If you bought your green vehicle before 2017, your decal may expire at the start of the new year, 2019. The HOV program that was designed to bring new eco-friendly vehicles into the market place has been since updated by California state legislators to allow electric vehicles owners to apply for new HOV decals if the they purchased their eligible vehicle in 2017 or 2018. Unfortunately, this leaves those who purchased eligible vehicles prior to 2017 without recourse except purchase a new eligible vehicle. Vehicles purchased in 2019 will have valid decals for carpool access through 2022.
An Unpopular Move To Reduce Congestion
While state legislators claim this decision was designed to reduce congestion in carpool lanes across California, many California residents fail to see it the same way. According to KQED, the San Francisco based public media outlet, 1 in 4 vehicles in the carpool lane are there illegally. As such, many believe that increased highway patrol presence could significantly alleviate issues of carpool congestion across California by discouraging illegal use of carpool lanes. On the other hand, increased policing of highways comes with a greater cost to tax payers across the state as the increased number of violations recorded may not cover the additional cost. Regardless, state legislators believe the current system for HOV decals will decrease carpool lane congestion and reduce highway gridlock.