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High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane Access

Tired of sitting in traffic on your commute? Reduce your travel time with HOV access

Move into carpool lanes by driving electric!

A coveted benefit of electric vehicle (EV) driving is single-driver access to most HOV lanes throughout California.

The Clean Air Vehicle (CAV) program is for drivers of qualifying vehicles that meet specified emissions standards set by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in partnership with the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Currently, the fee for a CAV decal is $22.

CVRP CAV Decal Restrictions

Since the CAV program’s inception, eligibility requirements have varied for those who also receive funds from the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). Currently, participation in both the CAV and CVRP is based on the applicant’s gross annual income and the vehicle type.

Vehicle type At or above income cap* Under income cap*
Plug-in hybrid CAV decal only CAV decal & CVRP rebate
Battery electric CAV decal only CAV decal & CVRP rebate
Fuel cell electric CAV decal or CVRP rebate CAV decal & CVRP rebate

*Income caps based on tax status

  • $150,000 for single filers
  • $204,000 for head–of–household
  • $300,000 for joint filers

HOV Decal Color Overview

Red HOV Sticker

In March 2018, the DMV began issuing a new red decal to replace the white and green decals for qualifying vehicles. This decal will be valid until Jan. 1, 2022.

White HOV Sticker

White CAV decals were issued to battery electric vehicles and are valid until Jan. 1, 2019. Drivers with this decal are eligible to reapply for a red decal if they purchased a new vehicle after Jan. 1, 2017.

Green HOV Sticker

Green CAV decals were issued to plug-in hybrid vehicles and are valid until Jan. 1, 2019. Drivers with this decal are eligible to reapply for a red decal if they purchased a new vehicle after Jan. 1, 2017.

Obtaining Your HOV Lane Decal

  • Visit the CARB website for a list of eligible vehicles
  • When purchasing or leasing your vehicle, ask if it will come with an HOV decal.
  • If not, complete the DMV application and mail to
      Department of Motor Vehicles
      Special Processing Unit – MS D238
      P.O. Box 932345, Sacramento, CA 94232
  • Include a check for $22 made payable to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

For more information about the CAV program, visit https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/vr/decal.