Income Eligibility

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

Implementation Date

Income 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.

Income Cap for Higher-Income Consumers

The income cap for higher-income consumers is set at the same income thresholds established in Proposition 30, a ballot initiative approved by California voters in 2012. Consumers 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 vehicles ordered prior to March 29, 2016, the vehicle order date will be considered the date of purchase or lease. For Tesla vehicles ordered on or after March 29, 2016, the date of first registration with the California DMV will be considered the date of purchase or lease.

For the purposes of CVRP, gross annual income is determined by the amount reported on the applicant’s federal tax return:

  • On IRS Form 1040: Lines 7-21
    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: Lines 7-14
  • On IRS Form 1040EZ: Line 4

Increased Rebate Levels for Low- and Moderate-Income Consumers

Consumers 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. 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 vehicles ordered prior to March 29, 2016, the vehicle order date will be considered the date of purchase or lease.For Tesla vehicles ordered on or after March 29, 2016, the date of first registration with the California DMV will be considered the date of purchase or lease.

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.

For the purposes of CVRP, gross annual household income includes that of the applicant and all other individuals in the household, ages 17 years and older, regardless of whether or not they are related to the rebate applicant. 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.

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.

Source data: https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines

Income Verification

Only 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.

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 option A or B as proof of household income:

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

*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.