Bought my 2014 Model S CPO in March 2018 in the Bay Area. It did not have the "Clean Air Vehicle: Access OK" sticker on it at that time. Applied for and was issued the new red decal from the DMV. Even got a notice from them in the summer that the red stickers expiration date was being extended until 2022. So far, so good since I commute 30 miles each way on 101 & being able to use the car pool lanes was a prime motivation for me to switch to EV's!
Two days back, I got a notice from the DMV that my red decal stickers were issued in error & are being revoked. Instead, they sent me white decal stickers with an expiration date of Dec 31, 2018 & cannot be renewed after that. Meaning, no more car pool access from January 1, 2019!! This is been a rude shock to me... I called up the DMV number on the mailing notice. The lady who answered was very courteous but she explained that according to the new CA Bill 544, "only those with a Clean Air Vehicle Decal originally issued from January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2018 will be able to to participate after January 1, 2019". Apparently, my car had originally been issued white decals back in 2014 (which Tesla never told me about) and so I was ineligible and had been issued red decals in error earlier this year. She also said that she's been hearing a lot of complaints from people about this new policy & I should take it up with my local assemblyman/state senator if I wanted to pursue this further.
Now I am agonizing about this... I love my Tesla and it has been a remarkable driving experience indeed that I can't imagine driving any other EV.. but I also don't want to lose my car pool access. According to http://www.cbs8.com/story/39081947/clean-air-vehicles-223000-solo-drivers-to-lose-access-to-hov-lanes
, come January 1, 2019, 223,000 solo drivers will lose access to HOV lanes due to this new policy! Can you imagine the traffic jams when that many more people crowd back into the regular lanes! Besides, does it make sense that a pre-2017 EV with zero emissions cannot use the car pool lanes while a newer hybrid vehicle that still pollutes can continue to use them?
I going to take it up on the DMV's advice & contact my council member / state senator & let my displeasure known at this new policy. If you are going to be affected, you should do so too!!