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Clean Air Vehicle Decals - High Occupancy Vehicle Lane Usage

The Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) program is administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in partnership with the California Air Resources Board (ARB). The program authorizes a qualifying vehicle that meets specified emissions standards to be issued a CAV decal to allow single occupancy use of High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV or carpool) lanes.

See California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§5205.5 and 21655.9.

The fee for a clean air vehicle decal is $22.

Note: For a vehicle purchased on or after January 1, 2018, the DMV cannot issue a CAV decal to an applicant who has received a consumer rebate through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP).  An applicant whose gross annual income is above specified thresholds must choose between a CAV decal or a CVRP rebate. (See Question #6 in the FAQs.)

For additional information, visit the ARB's website at www.arb.ca.gov.

To ensure your CAV decal application is complete, please refer to question #4 in the FAQs before submitting your application.

Red CAV Decals

In March 2018, the department began issuing a new single-color red decal for qualifying vehicles pursuant to CVC §§5205.5 and 21655.9.  The new red decal will be valid until January 1, 2022, and are issued to vehicles that meet California's super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) evaporative emission standard, as well as vehicles that meet the state’s enhanced advanced technology partial zero-emission (enhanced AT PZEV) vehicles or transitional zero emission vehicle (TZEV) standard.  Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled vehicles may also qualify. Visit ARB's website at www.arb.ca.gov for additional information on vehicle eligibility.

White CAV Decals

White CAV decals are issued according to the following criteria:

  • A vehicle that meets California's super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) evaporative emission standard. This includes certain zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). Vehicles that meet these requirements are certified pure zero emission vehicles (100% battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell). Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled vehicles also qualify for white CAV decals.
  • A 2004 model-year or older vehicle that meets the California ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard.

Note: White CAV decals are valid only until January 1, 2019. New white CAV decals are no longer issued. Eligible vehicles issued a white decal in 2017 or 2018 are eligible to apply for a red decal in 2019 granting them access to HOV lanes until January 1, 2022.

Green CAV Decals

Green CAV decals are issued to vehicles that meet California’s Enhanced Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emissions (Enhanced AT PZEV) or Transitional Zero-Emission (TZEV) standards for exhaust emissions.  Vehicles that meet these requirements are usually plug-in Hybrids.

Note: Green CAV decals are valid only until January 1, 2019. New green CAV decals are no longer issued. Eligible vehicles issued a green decal in 2017 or 2018 are eligible to apply for a red decal in 2019 granting them access to HOV lanes until January 1, 2022.