Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2405 Vehicles: high-occupancy toll lanes.(2011-2012)



SECTION 1.
 This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Choose Clean Cars Act of 2012.

SEC. 2.

 Section 5205.5 of the Vehicle Code, as amended by Section 1 of Chapter 215 of the Statutes of 2010, is amended to read:

5205.5.
 (a) (1)  For purposes of implementing Section 21655.9, the department shall make available for issuance, for a fee determined by the department to be sufficient to reimburse the department for the reasonable actual  costs incurred pursuant to this section, and pursuant to the eligibility provisions in subdivision (b),  distinctive decals, labels, and other identifiers that clearly distinguish the following vehicles from other vehicles:
(A) (1)  A vehicle that meets the state’s  California’s  super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) evaporative emission standard, as defined in Part 88 (commencing with Section 88.101-94) of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(B) (2)  A vehicle that was produced during the 2004 model year  model-year  or earlier and meets the state’s  California  ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard. A decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph is valid until January 1, 2019. 
(3) A hybrid vehicle or an alternative fuel vehicle that meets California’s advanced technology partial zero-emission vehicle (AT PZEV) standard for criteria pollutant emissions and has a 45 miles per gallon or greater fuel economy highway rating.
(4) A hybrid vehicle that was produced during the 2004 model-year or earlier and has a 45 miles per gallon or greater fuel economy highway rating, and meets California’s ULEV, SULEV, or partial zero-emission vehicle (PZEV) standards.
(C) (5)  A vehicle that meets the state’s  California’s  enhanced advanced technology partial zero-emission vehicle (enhanced AT PZEV) standard or transitional zero-emission vehicle (TZEV)  standard.
(2) (A) A decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) before January 1, 2017, is valid until January 1, 2019.
(B) (i) A decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) on or after January 1, 2017, and before March 1, 2018, is valid until January 1, 2019.
(ii) A decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) between March 1, 2018, and January 1, 2019, is valid until January 1, 2022.
(iii) (b)  A decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) on or after March 1, 2018, for a vehicle that had been issued a  Neither an owner of a hybrid vehicle that meets the AT PZEV standard, with the exception of a vehicle that meets the federal ILEV standard, nor an owner of a hybrid vehicle described in paragraph (4) of subdivision (a), is entitled to a  decal, label, or other identifier pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) between January 1, 2017, and March 1, 2018, is valid until January 1, 2022. this section unless the federal government acts to approve the use of high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes by vehicles of the types identified in paragraph (3) or (4) of subdivision (a), regardless of the number of occupants. 
(C) Except as provided in clause (iii) of subparagraph (B), a decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) on or after January 1, 2019, is valid until January 1 of the fourth year after the year of issuance.
(3) (A) Notwithstanding the validity timeframe specified in clause (iii) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2), commencing January 1, 2020, and until January 1, 2024, a decal, label, or other identifier may be issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) for a vehicle that had previously been issued a decal, label, or other identifier, and the decal, label, or other identifier shall be valid until January 1, 2024, if the applicant for the decal, label, or other identifier has a household income at or below 80 percent of the state median income, as designated by the Department of Housing and Community Development’s list of state income limits adopted pursuant to Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code. The determination of income eligibility shall be made by a governmental or nonprofit entity selected by the department, in a format prescribed by the department.
(B) A person who obtained a decal, label, or other identifier for a vehicle prior to January 1, 2017, shall not be issued another decal, label, or other identifier pursuant to this paragraph, notwithstanding the person’s qualifying income.
(C) The department shall report to the Legislature the number of decals, labels, and other identifiers issued pursuant to this paragraph. The report shall be issued after January 1, 2023, but before June 1, 2023.
(4) Except as provided in clause (iii) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) and paragraph (3), a vehicle shall not be issued a decal, label, or other identifier more than once.
(b) (1) The department shall not issue a decal, label, or other identifier to an applicant who has received a consumer rebate pursuant to the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, established as part of the Air Quality Improvement Program pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 44274) of Chapter 8.9 of Part 5 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code, for a vehicle purchased on or after January 1, 2018, unless the rebate was issued to a buyer whose gross annual income falls below one hundred fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) for a person who files a tax return as a single person, two hundred four thousand dollars ($204,000) for a person who files a tax return as a head of household, and three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) for a person who files a joint tax return.
(2) The department shall collaborate with the State Air Resources Board to establish procedures to implement this subdivision, including, but not limited to, all of the following:
(A) The application form for a decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to this section and the application for a rebate under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project shall include a statement indicating that the applicant cannot participate in both programs unless the applicant meets the income restrictions in paragraph (1). Each application shall require the applicant to provide a signature to confirm that the applicant understands this condition.
(B) Notify consumers of the eligibility criteria and conditions using existing education and outreach efforts.
(C) Establish appropriate compliance and enforcement measures.
(D) Establish information sharing between the department and the board to implement the requirements of this subdivision.
(c) The department shall include a summary of the provisions of this section on each motor vehicle registration renewal notice, or on a separate insert, if space is available and the summary can be included without incurring additional printing or postage costs.
(d) The Department of Transportation shall remove individual HOV lanes, or portions of those lanes, during periods of peak congestion from the access provisions provided in subdivision (a), following a finding by the Department of Transportation as follows:
(1) The lane, or portion of the lane,  thereof,  exceeds a level of service C, as discussed in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the Government Code.
(2) The operation or projected operation of the vehicles described in subdivision (a) in these lanes, or portions of those lanes,  thereof,  will significantly increase congestion.
(3) The finding shall also demonstrate the infeasibility of alleviating the congestion by other means, including, but not limited to, reducing the use of the lane by noneligible vehicles or further increasing vehicle occupancy.
(e) The State Air Resources Board shall publish and maintain a list listing  of all vehicles eligible for participation in the programs described in this section. The board shall provide that list listing  to the department.
(f) (1) For purposes of subdivision (a), the Department of the California Highway Patrol and the department, in consultation with the Department of Transportation, shall design and specify the placement of the decal, label, or other identifier on the vehicle. Each decal, label, or other identifier issued for a vehicle shall display a unique number, which number  shall be printed on, or affixed to, the vehicle registration.
(2) Decals, labels, or other identifiers designed pursuant to this subdivision for a vehicle described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a) shall be distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other identifiers that are designed for vehicles described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subdivision (a).
(g) (1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), for purposes of subdivision (a), the department shall issue no more than 85,000 distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers that clearly distinguish the vehicles specified in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (a).
(B) The department may issue a decal, label, or other identifier for a vehicle that satisfies all of the following conditions:
(i) The vehicle is of a type identified in paragraph (3) or (4) of subdivision (a).
(ii) The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which a decal, label, or identifier described in subparagraph (A) was previously issued and that vehicle for which the decal, label, or identifier was previously issued is determined by the department, on the basis of satisfactory proof submitted by the owner to the department, to be a nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage vehicle.
(iii) The owner of the vehicle applied for a decal, label, or other identifier pursuant to this subparagraph on or before March 31, 2009, or within six months of the date on which the vehicle for which a decal, label, or identifier was previously issued is declared to be a nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage vehicle, whichever date is later.
(2) The department shall notify the Department of Transportation immediately after the date on which the department has issued 50,000 decals, labels, and other identifiers under this section for the vehicles described in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (a).
(3) The Department of Transportation shall determine whether significant HOV lane breakdown has occurred throughout the state, in accordance with the following timeline:
(A) For lanes that are nearing capacity, the Department of Transportation shall make the determination not later than 90 days after the date provided by the department under paragraph (2).
(B) For lanes that are not nearing capacity, the Department of Transportation shall make the determination not later than 180 days after the date provided by the department under paragraph (2).
(4) In making the determination that significant HOV lane breakdown has occurred, the Department of Transportation shall consider the following factors in the HOV lane:
(A) Reduction in level of service.
(B) Sustained stop-and-go conditions.
(C) Slower than average speed than the adjacent mixed-flow lanes.
(D) Consistent increase in travel time.
(5) After making the determinations pursuant to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (3), if the Department of Transportation determines that significant HOV lane breakdown has occurred throughout the state, the Department of Transportation shall immediately notify the department of that determination, and the department, on the date of receiving that notification, shall discontinue issuing the decals, labels, or other identifiers for the vehicles described in paragraphs (3) and (4) of subdivision (a).
(h) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), for purposes of paragraph (5) of subdivision (a), the department shall issue no more than 40,000 distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers that clearly distinguish a vehicle specified in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a).
(2) The department may issue a decal, label, or other identifier for a vehicle that satisfies all of the following conditions:
(A) The vehicle is of a type identified in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a).
(B) The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which a decal, label, or other identifier described in paragraph (1) was previously issued and that vehicle for which the decal, label, or other identifier was previously issued is determined by the department, on the basis of satisfactory proof submitted by the owner to the department, to be a nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage vehicle.
(2) (C)  Except as provided in clause (iii) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), decals, labels, or other identifiers issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) before January 1, 2019, shall be distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other identifiers issued on or after January 1, 2019. The owner of the vehicle applied for a decal, label, or other identifier pursuant to this paragraph within six months of the date on which the vehicle for which a decal, label, or other identifier was previously issued is declared to be a nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage vehicle. 
(g) (i)  If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, serving as the Bay Area Toll Authority, grants toll-free and reduced-rate passage on toll bridges under its jurisdiction to a vehicle pursuant to Section 30102.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, it shall also grant the same toll-free and reduced-rate passage to a vehicle displaying a  an identifier issued by the department pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) and to a vehicle displaying a  valid identifier issued by the department pursuant to subparagraph (A) paragraph (3)  or (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a). (4) of subdivision (a) if the vehicle is registered to an address outside of the region identified in Section 66502 of the Government Code. 
(j) An owner of a vehicle specified in paragraph (3) or (4) of subdivision (a) whose vehicle is registered to an address in the region identified in Section 66502 of the Government Code and who seeks a vehicle identifier under subdivision (a) in order to have access to an HOV lane within the jurisdiction of the Bay Area Toll Authority shall do both of the following:
(1) Obtain and maintain an active account to operate within the automatic vehicle identification system described in Section 27565 of the Streets and Highways Code and shall submit to the department a form, approved by the department and issued by the Bay Area Toll Authority, that contains the vehicle owner’s name, the license plate number and vehicle identification number of the vehicle, the vehicle make and year model, and the automatic vehicle identification system account number, as a condition to obtaining a vehicle identifier pursuant to subdivision (a) that allows for the use of that vehicle in HOV lanes regardless of the number of occupants.
(2) Be eligible for toll-free or reduced-rate passage on toll bridges within the jurisdiction of the Bay Area Toll Authority only if, at time of passage, the vehicle meets the passenger occupancy rate requirement established for that toll-free or reduced-rate passage.
(h) (k)  (1) Notwithstanding Section 21655.9, and except as provided in paragraph (2), a vehicle described in subdivision (a) that displays a valid  decal, label, or identifier issued pursuant to this section shall be granted a toll-free or reduced-rate passage  exempt from toll charges imposed on single-occupant vehicles  in high-occupancy toll lanes as described in Section 149.7 of the Streets and Highways Code unless prohibited by federal law.
(2) (A) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll imposed for passage on a toll road or toll highway, that is not a high-occupancy toll lane as described in Section 149.7 of the Streets and Highways Code.
(B) On or before March 1, 2014, paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll imposed for passage in lanes designated for tolls pursuant to the federally supported value-pricing and transit development demonstration program operated pursuant to Section 149.9 of the Streets and Highways Code for State Highway Route 10 or 110.
(B) (C)  Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll charged for crossing a state-owned bridge.
(i) (l)  If the Director of Transportation determines that federal law does not authorize the state to allow vehicles that are identified by distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers on vehicles described in subdivision (a) to use highway lanes or highway access ramps for high-occupancy vehicles regardless of vehicle occupancy, the Director of Transportation shall submit a notice of that determination to the Secretary of State.
(j) (m)  (1)  This section shall become inoperative on the date the federal authorization pursuant to Section 166 of Title 23 of the United States Code expires, or  remain in effect only until January 1, 2015, or until  the date the Secretary of State receives the notice described in subdivision (i), whichever occurs first. (l), whichever occurs first, and as of that date is repealed. 
(2) However, with respect to a vehicle described in paragraph (3) or (4) of subdivision (a), this section shall be operative only until July 1, 2011, or only until the date the Secretary of State receives the notice described in subdivision (l), whichever occurs first.
(k) (3)  If this section becomes inoperative pursuant to subdivision (j) the driver of a vehicle with an otherwise valid decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to  With respect to a vehicle described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (a),  this section shall not be cited for a violation of Section 21655.9 within 60 days of the date that this section becomes inoperative. become operative on January 1, 2012, and shall be operative only until January 1, 2015, or until the date the Secretary of State receives the notice described in subdivision (l), whichever occurs first. 
(l) This section is repealed as of September 30, 2025.