(If in doubt, check the DMV website.)
With so many fuel efficient motor vehicles on the market these days it’s difficult to keep track of which has what special technology to help you save gas. However with notorious Bay Area traffic, perhaps more important to keep track of here– which ones qualify for use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes by single occupant vehicles ?
California law allows single-occupant use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOVs) lanes by certain qualifying clean alternative fuel vehicles however they require a Clean Air Vehicle Sticker issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Unfortunately the yellow stickers commuters may have first grown accustomed to a few years are no longer valid– that program ended on 7/1/2011 and vehicles that qualified for the yellow stickers do not qualify for any other type of decals. The two types of stickers that are currently being distributed are (Via CA–DMV):
White Clean Air Vehicle Stickers are available to an unlimited number of qualifying Federal Inherently Low Emission Vehicles (ILEVs). Cars that meet these requirements are typically certified pure zero emission vehicles (100% battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell) and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles. The expiration date for the white stickers has been extended to January 1, 2015.
Green Clean Air Vehicle Stickers are available to the first 40,000 applicants that purchase or lease cars meeting California’s Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (AT PZEV) requirement.
To see a full list of which cars are eligible for HOV lane use, head over to the CA-DMV.
(Note: The CA-DMV notes the 2012 and 2013 Chevy Volt are eligible for HOV lane use sticker if purchased with Low Emission Package– in California the Chevy Volt comes standard with the Low Emission Package so no additional purchase is needed to qualify for the sticker.)