Newsom on Wednesday unveiled an $11 billion relief package with $9 billion of that money reserved for rebates for registered drivers.
Drivers will be eligible for $400 per vehicle, up to two vehicles per person, which adds up to $800.
The rebate will come in the form of a $400 debit card issued to all registered vehicle owners. Electric vehicles will also be included.
Every Californian with a registered car in the state would be eligible to receive the gas rebate, including the uber-rich and people living in the country illegally.
California’s average gas prices hit a new state record Wednesday at $5.88 per gallon, more than $2 higher than it was a year ago, according to AAA.
California has the second-highest gas tax in the country at 51 cents per gallon.
When will it be available?
The governor's plan must be approved by the Legislature before the funds can be dispersed.
The Newsom administration is expected to negotiate the details of the proposal in the coming days.
If all is approved by lawmakers, the first payments could begin as soon as July.
Eligibility will be based on vehicle registration, not tax records, according to the governor's office.
There is no income cap on who gets the money.
How will I get the money?
The details of how the debit cards will be dispersed have not been made public.
Democratic leaders, however, don’t like the idea of giving money to rich people. They have been discussing their own rebate proposal, one that would give $200 rebates to every taxpayer and their children with taxable income less than $125,000 for single filers and $250,000 for joint filers. That means a family of five would get $1,000 while a single parent with two children would get $600.
A spokesperson for Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon called Newsom’s idea "consistent with the Speaker’s goal of providing targeted financial relief to Californians most in need" but stressed the idea is "in the very early stages."
Newsom’s plan is similar to a separate proposal floated last week by more moderate Democrats in the state Assembly that would give every taxpayer $400, regardless of income.
The governor’s office said Newsom would be willing to negotiate with lawmakers about who can get the money, a process that could take some time to sort out.
Republicans favor a temporary suspension of the state’s gas tax, saying it’s the quickest way to offer relief. Rebates like the ones Newsom is proposing take time to deliver, they said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.