High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lane Exemption
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. Purple stickers expire January 1, 2023; orange stickers expire January 1, 2024; blue stickers expire January 1, 2025; and yellow stickers expire September 30, 2025.
Residents with an annual income at or below 80% of California’s median income level may participate in the Income-Based CAV (IB-CAV) Decal Program, which allows used vehicles with previously issued CAV decals to retain eligibility for a CAV decal. IB-CAV decals are valid through January 1, 2024. Additional requirements apply.
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, green, or red decals 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 and additional eligibility requirements, see the California Air Resources Board Carpool Stickers website.
(Reference California Vehicle Code 5205.5 and 21655.9)
Type: State Incentives
Enacted: Sep 29, 2006
Amended: Sep 13, 2018
Technologies: EVs, Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Natural Gas, PHEVs
See all California Laws and Incentives.