California HOV stickers on a Signature Red Performance???

California HOV stickers on a Signature Red Performance???

My wife and I were heading to dinner last night dreaming about when our new Model S might be ready when we passed a Prius with HOV (high occupancy vehicle) stickers on it. This is one of the perks of getting an electric car in California because you can drive in the carpool lanes with only one person. My wife asked a really good question. "Are you really going to put those ugly stickers on your $100K red car???" I didn't have an answer. I really want to be able to drive in the carpool lanes but would almost give that up not to put decals on my beautiful new car. Is anyone else thinking what they might do about this or is there a work around? California only hands out a limited number of stickers so just showing the police the "frunk" probably won't cut it. Thanks for your thoughts. Pat

Mtlord | 22 september 2012

As another Californian, the sticker, and shaving 30% off my daily commute, is one of my many rationalizations for spending this much money on a car. In two years, you just need the ability to cleanly remove it.

TheAustin | 22 september 2012

I live in New York, and while I'm looking forward to driving in the HOV lane on the Long Island Expressway to and from the Hamptons to NYC any time I want, I'm not looking forward to having these HOV stickers on my soon-to-be-arriving blue Model S:

I was planning to stick them onto one of those magnetic bumper stickers and then cut around the outline of the sticker...That way I can put them on and take them off whenever I want. Has anyone tried to do this before? Is there a flaw in my plan? If so, let me know...

P.S. - I see that the NY DOT doesn't currently have the Model S listed as an approved Clean Pass vehicle, although the Roadster is listed...They better get that sorted out soon!

ggr | 22 september 2012

There is a big flaw in your plan. The Model S is aluminium, and your magnetic thingys won't stick.

What many people have advised, and I'm about to try, is the same thing but applied to paint armor plastic, which you then apply to the car. Comes off easily and in one piece. Technically, though, any such solution doesn't comply with the rules; it's supposed to destroy the sticker to remove it. I guess CA doesn't care if it hurts the paint at the same time.

BYT | 22 september 2012

What is we keep the sticker in the glove compartment but drive the lane anyway? We aren't breaking the law as we are in a car approved for it? No? I also posted before on this topic as I also HATE and tramp stamps on the back of my cars! Let alone my $110k Model S!!! I even fought my little ones when they begged me to put their honor roll stickers back there... I ended up telling them to put it on their mothers car! :)

BYT | 22 september 2012
dmrowland | 22 september 2012

We live in San Diego and I wondered the same thing about the HOV stickers. I was unaware that CA only issued limited numbers so I was planning to do what Pat planned - showing the officer the frunk (when he pulls me over). Maybe I should have Plan B......because putting that ugly sticker on a Model S is not one of my plans. I haven't heard of paint armor plastic. Can that be purchased at an automotive store (e.g., Pep Boys)?

sagebrushnw | 22 september 2012

My suggestion would be to use a piece of the paint armor (should be able to get a scrap piece from any shop that installs it for the aftermarket) that would be a little larger than the sticker.

Place the HOV sticker, facing out, on the back side of the paint armor so that the HOV sticker is "enclosed" between the clear paint armor and the painted surface of the car, that way the HOV sticker is not stuck to the paint of the car. You should still be able to see the HOV sticker clearly through the clear paint armor and it would be the paint armor that "attaches" it to the car.

Whenever you need to take the HOV sticker off (when it expires, you trade cars), you can take the paint armor off, and wa-la, you still have your HOV sticker intact.

petero | 22 september 2012

I will also apply for CA HOV stickers. I will mount one sticker on the lower corner of the rear window. I will experiment with mounting a sticker on a metal plate and use a powerful magnet on the inside lower, rear fender. If the magnet fails, I will take my chances with the CHP officer, rather than defile my “S.”

TikiMan | 22 september 2012

I am going to just put it on the back windshield (inside, facing out with some double-sided tape). I have seen this on a few Roadsters. If an CHP officer is that desperate to pull me over, so be it. Most of the time they have to get up really close to you, just to verify you don't have a passenger in the car. Thus at that distance, they will see the official sticker, and it's there call if they want take the time, energy, effort, and piss-off other drivers (cutting me across five lanes of heavy traffic), just to warn me, and miss out on a high-paying speeding ticket, etc.

I’m also tinting my side and rear windows (darker in the rear). It's illegal to tint your front-side windows where I live, but then again, I have been doing it for well over thirty years, and have only been pulled over for it once (and that was just an excuse to ask me if I had been drinking).

Also, no front license plate either… If it’s ok for a Ferrari, it’s ok for a Model S! (I always say ;-)

petero | 22 september 2012

Tiki Man. I am still debating the front license plate. A couple of my family members park by touch and it may be wiser to have them bash up the vanity plate rather than the "nose cone" of our missle.

TikiMan | 22 september 2012


I don't have that issue, however, I do have a tight garage, and the last front plate I had, scrapped my leg bad, while I was trying to walk around! After that I said, never again, unless they figure a way to recess it into the front bumper!!!

Slindell | 22 september 2012

I am planning to build a tab that sticks to the right side of the rear license plate and put the HOV sticker on that. Looks like the Model S has enough room to the sides of the plate to allow that to work.

olanmills | 22 september 2012

This stupid law is being considered in Washington state too.

But if it does get approved, I'm going to take advantage of it.

I'll get the sticker and I'll either try to stick it on my license plate between the two sets of characters, or try to put it visibly in my rear windshield somehow.

If that causes me to get pulled over, well then I'll just give it up. I get by without using the HOV lane now. I'll surivive (and honestly, at some times in some locations, the HOV lane doesn't help at all anyway).

BYT | 22 september 2012

I was told that we could always add the plate later if it's an issue. I'll wait until it's an issue, same goes with the HOV sticker. I'll try the inside on the windshield suggestions and on the armor or some other clear and clingy plastic like what they sell to cover your iPhone glass to protect it (and is easy to remove).

Brian H | 23 september 2012

replace your family members with upgraded versions. You'll never regret it!

MyDreamCar | 23 september 2012

These are nice.... I think you can use them on the body?

Michael23 | 23 september 2012

I'm not doing it. I live in sf too. Plus the stickers won't last forever, only a year or so before the perk ends.

Rod and Barbara | 25 september 2012

I purchased clear window decals (sometimes called window clings) at Staples. I attached the HOV stickers to the window decal sheet and cut the decal sheet to match the shape of the HOV sticker. The decals stick nicely to the car surface and peel off easily. I don't know how they will hold up after repeated re-applications.

dahtye | 26 september 2012

Thanks for the tips. I have this same worry about my Red Signature S.

BTW, I asked my Delivery Specialist if I can have Tesla send in the paperwork for the HOV lane stickers - she said yes and to just be prepared to write a check to the CA DMV for the small fee.

I also asked to the front license plate bracket to be not installed, but I wanted to take it with me in case I needed to add it later (if a CHP officer gives me a "fix it ticket" - in which to clear it I would need to show proof of the front license plate installed at a CHP office).

However, I've been driving since 2002 in California without a front license plate on my Honda Pilot and have not been pulled over for lack of a front plate. I have, however, gotten a parking ticket at LAX long term parking that stated no front license plate - the fee was $50. I paid the fee and still didn't install the plate.

Michael37 | 8 oktober 2012

My car will be white, so that mitigates things somewhat. Nonetheless, I will _absolutely_ install the stickers. I've had them on my EVs since the program was enacted, and they have saved me countless hours sitting in traffic.

I would be delighted if we could get special license plates instead, so as not to have to add stickers to the car, but as things stand now I will install them as required.

One tip for those who will put the stickers on: for pity's sake, take some care in installing the stickers, and put them on straight! Use easily-peeled tape to temporarily install them and position them so you can step back from the car and make sure they're aligned properly and that the location is as attractive as possible. You get one shot at doing them right. I can't count how many hybrids I've seen with the stickers just slapped on crooked and mismatched. Sheesh. If you can't do it well yourself, or don't feel like doing it, then have a body shop or a decal company take care of it for you.

mknox | 10 oktober 2012

We have this probem solved in Ontario, Canada. Here normal licence plates are blue text on a white background. EVs are eligible for "Green Vehicle" plates that have green text on a white background. With these plates, you can drive in the HOV lanes without the need for ugly stickers.

TMS Doc | 11 oktober 2012

Elon put them on his car or more correctly put one on. Looks like a good option to me. See:

Not everyone will recognize a Tesla as an EV, so this is the way to advertise that. They are effective until 1/1/15. There is no limit on the number of white stickers.

I recently took the yellow stickers off of my wife's Prius. When you peel them off, it destroys the sticker, presumably so they can't be stolen. The rest comes off easily with Goo Gone and the paint looks fine.

Schlermie | 11 oktober 2012

It looks like he only put one of them on though. Aren't you supposed to put them on this sides, behind the rear wheel well, and the front as well? On the back, I think I would put it as low as possible, probably 6 inches lower than Elon's location...below that little red reflector. I'm going to try to get away with posting it in the rear window first though.

MB3 | 10 januari 2013

Rod and Barbara wrote in Sept. "I purchased clear window decals (sometimes called window clings) at Staples. I attached the HOV stickers to the window decal sheet and cut the decal sheet to match the shape of the HOV sticker. The decals stick nicely to the car surface and peel off easily. I don't know how they will hold up after repeated re-applications. "

Do you know how well this held up to repeated applications?

Brian H | 11 januari 2013

When it starts to lose its stick, put another layer underneath. Periodically peel away 2 or 3 layers and carry on.

TikiMan | 11 januari 2013

I placed mine on the dark-grey plastic at the lowest point in the designated three areas my state (California) requires them to be.

So far, it's not that bad looking on my black P85 Sig Perf. Also, it's helps off-set my California rear plate (which is also white).

Regardless, it turns out the stickers are actually giving my MS more attention than EVER before (go figure) ;-)

Brian H | 12 januari 2013