The CA Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) and High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Decal Program Explained
The State of California allows Caltrans to designate certain lanes on its
highways as High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. This measure authorized
by CA Senate Bill
Vehicles: High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes, was initially passed to encourage carpooling.
AB 266 with the same name, extends some HOV utilization for CAVs until 1 January
2019, or until banned by the Secretary of State. However, the HOV decal
program is administered by the DMV with input from the Air Resources Board (ARB).
Yellow CAV Decal Requirements
The HOV decal program no longer authorizes the yellow decal use, nor is
the use of the HOV lane authorized without two or more occupants. Vehicles
in this class may no longer qualify for a CAV sticker. Check the ARB vehicle
Green CAV Decal Requirements
The green CAV sticker was authorized initially for 40,000 leased or purchased
transitional zero emission vehicles (TZEV). Subsequent increases approved
15,000 additional vehicles several times under SB 853, AB 2013, and AB
95. However, SB 838, effective 13 September 2016, eliminated the mandated
number of authorized stickers. SB 286 extends the use of the green decal
until 1 January 2019, or until such time the Federal government extends
or cancels the program. To check for vehicles authorized by the green
decal see the ARB table on
White CAV Decal Requirements
SB 286 also extends the use of white stickers through 1 January 2019. This
decal applies to mainly emission-free vehicles, electric, hydrogen, or
natural gas certified vehicles. The table on the ARB website also lists
Not All Vehicles Qualify
To qualify for a decal, the vehicle must:
● Meet CA tailpipe zero evaporative emission standards
● Carry a 15 year/150,000-mile emission system warranty
● Carry a 10 year/150,000-mile warranty for the zero-emissions storage system
Additionally, electric “neighborhood” vehicles such as the
Think! and the GEM EV are not authorized for use on roadways with a posted
speed limit of more than 35 mph. Therefore, these vehicles are not permitted
on freeways and are not authorized a sticker under the HOV Decal Program.
If you have a decal on one vehicle, you are not authorized to transfer
it to another vehicle, you must reapply. The same is true if you buy a
previously-owned qualified vehicle, you must apply to have the name changed to yours.
Using the HOV Lane on I-405, “the 405” and I-5
High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane violations are a common occurrence in
the Los Angeles area. The CA Vehicle Code (CVC) requires two or more vehicle
human occupants, not pets, with the exception of CAV vehicles, which waives
the occupancy number for vehicles with a white or green sticker. This
two-person occupancy applies to all vehicles including motorcycles.
Usually, a lane violation ticket is a moving violation assessed one negligent
operator treatment system (NOTS) point by the DMV. Illegal use of the
HOV lane by unauthorized vehicles is a non-moving violation, unless the
driver crosses the double-yellow line to move into or out of the HOV lane.
Crossing the double-yellow is a one-point penalty if convicted for this
infraction. One occupant vehicle drivers cited for an HOV lane violation
face a fine of $480-500.
Hire a Traffic Ticket Attorney in Los Angeles
Although more than 90 percent of drivers ticketed for driving in the HOV
lane just pay the fine, when you feel you did not violate the HOV Decal
Program, you should consult an attorney. There are many rule changes and
amendments to the CVC that traffic ticket lawyers are aware of that could
get a dismissal of your charges.
Bigger & Harman practice
only traffic ticket law and represent clients in Los Angeles, SLO, and Riverside
along with all Central Valley counties. If you receive a traffic ticket,
Bigger & Harman are the traffic ticket defense team you need to get
your ticket squashed. If it is possible; they will get it done. Call Bigger
& Harman, (661) 349-9300 to set up an appointment for a consultation.
You might also wish to send them an email with a scanned copy of your
ticket and the details,
Se habla Español 661.349.9755.
CA Senate Bill
Vehicles: High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes
CA Assembly Bill
Vehicles: High-Occupancy Vehicle Lanes