Release 05-17      

August 10, 2005


Jerry Martin
Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990
Carpool Lanes Now Allow Single Occupants in Clean and Efficient Vehicles

SACRAMENTO -- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released the list of vehicles that comply with the recent state law which allows single occupant drivers in highly fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles to use carpool lanes (HOV lanes). President Bush's signing of the federal transportation bill triggers implementation of the state program.

"Carpool lanes reduce smog forming emissions during peak traffic hours," said ARB Chair Cindy Tuck. "Allowing clean vehicles into carpool lanes reduces traffic congestion and shows California's commitment to clean vehicle technologies."

California's new law authorizes single occupant HOV lane access to the cleanest and most efficient hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles. Eligible new vehicles must meet California's advanced technology partial zero-emission vehicle (AT PZEV) standard for criteria pollutant emissions, and achieve 45 miles per gallon or better in highway fuel economy. Vehicles using an alternative fuel such as compressed natural gas that does not result in evaporative emissions can qualify without meeting the above requirements as long as they are certified to California's Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) standard. The total number of qualifying vehicles is capped at 75,000 to ensure the traffic congestion benefits of HOV lanes is preserved as hybrids and extremely low emission vehicles become more common. Information regarding qualifying vehicles is listed on ARB's website at:

/msprog/carpool/carpool.htm or by calling 1-800-242-4450.

To take advantage of this new program, vehicles must display labels issued by California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The application form, REG 1000, is available on the DMV's web site ( The completed form and an $8 fee should be mailed to DMV headquarters. The labels, awarded on a first come first served basis, will be mailed to the applicant from Sacramento. Those applicants residing in the nine county San Francisco Bay Area must also submit a form issued by the Bay Area Toll Authority proving the vehicle is enrolled in FasTrak, the automated vehicle identification system used on Bay Area bridges.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.