vehicle occupancy level, for a four-year term. Access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes for vehicles with green and white decals will expire January 1, 2019. Vehicles issued a green or white decal in 2017 or 2018 will be eligible to reapply for a decal in 2019 granting them access to high–occupancy toll lanes until January 1, 2022. ~ California DMV

nothing free for EV in California

Kinda confused by the rules allowing clean cars into the much-prized diamond lanes in California? You’re not alone. Most Golden State residents seem to think that the DMV and the California Air Resources Board haven’t been great communicators…like Ronnie Reagan was so famous for being.

A new set of stickers for green vehicles (plug-in hybrids and battery electrics) will be issued Starting January 1, 2019 …and the anxiety level is already rising for many state motorists.  Here’s some of what we know so far:

  • The new sticker color and evaluation system are as yet-undetermined.  Regardless…on January 1, 2019…all previously existing stickers (white, green, and red) will become invalid (aka inoperative, says Karen Caesar, spokeswoman for CARB.d
  • The new program should be revealed in October or November…and “the vehicle eligibility requirements for the new decal mirror those used for the current white and green decal programs.” (John Swanton, a CARB air pollution specialist)
  • Drivers who were issued red, green, or white HOV stickers in 2017 or 2018 can apply for the new decals after January 1, 2019 that will be valid for three years.
  • New car buyers after January 1, 2019 who apply for a sticker will get to use the diamond lanes for up to four years. (..three full years plus “the partial year from when the decal was issued.” said Swanton).

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