Income Eligibility

Do you have questions about the income cap or increased rebate?  Get details below.

Implementation Date

date iconIncome eligibility requirements apply to rebate applications submitted on or after March 29, 2016 and are based on vehicle purchase/lease date as described in the sections below. Please note, income cap and increased rebate amounts have been updated for consumers who purchase or lease a vehicle on or after November 1, 2016.

Gross Annual Income Definition

gross annual incomeFor the purposes of CVRP, gross annual income is based on the applicant’s most recent federal tax return or other proof of income documentation as determined by the administrator. Gross income includes, but is not limited to the following:

Wages, unemployment, workers' compensation, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, public assistance, veterans' payments, survivor benefits, pension or retirement income, interest, dividends, rents, royalties, income from estates, trusts, educational assistance, alimony, child support, assistance from outside the household, and other miscellaneous sources.

Determining income based on federal tax returns, the Administrator will review the following sections:

  • On IRS Form 1040: Sum of lines 7-21 (may not equal line 22)
    Note: Net operating losses carried over from previous years are not included in this calculation.  If line 21 is negative, the corresponding "Statement" filed with your 1040 must be provided.
  • On IRS Form 1040A: Sum of lines 7-14
  • On IRS Form 1040EZ: Line 4

Only a portion of applicants are selected for income verification. Please do not submit copies of your federal tax return unless requested by a CVRP team member. See the Income Verification section below for information about income documentation that may be required.

Income Cap for Higher-Income Consumers

income capConsumers are not eligible for CVRP rebates if their gross annual incomes are above the thresholds listed below. The income cap applies to all eligible vehicle types except fuel-cell electric vehicles.

Vehicle Date of Purchase/Lease*Income Cap

November 1 2016 – Present

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

March 29 2016 – October 31 2016

  • $250,000 for single filers
  • $340,000 for head-of-household filers
  • $500,000 for joint filers

Prior to March 29 2016

  • Not Applicable
*For Tesla and other vehicles ordered without a standard lease/purchase agreement prior to March 29, 2016, the vehicle order date will be considered the date of purchase or lease. For Tesla and other vehicles ordered without a standard lease/purchase agreement on or after March 29, 2016, the date of first registration with the California DMV will be considered the date of purchase or lease.

Increased Rebate Levels for Low- and Moderate-Income Consumers

increase rebate levelsConsumers with household incomes less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for an increased rebate amount as listed below. The option to apply for an increased rebate is shown on the online application based on the income information the applicant provides. Applicants who are claimed as dependents are not eligible for increased rebates regardless of their income. Increased rebate amounts are available for fuel-cell electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Vehicle Date of Purchase/Lease*Increased Rebate

November 1 2016 – Present

Standard rebate amount increased by $2,000

March 29 2016 – October 31 2016

Standard rebate amount increased by $1,500

Prior to March 29 2016

Not Applicable

*For Tesla and other vehicles ordered without a standard lease/purchase agreement prior to March 29, 2016, the vehicle order date will be considered the date of purchase or lease. For Tesla and other vehicles ordered without a standard lease/purchase agreement on or after March 29, 2016, the date of first registration with the California DMV will be considered the date of purchase or lease.
**Standard rebate amounts are available on CVRP’s list of eligible vehicles, located at cleanvehiclerebate.org/eligible-vehicles. The rebate for an eligible vehicle will be issued to the qualified recipient in a single allotment.

For the purposes of CVRP, a household includes all family members or other unrelated persons, including the rebate applicant, who reside together and share common living expenses. Income verification is completed for all members of the household ages 17 years and older. Note: Roommates who do not have a lease separate from the applicant are considered part of the applicant’s household.

2016 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) Guidelines
Household Size300% FPL
1$35,640
2$48,060
3$60,480
4$72,900
5$85,320
6$97,740
7$110,190
8$122,670
For households with more than 8 persons, add $12,480 for each additional person.
Federal poverty level is updated annually, usually in the first calendar quarter of the year. CVRP applies the update on July 1 of that year to all applications received on or after that date. The current levels can be found at https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guideline.

Below are the 2017 federal poverty levels that are effective July 1, 2017.

2017 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) Guidelines
Household Size300% FPL
1$36,180
2$48,720
3$61,260
4$73,800
5$86,340
6$98,880
7$111,420
8$123,960
For households with more than 8 persons, add $12,540 for each additional person.

Income Verification

income verificationOnly a portion of applicants are selected for income verification. If you are not selected, you do not need to submit proof of income. If you are selected, you must provide proof of income. Failure to provide documentation for income verification will result in your application being cancelled and no rebate issued. See our FAQ "How do I know if I’ve been selected for income verification?" for more information.

For applicants selected for income verification and whose most recent tax year transcripts are not available, additional documentation will be required to verify compliance with current income requirements.

Consumers applying for standard rebate:

Standard rebate applicants selected* for income verification must submit IRS Form 4506-T,  Request for Transcript of Tax Return, as proof of income. Please review the guidance in our Sample Supporting Documents to ensure you correctly complete this form and avoid delays in your verification.

Consumers applying for increased rebate:

Increased rebate applicants selected* for income verification must submit:

Additional documentation may be requested to provide complete details on income and household size.

Please review the guidance in our Sample Supporting Documents to ensure you correctly complete these forms and avoid delays in your verification.

If an applicant participates in one or more of the public assistance programs on CVRP’s Categorical Eligibility List, they may also submit documentation confirming their participation for consideration by the Administrator.

*You do not have to submit proof of income unless you have been selected for income verification.

History

HistoryThe Air Resources Board (ARB) approved the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Low Carbon Transportation Investments and AQIP Funding Plan in late June 2015, which included several changes to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP): 

  • Income cap for higher-income consumers
  • Increased rebate levels for low- and moderate-income consumers

These changes were implemented on March 29, 2016.