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CA HOV Stickers


Aug 3, 2017
Pleasant Hill, CA
Unless the DMV decides to issue a new color decal next year that expires beyond Jan. 1, 2022 (extremely unlikely), all red decals will expire on this date, regardless of when they're issued.

Think about it: How is an enforcement officer going to be able to determine the red decal expiration date of a vehicle moving in the HOV lane?

The only possible benefit that I can think of for waiting until after the 1st is for the next cycle of HOV decals (if there is one). I got lucky in that the only reason that I qualified for a red decal is that my white decal was issued after Jan. 1, 2017. Had it been issued before then, I would not have been able to apply for the red decal. YMMV

Looks like "light purple" will be next years HOV sticker per DMV Vehicle Industry New.

Eno Deb

Active Member
Aug 17, 2018
SF Bay Area
Was hoping for carbon fiber or matte black!
According to the DMV newsletter the color will change every year now, so you just have to wait long enough (while watching the other cars whizz by on the HOV lane). ;)

Almost everything is better than the bright red abomination we have now (if you don't have a red car) ...


Oct 2, 2018
SF Bay Area
Ill send in my application in the last week of December. Anyone thinking about applying these to a piece of vinyl then sticking them on their cars? Hear it’s easier to remove them when they expire.


Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
San Jose, CA
Anyone thinking about applying these to a piece of vinyl then sticking them on their cars?

I ordered two rolls of 4" wide x 1' long XPEL Ultimate Plus (XPFCL4U1). Actually, I really only used one since the 1' roll was just under 2' long. I was able to place all four HOV stickers onto a single roll and used an X-ACTO blade to cut out the XPEL film. I've only stuck on two of the decals so far. They were easy to move them around when I was deciding exactly where I wanted them. Hopefully in a few years when they expire they'll be just as easy to remove and won't damage the paint or leave a 'shadow'.


Nov 11, 2018
Los Angeles
I bought a 2016 Leaf in early 2016 and a 2017 Volt in later 2016.

Last week I got a letter telling me I lose HOV for both of them on Jan 1 2019.

I knew this was coming but was holding out hope California lawmakers would come to their senses before that (I know it's almost an oxymoron).

I decided the only way to keep using HOV (I live in the SF Valley and work in the South Bay) was to get a new EV. Originally I thought about another Leaf. My wife has recently stopped driving the Volt so I got to thinking if I sold both the Volt and the Leaf I could buy a Model 3 and still drive long distances (that's one of the reasons for the Volt).

So I ordered one last Thursday and within a few hours I got a message saying I had an appointment for 11/15 which is just one week. Apparently they had my exact car available in Hawthorne and will be delivering to my home then.

So after reading this thread it's clear I should probably wait till near the end of December to apply so as to get the longest length of sticker use.


Oct 25, 2016
Irvine, CA
Sometimes I wonder if DMV love teasing us and is purposely handing out hideous colors :rolleyes:

EV License plate would have worked so much better. $22 doesn't cut it? I would pay $50 for license plate than these ridiculous decals.


Oct 4, 2018
Hayward, California
They really ought to integrate this into the fastTrak transponder...
- which I know is a Bay Area thing... but we ought to have a state wide transponder...
- then you could just register a compliant vehicle and your transponder would include that on anything that pinged it...

This is one of things that reminds me that Silicon Valley is in a different decade than Sacramento...

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