"Green" Sticker Explained

About a month ago we noted that the amount of "green" HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) was rapidly approaching the 40,000 limit as set out by the California Air Resources Board.  At the time, just 3,770 were left.

That number quickly dropped to just about 1,500 left a week later, as CARB's website stated:

"As of April 7, 2014,  38,478 "green" stickers have been issued. Green stickers are valid through  January 1, 2019."

This number then basically idled in place for the month as CARB froze dealer's abilities to pre-register vehicles for "green" stickers, leaving many to wonder how many were left and when they would run out.

Then yesterday morning, CARB's site was updated with this note:

"As of April 28, 2014, 39,359 “green” stickers have been issued. Green stickers are valid through  January 1, 2019."

That was just 881 new "green" stickers issued in Californian in three weeks, which was only a fraction of the issuing pace that had been set over the past 2-3 months.  Was this possible?  Had demand suddenly fallen off?  Can someone still apply and get a "green" sticker at this point; say for example on the BMW i3 REx that was just approved for the HOV sticker this week?

What better way to figure out what is going on than to contact CARB directly about it?

It turns out that yes, that is the amount they have issued, but unfortunately if you don't have your "green" sticker application already in (and maybe if you already do), you aren't getting one; as they currently have more apps than stickers.

Says CARB:

"At this point, pending applications waiting processing at the California DMV now significantly exceed the number of available green stickers.

That being said, the California legislature is considering a significant extension of the number of vehicles eligible for this incentive. Since this is a legislative action, we cannot guarantee that they will choose to extend the program beyond the original 40,000 stickers. We recommend you watch our website for more information and we will post any changes to the law allowing additional stickers if they are adopted."

"White" Stickers For All-Electric Cars Are Unlimited

As to the possibility of more stickers, California Assembly bill (California AB-2013) sets out to raise the 40,000 cap up to 85,000; but there doesn't appear to be the drive to adopt this new threshold.

Early this month an attempt was made to give AB-2013 urgency status to made the transition to the new limit seamless for Californians, but it did not receive the 67% of the vote required.  That bill now hits the assembly floor very much in doubt.

Hat tip to Jason Z!