High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lane Exemption

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Compressed natural gas, hydrogen, electric, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles meeting specified California and federal emissions standards and affixed with a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Clean Air Vehicle sticker may use HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants in the vehicle. Effective January 1, 2020, DMV issues Clean Air Vehicle stickers to first-time applicants that have a household income at or below 80% of the state median income. Stickers are valid through the following dates:

  • Red stickers issued on or after March 1, 2018, for a vehicle that had previously been issued a sticker between January 1, 2017, and March 1, 2018, expire January 1, 2022;
  • Purple stickers issued between January 1, 2019 and January 1, 2020, expire January 1, 2023; and,
  • Orange stickers issued on or after January 1, 2020, expire January 1, 2024.
The California Department of Transportation must publish a report by June 1, 2023, detailing the number of stickers issued under this program. Vehicles originally issued white or green decals prior to 2017 are no longer eligible to participate in this program. Vehicles with stickers are also eligible for reduced rates on or exemptions from toll charges imposed on HOT lanes. For more information and restrictions, including a list of qualifying vehicles, see the California Air Resources Board Carpool Stickers website.

(Reference California Vehicle Code 5205.5 and 21655.9)