California DMV CAV decal application goes online

Need a decal for your Clean Air Vehicle (CAV)? The California Department of Motor Vehicles has some good news for you. 

The DMV has revealed a new online option for customers with a qualifyingzero-or low-emission vehicles to skip the paper application. 

You can confirm your vehicle's eligibility instantly and expedite your request so you can receive your decal sooner.

"This new online system for a Clean Air Vehicle decal will make it fast and easy to beat the traffic with a zero-emission vehicle," said Dr. Steven Cliff, Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). "Californians continue to make the switch, and the yearly upward trend in sales of zero-emission cars and trucks is cutting pollution in our communities."

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The DMV encourages customers waiting to receive their decal after applying by mail to reapply online for faster service. Their paper check and application will be voided once the DMV processes the electronic application.

The decal and identification card allow drivers to use carpool or High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes with only one person in the car. 

But don't forget - this perk is scheduled to end on Sept. 30, 2025, unless it is extended by Congress.

Currently, there are 411,133 vehicles in California with active CAV decals, according to the DMV. Since the program started in January 2001, the DMV has issued more than 1.05 million decals.

Courtesy California DMV

The red, green and yellow CAV decals are currently issued to qualifying vehicles that meet California’s super ultra-low emission vehicle (SULEV), inherently low-emission vehicle (ILEV) and transitional zero emission vehicle (TZEV) evaporative emission standard for exhaust emissions. These decals expire on September 30, 2025.

Compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fueled vehicles may also qualify for the CAV decal program.

The blue decal was issued in 2021 and will expire on January 1, 2025.

Regardless of color, all decals issued before 2021 have now expired, the DMV clarified.

To learn more about the onlinea application, tap or click here.