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Driving In California HOV lanes without bumper decals.

Driving In California HOV lanes without bumper decals.

In California, can we legally use the HOV lane if our car is registered with the state as a CAV and we elect not to affix the decals to our bumper? In other words, has anyone been cited for lack of decals and was it enforceable?

dannywells | March 20, 2018

When I received the California HOV decals the directions where to put all four decals on the back bumper. Two large and two small on the left and right. I thought this was a little overkill. I called a friend who oversees a CHP office and asked if I just put one sticker on would I be okay. His reply was "No CHP officer would ever pull over a Tesla in the HOV lane."

Now he wasn't quoting the code book, but hope this helps. I opted to put just one of the small stickers on the back right rear bumper, which is hardly noticeable. I've been driving in HOV lanes for over 3 years now and never have had an issue.

patrick40363 | March 20, 2018

It is a very expensive ticket if you get pulled over. Put the stickers on and you will not have to worry about it.

TranzNDance | March 20, 2018

I put a sticker in the black part of the bumper. It's not noticeable, but it's visible if a cop wants to confirm that the car is eligible. I figure it's a compromise of not uglifying the car too much, and not getting pulled over and wasting the time savings to show my paperwork.

SoCal Buzz | March 20, 2018

I have found that 1 sticker will suffice, even when being pulled over for "other" reasons. Given that EVs must register and pay the $8 or whatever, you could be ticketed for not having one.

FYI, this actually will become an issue in 2019 given that legacy white stickers expire. The state will have to re-issue a new color in order for CHP to differentiate between "new" EVs that qualify for 4 year permit vs. "old" that do not. Similar to when the yellow stickers reached end-of-life. The frustrating part of course is that apparently 2013 and then 2014 Teslas with the exact same no-emissions will not qualify for renewal. We will see if it turns out that way.

SUN 2 DRV | March 20, 2018

Yes people have reported being cited even if they have the stickers in the glove box but not on the car. Not very common but does happen.

Uncle Paul | March 20, 2018

Always going to be a first time...don't be that guy!

Over the next few years that sticker thing is going to be very fluid. New colors and new regulations.

It is the stickers that make the car HOV legal, not the mechanics of the vehicle.

Tropopause | March 20, 2018

Don’ t forget the transponder for toll lanes.

High Plains Drifter | March 21, 2018

Such vanity. It's your money.

Davila1024 | March 21, 2018

The stickers are awful! I had them on my old prius then the state of calif decided the hybrid no longer was allowed in the car pool lanes unless it was EV only. Well when I pulled the stickers off i learned that the stickers dont come off cleanly they were designed to never come off in one piece. Long story short I was never really able to remove the sticker cleanly and to this day its still there and looks horrible. NO THANKS i will take my chances in getting pulled over instead of applying them on my Tesla

sentabo | March 21, 2018

I have to say that every time I see a Tesla with the ugly stickers I wince a little bit. It so detracts from the beauty.

I also have to say that if I had to commute every day I would be hard-pressed not to put them on my car.

Haggy | March 22, 2018

People have been pulled over for that. Technically the vehicle code doesn't tell you where you need to put the stickers, and it implies but doesn't explicitly specify that you have a decal placed on your car. It gives the CHP authority to determine sticker placement, and it would have made sense for the CHP to give that information to the legislature and have them codify it, but that never happened.

The code does refer to decals in the singular except when it's clear that it's referring to decals for the program as opposed to a specific vehicle. It says that the number on the decal must be unique, so technically multiple decals violates the vehicle code. If you had a single decal, you most likely wouldn't get a ticket and would have an easier time fighting it than if you had no decal.

I've heard of people getting cited for keeping the decals in the glove compartment. I've heard of people getting warnings. I heard of a person hearing over the PA from a police car that the driver needs to "put your stickers on."

If you are worried about aesthetics, there's not much you can do except possibly limiting it to one sticker. If you are worried about damaging the car, you can get this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LZYSXZJ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s...

Put the decal on the film, cut around the border of the decal with a razor blade, and then affix the film to the car. The difference is extremely subtle since the decal is now slightly thicker. It would be theoretically possible for a person to notice this, and also be a thief and potential carpool cheat, but it's too subtle for that to be likely.

SUN 2 DRV | March 22, 2018

I put my stickers on the lower plastic trim pieces and not the painted metal. At least I know they come off cleanly and are less obtrusive down there.

RedShift | March 22, 2018

My car was rear ended and I am getting my bumper replaced. My two side stickers are gone as a result but there is a smaller one I had fixed to the grey piece (mine is a 2013 Model) which still exists.

Will try out the single sticker till end of the year when they expire.

AxTrader | March 22, 2018

In San Diego, i commute a 26 mile stretch on the I-805 in the HOV lane. My decals are in the glove box and I have no front license plate. The CHP have driven past me on numerous occassions and just wave. I know I am at risk for getting pulled over and cited. When it happens my excuse will be that Tesla didnt mount the front license bracket and Im waiting to have my car wrapped before applying the decals. I also have Photosynth 35 tint on all the windows, so it is extremely difficult to see if there are any passengers in back.

AxTrader | March 22, 2018

In San Diego, i commute a 26 mile stretch on the I-805 in the HOV lane. My decals are in the glove box and I have no front license plate. The CHP have driven past me on numerous occassions and just wave. I know I am at risk for getting pulled over and cited. When it happens my excuse will be that Tesla didnt mount the front license bracket and Im waiting to have my car wrapped before applying the decals. I also have Photosynth 35 tint on all the windows, so it is extremely difficult to see if there are any passengers in back.

moazzam.khan | September 12, 2019

I was in an accident that damaged two front decals. My body shop guys pulled all 4 stickers and put on a sheet of paper to be returned for getting new set of decals. It was sitting in my glovebox and I got pulled over for not having stickers displayed on the vehicle and driving in the HOV lane (I was using HOV lane to merge into highway). I showed all the papers and damaged decals but officer still issued me ticket. Is it a valid ground to fight in court or should I just pay the fine?

Please advise.

rxlawdude | September 12, 2019

Pay the fine. Strict liability law- you display them or stay out of HOV lane.

rxlawdude | September 12, 2019

You could hope for mercy from a traffic court commissioner, but a longshot.

2015P90DI | September 12, 2019

I'd fight it. Instructions say "please" display stickers here, here and here. Yes, the law states they "must" be placed, however you might be able to get a judge to let you out of it based on the instructions that come with the actual stickers. "Please" is a request, not a demand. "Must" is a demand. If the car was legally registered to drive in the HOV lane and in your case, appears you have a valid reason for them not being on the car, assuming it wasn't 6 months ago and you never re-applied for new stickers, pretty sure there's a decent chance a judge would see reason for forgiveness. If the accident happened a long time ago and you never requested new stickers, they may be less inclined.

I personally put one in my rear quarter window and carry the paperwork with me to show an officer that it says "please" instead of "must". So far, no issues, but that's not to say it's legal. Most cops won't bother, but there are also some that hate Tesla's having an advantage too. $100,000 car being able to skirt the intent of he carpool lane, legal or not, may be annoying to some cops, as it is to many people.

Myself and the "lawdude" rarely agree, but whenever asking him legal questions, never seem to get an answer, so appears his "law" specialty is unrelated to anything discussed on these forums. Just an assumption.

RedShift | September 12, 2019

@OP

Follow the advise that 2015P90DI if you want to contribute more to the city funds. I hear they are always running short of funds in almost every city. :-)

rxlawdude | September 12, 2019

To quote the wise Bugs, "What a maroon."
The only thing that counts is the statute, and "saying please" isn't an exemption. The "please" on the sticker instructions has no legal effect.
Case close. 2015PDL is found guilty of wasting the court's time.

2015P90DI | September 13, 2019

Let's see, pay the fine and guaranteed guilty verdict. Or fight it and at least have a chance at saving your money and NOT having a guilty verdict!

Have fought my fair share of tickets throughout the years and done quite well. Had I followed your advice and "just paid the fine", my insurance would have gone up drastically as well.

Not sure about other states, but in California, you can also do a Trial by Declaration, which effectively gives you a free shot at it. If you don't like the verdict, you can still choose to go to court and fight it in front of Judge or accept it and move on.

I haven't looked, is a carpool lane violation and Moving Violation? If so, all the more reason to fight it. With the Trial by Declaration approach, every time they've come back with a guilty verdict, they've still offered Traffic School as an option, so it really is a free shot at it.

Or, you can listen to the "lawdude" and pay the fine, take the point on your record and enjoy higher insurance premiums for the next three years. Your call.

2015P90DI | September 13, 2019

Let's see, pay the fine and guaranteed guilty verdict. Or fight it and at least have a chance at saving your money and NOT having a guilty verdict!

Have fought my fair share of tickets throughout the years and done quite well. Had I followed your advice and "just paid the fine", my insurance would have gone up drastically as well.

Not sure about other states, but in California, you can also do a Trial by Declaration, which effectively gives you a free shot at it. If you don't like the verdict, you can still choose to go to court and fight it in front of Judge or accept it and move on.

I haven't looked, is a carpool lane violation and Moving Violation? If so, all the more reason to fight it. With the Trial by Declaration approach, every time they've come back with a guilty verdict, they've still offered Traffic School as an option, so it really is a free shot at it.

Or, you can listen to the "lawdude" and pay the fine, take the point on your record and enjoy higher insurance premiums for the next three years. Your call.

zero.ya.ya | September 13, 2019

Hello!

Charsiubao | September 13, 2019

Think I posted this before... I put one small sticker on the lower corner of the rear window glass... no paint damage worry, never stopped by the state trooper for that reason. I saw a 3 the other day did the same

rxlawdude | September 13, 2019

Lemme guess that @2015 throws jury summons away because it has the word "please."

Irresponsible behavior, but not surprising given his political predilections.

cornellio | September 13, 2019

I'm reassured by @dannywells, "No CHP officer would ever pull over a Tesla in the HOV lane."
Seems like they're being reasonable. Heck around the Bay Area they don't even pull over fossil cars that are in violation. Wish they were a little more assertive on this.

I just keep a single sticker in my back window. Don't want to put those ugly things on my bumper.

2015P90DI | September 13, 2019

Oh geeze, now it's a political thing?!!! LOL. That's just typical of a.......ahh, nevermind. I'm done with this. You do things your way, I'll do things my way and the world will continue to go round and round!

rxlawdude | September 13, 2019

I'll do things the ethical and legal way.

You do what you do. Don't cry like a girly man when the jig is up.

2015P90DI | September 14, 2019

Since when is it illegal to use the legal system that's provided to you? There's a system in place that allows you to plead your case in front of a judge and allow the judge to decide if you are guilty. I kind of assumed a "lawdude" would know that, but pretty everything you've said in this thread (as well as others) are the WORST advice I could ever imagine getting from an attorney. If any one of my attorney's offered the advice you do, it'd be the last thing they did under my watch. But whatever. I speak in "real world" terms. No clue what terms you live under. Highly unlikely that it's any type of actual legal system. The forums are for those to share their thoughts, opinions and readers to can then choose to do as they wish. There's nothing illegal about taking your case to court, especially in a case where the car is LEGALLY registered to drive in the carpool lane. The legal system is there for a reason. Use to your advantage when the opportunity exists. Lord knows, it's certainly used against many. Works both ways.

rxlawdude | September 14, 2019

Sigh. There are laws. Stop trying to work around them. You're just not that special.
The statute is quite specific. You wanna cheat or claim it's unfair?
One that is unfair is allowing those plug-in abominations from BMW and Mercedes to get HOV stickers, while BEV early adopters are kicked out. Wanna work to get that changed?

rxlawdude | September 14, 2019

(Plug-in hybrids with 10 mile electric range are abominations at this stage of electrification.

lilbean | September 14, 2019

Not displaying the decals is not a moving violation.

rxlawdude | September 14, 2019

@lil, correct that this is not a moving violation and does not count as a "point." But it will make you ~$300 poorer.

CVC Section 21655.9 (b) A person shall not drive a vehicle described in subdivision (a) of Section 5205.5 with a single occupant upon a high-occupancy vehicle lane pursuant to this section unless the decal, label, or other identifier issued pursuant to Section 5205.5 is properly displayed on the vehicle, and the vehicle registration described in Section 5205.5 is with the vehicle.

NKYTA | September 14, 2019

@rx, but even worse to use the new Purple stickers on my 2012 S, I imagine.

;-)

NKYTA | September 14, 2019

Cheating a bit some times vs outright fraud.

Haggy | September 23, 2019

The law doesn't say where they "must be placed." It authorizes the CHP to determine a suitable location, but the CHP never went to the legislature to have one codified into law. There's nothing in the statute itself telling you where to display them.

Indeed, it says that decals must have unique numbers, so what's currently being issued doesn't comply with California law.

tigerkc | September 23, 2019

You know the law, there is no use keep arguing in the forum.

cslaurie | September 27, 2019

I like being an outlaw. I do not attach my front plate as well.

rxlawdude | September 27, 2019

@Haggy, respectfully disagree. Properly displayed is pretty clear when explicit instructions with the decals tells you where to place them.

I'd love to be wrong, but if you tried your argument in traffic court, the results would not be in your favor.

rxlawdude | September 27, 2019

@Haggy, respectfully disagree. Properly displayed is pretty clear when explicit instructions with the decals tells you where to place them.

I'd love to be wrong, but if you tried your argument in traffic court, the results would not be in your favor.