State Ready to Distribute Additional Hybrid HOV Decals New Law Allows 10,000 Additional Owners to Drive Solo in HOV Lanes

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: Mike Marando, Steve Haskins, Armando Botello, Mike Miller
October 5, 2006




SACRAMENTO—A bill signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger grants the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) the authority to dispense 10,000 additional stickers, allowing owners of qualifying hybrid vehicles to drive solo in California’s High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes for the next five years.

The hybrid decal program, enacted in September 2004, and launched in August 2005, originally established a cap of 75,000 decals for some of the state’s cleanest, most fuel-efficient cars that would expire on January 1, 2008.  The Governor’s signing of AB 2600 (Lieu) last Friday raises that limit to allow the issuance of 85,000 stickers, while also extending the sunset date an additional three years to January 1, 2011. AB 2600 takes effect January 1, 2007.

“With just over 72,000 stickers issued to date, California’s hybrid decal program has obviously proven very popular and successful with hybrid owners, and has helped increase public awareness and acceptance of advanced automotive technologies,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “We look forward to extending the life of the program.”

“While the decals provided a great initial incentive to buy hybrid cars, most people have invested in them for their long-term benefits,” said Air Resources Executive Officer Catherine Witherspoon.  “Hybrids are among the least-polluting vehicles on the market.  The environment is benefiting from their popularity, as are the savvy commuters who have taken advantage of the program.”

Along with an $8 fee, drivers submit their applications to DMV for review and approval and the department then issues the decals on a first-come, first-served basis.  The Air Resources Board determines which models meet the program’s stringent emissions and fuel efficiency requirements, while the Department of Transportation assesses the program’s impact on traffic patterns.

At this time, the only hybrid vehicles permitted to sport the yellow stickers are cars of the following model year and make:  2000 – 2004 Honda Insight, 2003 – 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid, and the 2001 – 2007 Toyota Prius.

Vehicle owners who qualify for the stickers must fill out an updated REG 1000 form available on the DMV Web site (www.dmv.ca.gov) or at a nearby office. The form and the fee must then be mailed to DMV headquarters in Sacramento at: Department of Motor Vehicles, Special Processing Unit MS D238, P.O. Box 932345, Sacramento, CA. 94232-3450.

For more information on the Hybrid Decal Program, please visit the DMV Web site at www.dmv.ca.gov, the ARB Web site at www.arb.ca.gov, or Governor Schwarzenegger’s Web site at www.gov.ca.gov.

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