Amended in Senate August 17, 2016

Amended in Senate June 30, 2016

Amended in Assembly May 5, 2016

Amended in Assembly April 11, 2016

Amended in Assembly March 28, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1964


Introduced by Assembly Member Bloom

(Coauthor: Assembly Member Linder)

February 12, 2016


An act to amend Sections 5205.5 and 21655.9 of the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1964, as amended, Bloom. High-occupancy vehicle lanes: vehicle exceptions.

Existing federal law authorizes, until September 30, 2019, a state to allow low emission and energy-efficient vehicles, as specified, to use lanes designated for high-occupancy vehicles (HOVs). Existing federal law also authorizes, until September 30, 2025, a state to allow alternative fuel vehicles, as defined, and new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicles, as defined, to use HOV lanes.

Existing state law authorizes the Department of Transportation to designate certain lanes for the exclusive use of HOVs. Existing law also authorizes super ultra-low emission vehicles, ultra-low emission vehicles, partial zero-emission vehicles, or transitional zero-emission vehicles, as specified, that display a valid identifier issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles to use these HOV lanes until January 1, 2019, or until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first. A violation of provisions relating to HOV lane use by vehicles without those identifiers is a crime. Existing law authorizes the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue those identifiers until January 1, 2019, or until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first. Existing law prohibits the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing more than 85,000 identifiers that clearly distinguish a partial or transitional zero-emission vehicle, as specified. Existing law requires the Department of Transportation to remove individual HOV lanes, or portions of those lanes, during peak periods of congestion from access by vehicles displaying the identifiers if the department makes specified findings.

begin insert

Existing law establishes the Air Quality Improvement Program that is administered by the State Air Resources Board for the purposes of funding projects related to, among other things, the reduction of criteria air pollutants and improvement of air quality. Pursuant to the Air Quality Improvement Program, the state board has established the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project to promote the production and use of zero-emission vehicles.

end insert

This bill would extend the operation of the provisions allowing specified vehicles to use HOV lanes until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first. The bill would provide that identifiers issued for specified vehicles are valid until January 1, 2019. The bill would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue other identifiers until the date federal authorization expires, or until the Secretary of State receives a specified notice, whichever occurs first.

The bill would provide that identifiers issued for partial or transitional zero-emission vehicles on or after January 1, 2018, but before January 1, 2019, would be valid until January 1, 2021. The bill would provide that identifiers issued for those vehicles on or after January 1, 2019, would be valid until January 1 of the 4th year after the year of issuance. The bill would remove the limit of 85,000 identifiers for those vehicles, and would instead prohibit the Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing identifiers if the sale of new vehicles of that category reaches at least 9.2% of the total new car market share for 2 consecutive years, upon notification by the State Air Resources Board, as specified.

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The bill would impose income restrictions regarding an applicant’s ability to qualify for both an identifier and a rebate under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project, and would require the department to collaborate with the board to establish procedures implementing these restrictions.

end insert

The bill would make conforming changes allowing vehicles displaying specified identifiers to use HOV lanes. The bill would recast provisions relating to access to HOV lanes by vehicles displaying those identifiers to require the Department of Transportation to remove HOV lanes or portions of those lanes from access by vehicles displaying identifiers upon the request of, and with the concurrence of, the regional transportation planning agency whose jurisdiction includes the HOV lanes if the department makes specified findings, as prescribed.

By extending the operation of an existing crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P3    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 5205.5 of the Vehicle Code is amended
2to read:

3

5205.5.  

(a) For purposes of implementing Section 21655.9,
4the department shall make available for issuance, for a fee
5determined by the department to be sufficient to reimburse the
6department for the reasonable costs incurred pursuant to this
7section, distinctive decals, labels, and other identifiers that clearly
8distinguish the following vehicles from other vehicles:

9(1) A vehicle that meets the state’s super ultra-low emission
10vehicle (SULEV) standard for exhaust emissions and the federal
11inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) evaporative emission
12standard, as defined in Part 88 (commencing with Section
1388.101-94) of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. A decal,
14label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph is valid
15until January 1, 2019.

P4    1(2) A vehicle that was produced during the 2004 model year or
2earlier and meets the state’s ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV)
3standard for exhaust emissions and the federal ILEV standard. A
4decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph
5is valid until January 1, 2019.

6(3) (A) A vehicle that meets the state’s enhanced advanced
7technology partial zero-emission vehicle (enhanced AT PZEV)
8standard or transitional zero-emission vehicle (TZEV) standard.
9A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this paragraph
10before January 1, 2018, is valid until January 1, 2019.

11(B) A decal, label, and other identifier issued pursuant to this
12paragraph on or after January 1, 2018, and before January 1, 2019,
13is valid until January 1, 2021. A decal, label, and other identifier
14issued pursuant to this paragraph on or after January 1, 2019, is
15valid until January 1 of the fourth year after the year of issuance.

begin insert

16
(b) (1) Commencing January 1, 2019, the department shall not
17issue a decal, label, or other identifier to an applicant who has
18received a consumer rebate pursuant to the Clean Vehicle Rebate
19Project, established as a part of the Air Quality Improvement
20Program pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 44274)
21of Chapter 8.9 of Part 5 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety
22Code, unless the rebate was issued to a buyer whose income falls
23below one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars ($125,000) for a
24person who files a tax return as a single person, one hundred
25seventy thousand dollars ($170,000) for a person who files a tax
26return as a head-of-household, and two hundred fifty thousand
27dollars ($250,000) for a person who files a joint tax return.

end insert
begin insert

28
(2) The department shall collaborate with the State Air
29Resources Board to establish procedures to implement this
30subdivision, including, but not limited to, all of the following:

end insert
begin insert

31
(A) Amend the application form for a decal, label, or other
32identifier issued pursuant to this section and the application for a
33rebate under the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project to include a
34statement indicating that an applicant cannot participate in both
35programs unless the applicant meets the income restrictions in
36paragraph (1). Each application shall require the applicant to
37provide a signature to confirm that the applicant understands this
38condition.

end insert
begin insert

39
(B) Notify consumers of the eligibility criteria and conditions
40using existing education and outreach efforts.

end insert
begin insert

P5    1
(C) Establish appropriate compliance and enforcement
2measures.

end insert
begin insert

3
(D) Establish information sharing between the department and
4the board to implement the requirements of this subdivision.

end insert
begin delete

5(b)

end delete

6begin insert(c)end insert The department shall include a summary of the provisions
7of this section on each motor vehicle registration renewal notice,
8or on a separate insert, if space is available and the summary can
9be included without incurring additional printing or postage costs.

begin delete

10(c)

end delete

11begin insert(d)end insert The Department of Transportation shall remove individual
12HOV lanes, or portions of those lanes, from the access provisions
13provided in subdivision (a), upon the request of, and with the
14concurrence of, the regional transportation planning agency whose
15jurisdiction includes the HOV lanes, following a finding by the
16Department of Transportation as follows:

17(1) The lane, or portion of the lane, exceeds a level of service
18C, as discussed in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the
19Government Code.

20(2) The operation or projected operation within the next 12
21months of the vehicles described in subdivision (a) in these lanes,
22or portions of the lanes, significantly contributes to, or is projected
23to significantly contribute to, congestion of those lanes.

24(3)  Alleviating the congestion by reducing the use of the lane
25by noneligible vehicles through increased enforcement or further
26increasing vehicle occupancy is either infeasible in the immediate
27future or is forecast to result in increased congestion in the corridor
28 overall.

begin delete

29(d)

end delete

30begin insert(e)end insert The State Air Resources Board shall publish and maintain
31a listing of all vehicles eligible for participation in the programs
32described in this section. The board shall provide that listing to
33the department.

begin delete

34(e)

end delete

35begin insert(f)end insert (1) For purposes of subdivision (a), the Department of the
36California Highway Patrol and the department, in consultation
37with the Department of Transportation, shall design and specify
38the placement of the decal, label, or other identifier on the vehicle.
39Each decal, label, or other identifier issued for a vehicle shall
P6    1display a unique number, which shall be printed on, or affixed to,
2the vehicle registration.

3(2) Decals, labels, or other identifiers designed pursuant to this
4subdivision for a vehicle described in paragraph (3) of subdivision
5(a) shall be distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other
6identifiers that are designed for vehicles described in paragraphs
7(1) and (2) of subdivision (a).

8(3) Decals, labels, or other identifiers issued pursuant to
9paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) before January 1, 2019, shall be
10 distinguishable from the decals, labels, or other identifiers issued
11on or after January 1, 2019.

begin delete

12(f)

end delete

13begin insert(g)end insert (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), the department
14shall no longer issue decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant
15to paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) if the sale of new vehicles
16described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) reaches at least 9.2
17percent of the total new car market share for two consecutive years,
18calculated cumulatively for each of the two years, upon being
19notified by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to paragraph
20(2). The department shall not reinstate the issuance of decals,
21labels, or other identifiers if there is a subsequent decrease in the
22sale of the new vehicles resulting in less than 9.2 percent of the
23total new car market share in a later year.

24(2) The State Air Resources Board shall notify the department,
25the Department of Transportation, and the Secretary of State if the
26sale of new vehicles described in paragraph (3) of subdivision (a)
27reaches at least 9.2 percent of the total new car market share for
28two consecutive years, calculated cumulatively for each of the two
29years.

30(3) The department may issue a decal, label, or other identifier
31for a vehicle that satisfies all of the following conditions:

32(A) The vehicle is of a type identified in paragraph (3) of
33subdivision (a).

34(B) The owner of the vehicle is the owner of a vehicle for which
35a decal, label, or other identifier was previously issued and that
36vehicle for which the decal, label, or other identifier was previously
37issued is determined by the department, on the basis of satisfactory
38proof submitted by the owner to the department, to be a
39nonrepairable vehicle or a total loss salvage vehicle.

P7    1(C) The owner of the vehicle applied for a decal, label, or other
2identifier pursuant to this paragraph within six months of the date
3on which the vehicle for which a decal, label, or other identifier
4was previously issued is declared to be a nonrepairable vehicle or
5a total loss salvage vehicle.

begin delete

6(g)

end delete

7begin insert(h)end insert If the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, serving as
8the Bay Area Toll Authority, grants toll-free and reduced-rate
9passage on toll bridges under its jurisdiction to a vehicle pursuant
10to Section 30102.5 of the Streets and Highways Code, it shall also
11grant the same toll-free and reduced-rate passage to a vehicle
12displaying a valid identifier issued by the department pursuant to
13paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a).

begin delete

14(h)

end delete

15begin insert(i)end insert (1) Notwithstanding Section 21655.9, and except as provided
16in paragraph (2), a vehicle described in subdivision (a) that displays
17a valid decal, label, or identifier issued pursuant to this section
18shall be granted a toll-free or reduced-rate passage in
19high-occupancy toll lanes as described in Section 149.7 of the
20Streets and Highways Code unless prohibited by federal law.

21(2) (A) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
22imposed for passage on a toll road or toll highway, that is not a
23high-occupancy toll lane as described in Section 149.7 of the
24Streets and Highways Code.

25(B) Paragraph (1) does not apply to the imposition of a toll
26charged for crossing a state-owned bridge.

begin delete

27(i)

end delete

28begin insert(j)end insert If the Director of Transportation determines that federal law
29does not authorize the state to allow vehicles that are identified by
30distinctive decals, labels, or other identifiers on vehicles described
31in subdivision (a) to use highway lanes or highway access ramps
32for high-occupancy vehicles regardless of vehicle occupancy, the
33Director of Transportation shall submit a notice of that
34determination to the Secretary of State.

begin delete

35(j)

end delete

36begin insert(k)end insert This section shall become inoperative on the date the federal
37authorization pursuant to Section 166 of Title 23 of the United
38States Code expires, or the date the Secretary of State receives the
39notice described in subdivisionbegin delete (i),end deletebegin insert (end insertbegin insertj),end insert whichever occurs first.

begin delete

40(k)

end delete

P8    1begin insert(end insertbegin insertlend insertbegin insert)end insert If this section becomes inoperative pursuant to subdivision
2begin delete (j),end deletebegin insert (k),end insert a driver of a vehicle with an otherwise valid decal, label,
3or other identifier issued pursuant to this section shall not be cited
4for a violation of Section 21655.5 within 60 days of the date that
5this section becomes inoperative.

6

SEC. 2.  

Section 21655.9 of the Vehicle Code is amended to
7read:

8

21655.9.  

(a) (1) Whenever the Department of Transportation
9or a local authority authorizes or permits exclusive or preferential
10use of highway lanes or highway access ramps for high-occupancy
11vehicles pursuant to Section 21655.5, the use of those lanes or
12ramps shall also be extended to vehicles that are issued distinctive
13decals, labels, or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5
14regardless of vehicle occupancy or ownership.

15(2) A local authority during periods of peak congestion shall
16suspend for a lane the access privileges extended pursuant to
17paragraph (1) for those vehicles issued distinctive decals, labels,
18or other identifiers pursuant to Section 5205.5, if a periodic review
19of lane performance by that local authority discloses both of the
20following factors regarding the lane:

21(A) The lane, or a portion of the lane, exceeds a level of service
22C, as described in subdivision (b) of Section 65089 of the
23Government Code.

24(B) The operation or projected operation of vehicles in the lane,
25or a portion of the lane, will significantly increase congestion.

26(b) A person shall not drive a vehicle described in subdivision
27(a) of Section 5205.5 with a single occupant upon a high-occupancy
28vehicle lane pursuant to this section unless the valid decal, label,
29or other identifier issued pursuant to Section 5205.5 is properly
30displayed on the vehicle, and the vehicle registration described in
31Section 5205.5 is with the vehicle.

32(c) A person shall not operate or own a vehicle displaying a
33decal, label, or other identifier, as described in Section 5205.5, if
34that decal, label, or identifier was not issued for that vehicle
35pursuant to Section 5205.5. A violation of this subdivision is a
36misdemeanor.

37(d) If the provisions in Section 5205.5 authorizing the
38department to issue decals, labels, or other identifiers to hybrid
39and alternative fuel vehicles become inoperative, vehicles
40displaying those decals, labels, or other identifiers shall not access
P9    1high-occupancy vehicle lanes without meeting the occupancy
2requirements otherwise applicable to those lanes.

3(e) This section shall become inoperative on the date the federal
4authorization pursuant to Section 166 of Title 23 of the United
5States Code expires, or the date the Secretary of State receives the
6notice described in subdivisionbegin delete (i)end deletebegin insert (j)end insert of Section 5205.5, whichever
7occurs first.

8

SEC. 3.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
9Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
10the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
11district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
12infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
13for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
14the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
15the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
16Constitution.



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