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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I have a 2013 Volt which I acquired in 2016. It came with the green sticker already on it. I don't know the history of the car. About a month ago, in Nov 2018, I received the dreaded letter saying my cars eligibility for solo access to the car pool lanes and free rides on some toll roads is going away as of Dec 31st 2018. No surprise there.

Last week, after a week long waiting on CA DMV lines, finally I got hold of a Sacramento number, which handles these car pool stickers. According to the CA Air Quality Management's web site, my car is still eligible for the new Red sticker. I asked the DMV rep, why it is so. And what I could understand is, even if the car is older than 2017 year model, if it has never been applied for the car pool sticker before , it is still eligible. My first question is, is this information correct ?

Second issue I am having, the DMV rep asked my licence plate number to check my Volt's eligibility. Knowing well that it was not going to be eligible, I gave it to him. He looked it up and said it was eligible. WTF ? I mean, at the same time I am talking to this guy, I am reading the letter I received and it clearly states my car's licence plate on the top of the letter. How can CA DMV have this conflicting information. And if, trusting on the DMV rep's word, I file another form with $22 check, what will happen ? Will they refund my money when they realize I am not eligible or will they say, your fault, you lose your application fee. I mean it is a small amount to risk, but if there is a high likelihood of losing it, why bother ? More importantly, how can such a discrepancy happen > I mean, letter says I am ineligble while the rep says I am eligible. Whom to trust ?

Last and most probably the most important question, if I drive to Vegas and get a used volt (God knows I can not afford a 2017 year model or a new[er] one) which was never registered in the state of CA, will it be eligible for a red sticker ?

Thanks for your answers in advance.
 

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It is true that older EV, PHEV that have never had CA HOV stickers can be eligible for red HOV stickers. I am not sure about all of the stipulations, but I have seen them on car lots and they are asking more money for the used cars that can get red HOV stickers.
 

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It is quite possible that your car’s previous owner did not apply for a sticker until after January 1st 2017. There should be DMV HOV paper work in your glove box that has the date stickers were issued.

Only reduced emission California cars are eligible for HOV stickers.
 

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I just purchased a 2016 Volt from a dealer who has an inside connection with the DMV that allows him to run a batch of VINs to check for eligibility. We discussed the stupid situation with finding out sticker status and he thinks there may be lawsuits since some people have called DMV, gotten confirmation that the car is eligible then after buying car getting denied for stickers. It's ridiculous that they don't have an online portal where you can verify eligibility. You can definitely go out of state and pick up one that hasn't been registered. That's the route I was going to do. Just check the Carfax to confirm the car hasn't been registered in CA, the market's getting flooded with CA cars since people are dumping them due to loss of HOV access. The car also has to have the low emissions package, check CARB website for VIN to confirm (C and D in 5th digit maybe?).
I ended up buying a 2013 last year right before they announced the sticker change. Sold it to my neighbor then flew down to LA from SF to pick up another 2013 that had no stickers and dealer said it came in with none. Knew it was a risk and when I tried to sticker DMV stated it had already been done in past. Drove that one for a few months then just bought my 2016 and gave the old one to my wife. Now I'm waiting until Jan 1st to register so I can get the new 4 year sticker (purple?) and hopefully be done with this mess.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is quite possible that your car’s previous owner did not apply for a sticker until after January 1st 2017. There should be DMV HOV paper work in your glove box that has the date stickers were issued.

Only reduced emission California cars are eligible for HOV stickers.
I thought about this but it is impossible. I purchased my car in July of 2016 from carmax and it already had the green stickers on. The thing I am wondering is, if the car was initially registered at some other state and came to CA and applied for the stickers while having out of state licence plates. Later the owner changed the licence plate but DMV record was never updated. Since the application for it also asking for VIN, I think it will be discovered that I had stickers when VIN gets checked.
 

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I would say send a $22 check with the REG-1000 filled out properly. If they looked up the license plate and said you were eligible there is a good chance you will still get the red stickers. They won't cash your check unless they can verify you are eligible.

I lucked out with my recent 2015 GEN 1 purchase in July of 2018. I bought it from a dealer (probably a lease return), and it already had a green sticker. I was unaware the stickers would be expiring 1/1/19 until the week after my purchase. I called the special DMV Operations line and they gave me the good news, the previous owner had not applied for the green stickers until 9/2017, and that all I needed to do was send $22 and the REG-1000 form. I did this right away because I knew there would be a long wait.

Mailed the check 10/30, finally saw it cashed on 11/21, got the red stickers 7 days or so after that, so it was around a 30 day turnaround. My certificate says an issue date of 11/19 so they definitely cashed the check after.

I hope this helps you out!
 
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