Today's Law As Amended


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AB-1964 High-occupancy vehicle lanes: vehicle exceptions.(2015-2016)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 5205.5 of the Vehicle Code 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 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 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. A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph is valid until January 1, 2019. 
(B) (2)  A vehicle that was produced during the 2004 model year or earlier and meets the state’s ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard. A decal, label, or and  other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph is valid until January 1, 2019.
(C) (3)  (A)  A vehicle that meets the state’s enhanced advanced technology partial zero-emission vehicle (enhanced AT PZEV) standard or transitional zero-emission vehicle (TZEV) standard. A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph before January 1, 2018, is valid until January 1, 2019. 
(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) 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 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.
(C) (B)  Except as provided in clause (iii) of subparagraph (B), a decal, label, or A decal, label, and  other identifier issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1)  this paragraph on or after January 1, 2018, and before January 1, 2019, is valid until January 1, 2021. A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph  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  Commencing January 1, 2019, 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 a  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 twenty-five  thousand dollars ($150,000) ($125,000)  for a person who files a tax return as a single person, two one  hundred four seventy  thousand dollars ($204,000) ($170,000)  for a person who files a tax return as a head of household, and three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) head-of-household, and two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000)  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  Amend 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 to  include a statement indicating that the an  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), upon the request of, and with the concurrence of, the regional transportation planning agency whose jurisdiction includes the HOV lanes,  following a finding by the Department of Transportation as follows:
(1) The lane, or portion of the lane, exceeds a level of service C, as discussed in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the Government Code.
(2) The operation or projected operation within the next 12 months  of the vehicles described in subdivision (a) in these lanes, or portions of those the  lanes, will significantly increase congestion. significantly contributes to, or is projected to significantly contribute to, congestion of those lanes. 
(3) The finding shall also demonstrate the infeasibility of alleviating the congestion by other means, including, but not limited to,   Alleviating the congestion by  reducing the use of the lane by noneligible vehicles through increased enforcement  or further increasing vehicle occupancy. occupancy is either infeasible in the immediate future or is forecast to result in increased congestion in the corridor overall. 
(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 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 (3) of subdivision (a) shall be distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other identifiers that are designed for vehicles described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subdivision (a).
(2) (3)  Except as provided in clause (iii) of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), decals,  Decals,  labels, or other identifiers issued pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (C) of paragraph (1) paragraph (3)  of subdivision (a) before January 1, 2019, shall be distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other identifiers issued on or after January 1, 2019.
(g) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the department shall no longer issue decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) if the sale of new vehicles described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) reaches at least 9.2 percent of the total new car market share for two consecutive years, calculated cumulatively for each of the two years, upon being notified by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to paragraph (2). The department shall not reinstate the issuance of decals, labels, or other identifiers if there is a subsequent decrease in the sale of the new vehicles resulting in less than 9.2 percent of the total new car market share in a later year.
(2) The State Air Resources Board shall notify the department, the Department of Transportation, and the Secretary of State if the sale of new vehicles described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) reaches at least 9.2 percent of the total new car market share for two consecutive years, calculated cumulatively for each of the two years.
(3) 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 (3) of subdivision (a).
(B) The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which a decal, label, or other identifier 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.
(C) 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) (h)  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 valid identifier issued by the department pursuant to subparagraph (A) or (B) of  paragraph (1) or (2)  of subdivision (a).
(h) (i)  (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 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) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll charged for crossing a state-owned bridge.
(i) (j)  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) (k)  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 the date the Secretary of State receives the notice described in subdivision (i), (j),  whichever occurs first.
(k) ( l)  If this section becomes inoperative pursuant to subdivision (j) the (k), a  driver of a vehicle with an otherwise valid decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to this section shall not be cited for a violation of Section 21655.9 21655.5  within 60 days of the date that this section becomes inoperative.
(l) This section is repealed as of September 30, 2025.

SEC. 2.

 Section 21655.9 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:

21655.9.
 (a) (1) Whenever the Department of Transportation or a local authority authorizes or permits exclusive or preferential use of highway lanes or highway access ramps for high-occupancy vehicles pursuant to Section 21655.5, the use of those lanes or ramps shall also be extended to vehicles that are issued distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5 regardless of vehicle occupancy or ownership.
(2) A local authority during periods of peak congestion shall suspend for a lane the access privileges extended pursuant to paragraph (1) for those vehicles issued distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5, if a periodic review of lane performance by that local authority discloses both of the following factors regarding the lane:
(A) The lane, or a portion of the lane, exceeds a level of service C, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the Government Code.
(B) The operation or projected operation of vehicles in the lane, or a portion of the lane, will significantly increase congestion.
(b) A person shall not drive a vehicle described in subdivision (a) of Section 5205.5 with a single occupant upon a high-occupancy vehicle lane pursuant to this section unless the valid  decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to Section 5205.5 is properly displayed on the vehicle, and the vehicle registration described in Section 5205.5 is with the vehicle.
(c) A person shall not operate or own a vehicle displaying a decal, label, or other identifier, as described in Section 5205.5, if that decal, label, or identifier was not issued for that vehicle pursuant to Section 5205.5. A violation of this subdivision is a misdemeanor.
(d) If the provisions in Section 5205.5 authorizing the department to issue decals, labels, or other identifiers to hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles become inoperative, vehicles displaying those decals, labels, or other identifiers shall not access high-occupancy vehicle lanes without meeting the occupancy requirements otherwise applicable to those lanes.
(e) (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 the date the Secretary of State receives the notice described in subdivision (i) (j)  of Section 5205.5, whichever occurs first.
(2) With respect to a vehicle described in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 5205.5, this section shall become inoperative on January 1, 2019.
(f) (1) The Department of Transportation shall prepare and submit a report to the Legislature on or before December 1, 2017, on the degradation status of high-occupancy vehicle lanes on the state highway system.
(2) The requirement that a report be submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be inoperative on December 1, 2021, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(3) A report submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(g) This section is repealed as of September 30, 2025.
SEC. 3.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.