Can I drive in the carpool lane with my electric car?
If you are living in US and have a stylish, sleeker design electric-hybrid car, you will definitely desire to drive in carpool lane sometimes. In past, government did not allow the electric vehicle users to drive in carpool lane. Now the US government allowed driving your luxurious EV-hybrid cars into the carpool lanes due to some reasons. However, it is not like as you start your car, drive, and enter into the carpool lane. There is a specific procedure to follow before driving your vehicle in carpool lane. Each state may have different procedures for registering hybrid vehicles for enabling you for carpool lane. Before going to the procedure that how one can drive his electric-hybrid vehicle into carpool lane, let us understand what carpool lane is because many of you did not know about it.
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What is a carpool lane?
Carpool lane California is a restricted way on roads for all those vehicles that want to avoid the busy roads and drive fast. There is restriction on a certain number of passengers sitting in a car that uses carpool lane. When you enter a carpool lane, you will see a board highlight the number of passengers. In most of the cases, the total number of passengers is one or just two. Carpool lane is not just made for vehicles but busses, motorcycle carpool lane or any other vehicle can also use it while driving.
How one can drive his electric-hybrid vehicle into carpool lane in USA?
USA government is trying for many years to control the environmental pollution that is caused due to toxic gases and smoke from the vehicles. For this reason, they are promoting the use of green vehicle i.e., electric-hybrid vehicles among the public. To give the people more facility they are allowing low emission hybrid and electric cars to enter into carpool or high occupancy vehicle lanes. To make your car eligible to enter into carpool lanes even with just one passenger you have to apply for it, get a decal and show it on your car. The whole procedure is comprise of following steps.
Approve your car as a clean air vehicle
The first step is to qualify your vehicle that it includes in clean air vehicle and fulfils all the standards. For this your car has to pass the TZEV (transitional zero emission vehicle) test. To pass the transitional zero emission vehicle test, your car must meet the zero emission standard. It also have a 15 years warranty on 150,000 miles zero emission as well.
To check your car’s eligibility you can log into your state website there they uploaded the list of eligible cars for decal. This list is designed after careful examination of different vehicles that meets the zero emission standards. You can check your car eligibility by matching with the list. If you find, that your car name includes in this list then take the next step.
Check the eligible list and find out the matching sticker
After you see the eligible cars list on your desktop screen, find your car model and year of making. This list includes the cars for almost last 15 to 20 years. Moreover, this list will give you each detail like engine size, fuel type, and passengers sitting availability. When you reach to your car model, look the color of the decal. You will find two type of decal, green and white. Look what color decal is linked to your car. The color of decal is based of vehicle exhaust standard.
Any queries related to decal, Call on helpline
Each state department that issues a decal have an online website or an office to contact. If you are facing any difficulty regarding decals or not able to locate your car’s eligibility, you can call on the provided helpline number to seek for information. Besides taking the wrong step, it is better to ask for help.
Go for submitting the application form for decal
The next step is to fill out the application form. For getting the application form go for the state office, which handles carpool lane affairs or go to their website, look for registration heading, click on downloading the application form for registering your car under clean air vehicle decal. The application will save into your download in pdf.
Filling the application form
This application will require the following things to be filled in the form i.e. your full name, residence, country, city, contact number, mailing address, vehicle identification number, vehicle plate number, model and respective year.
This form will also contain certain boxes to be filled for additional information. They give you multiple options like are you submitting for a new decal, for cancelling, to transform, replacement or something else. One has to thick the correct purpose of applying for a decal. Another option is to select the green or white decal. As we discuss earlier that one can look in the eligibility list that which decal is associated with its vehicle according to the car exhaust standard.
If someone is looking to replace the decal then it is necessary for him to mention the reason of replacing decal. This reason could be lost of decal, stolen decal, damaged decal and others. This section is essential to fill out. Moreover, besides selecting the real cause you have to write few lines or statement explaining the cause or facts behind replacement.
Signing the application form
After filling out the entire form, read it carefully again to check whether you make a mistake or not. After rechecking, it is time to sign the application form in order to submit it for decal. Signature are necessary to ensure that it is filled by yourself and you are agreeing to all the term and conditioned and are responsible of what you fill in the form. Mention the time when you are available for receiving calls so if the company has some question in order to proceed the application they can contact you in the given time.
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How to submit application
There are two ways to submit the application form. The first way is to reach the office in working hours and submit it by hands, and the other is to send them in mail via some mailing company on given address.
Wait for a decal to receive
After submitting the application form, wait for car decal to receive. Usually it takes almost thirty days to receive the decal, but if it takes more than 30 days, you can reach to the office to get the update about the status of issuing a decal.
Have you received your decal?
Have you received your decal, it is the great thing to hear. Now the time has come when you can sit in your luxurious car and drive fast into the carpool lane while avoiding the rush on roads.
After you get your decal sticker, you will see they also send you a guidebook on how and where to place your decal sticker on your electric-hybrid vehicle. Read the guide carefully from start to end and make the correct placement according to provided guidelines. If you place the decal at wrong place, then may be the highway traffic police will not identify it and cause you some inconvenience on road.
Now enjoy your ride on the carpool lane in USA
We are sure that you understand the whole procedure, and it is not a complicated one. Now after filling the application form to getting your decal and to place it right on your electric-hybrid vehicle, are you ready to enjoy your ride in the carpool lane? Yes, it is the time to go and drive on highway with 2 or 3 passengers.
Never think of driving in carpool lane without having a decal because the police may caught you and fine you for disobeying the rules and regulations. The main purpose behind give permission to electric cars to drive in carpool lane is to urge people to buy electric –hybrid vehicle to make the environment pollution free and contribute to the betterment of entire eco-system. Driving car in carpool lanes is proves to be time saving as well. One can save up to 10 to 20 minutes if he uses carpool lanes to reach the destination.
What are the carpool lane hours?
In California, most of the time 5 – 9 AM and 3 – 7 PM hours are regulated as carpool lane hours. During these hours you can ride your car in the carpool. Other than these hours, anyone can ride his or her car in the carpool lane
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Keep the following things in mind when you are applying for the decal:
- Each state has its own law of carpool lanes so before applying for decal check for your state basic requirements by using state local transportation website.
- The decal is belong to the car not to a person. So if you selling your car, transform the decal to the name of other person with the car.
- There is a limit to available decal stickers so reach to your local transportation company to get yours on the time.
- If you are living in California, then you have to get a red sticker instead of green or white in January 2009. So apply for this new read sticker.