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Clean Air Vehicle Sticker - Any tricks to getting sooner?

Has anyone found any tricks to speed up the process of applying for a CAV decal?
  1. Has anyone successfully submitted an application with the TEMPORARY paper plate license?
  2. Any tips on getting a permanent license plate number to apply?
The epitome of "bureaucracy" - I've had decals for 7 years, I finally buy a 100% electric, and now stuck for 2+ months unable to use the HOV lane? California should find a way to issue upon PURCHASE of a CAV - or....speed up the process and charge us 10x the cost to get the decal.

Help save 1000's of us a billion hours of wasted time getting across the Bay Bridge! Or did I miss something in how to speed this up?
 
You need the license plate number to apply.
That said, I got the registration in the mail with the license plate number first.
Once I got the number, I applied for the CAV.
The actual license plates came 2 weeks later.
Submitted application in January 2021,Stickers came about 3.5 months later.


Then once you get the stickers, you can apply for the FasTrak CAV toll tag for 50% discount.

I have a qualifying clean air vehicle with proper clean air decals. How do I exchange my FasTrak toll tag for a FasTrak CAV toll tag? - FasTrak
 
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Sacramento

2021 Tesla Model Y LR AWD
Mar 13, 2021
62
101
Sacramento, CA
You need the license plate number to apply.
That said, I got the registration in the mail with the license plate number first.
Once I got the number, I applied for the CAV.
The actual license plates came 2 weeks later.
Submitted application in January 2021,Stickers came about 3.5 months later.


Then once you get the stickers, you can apply for the FasTrak CAV toll tag for 50% discount.

I have a qualifying clean air vehicle with proper clean air decals. How do I exchange my FasTrak toll tag for a FasTrak CAV toll tag? - FasTrak
California DMV is poky issuing new plates and I was eager to apply for my HOV decals. So after waiting a few weeks for the plates to arrive, I decided to roll the dice and apply for my HOV sticker USING ONLY THE VIN. I wrote the check on Feb. 14 and DMV cashed it on May 5. I received the decals May 8, and noticed DMV filled in my license plate info on the registration card. If I had waited for my plates I think I'd still be waiting for the decals.
 
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tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
California DMV is poky issuing new plates and I was eager to apply for my HOV decals. So after waiting a few weeks for the plates to arrive, I decided to roll the dice and apply for my HOV sticker USING ONLY THE VIN. I wrote the check on Feb. 14 and DMV cashed it on May 5. I received the decals May 8, and noticed DMV filled in my license plate info on the registration card. If I had waited for my plates I think I'd still be waiting for the decals.

I wish I had tried that trick. But in reality you are probably lucky DMV did not return your application for correction and re-submittal. (Must have been handled by a clerk in a rare forgiving mood that day.)

I picked up my new Tesla March 17th. Received permanent license plates (w/different license number than temporary paper plates) and registration, together, in the mail on April 17th (a Saturday). Mailed HOV sticker application (w/$22) to DMV that Monday (04/19/21). As of tonight (05/12/20) my check has (no surprise) not yet been cashed. By the sounds of it I have many more weeks of waiting yet to go. Once I get the stickers I do plan to apply for the FasTrak CAV toll tag (if that program is still in existence by the time the stickers arrive).

I am still debating if and how to apply the stickers--e.g., (a) directly to help prevent theft, (b) with paint-protection film to safeguard the delicate Tesla paint, or (c) not at all. An acquaintance suggested just carrying the stickers in the glove-box, as few people are stopped in the HOV lanes, he claims. But why tempt fate, I am thinking.

Regardless, this chronic delivery delay is ridiculous and fundamentally unnecessary. DMV employees will, I'm sure, blame a lack of computers, adequate program funding, and/or adequate staffing. Thanks to the Legislature the stickers are only good for limited numbers of years. Yet we drivers loose months at each application and renewal waiting for their arrival. And god forbid your first set is defaced or stolen; more delay.

I worked for 25 years for the State, and am familiar with its bureaucracy. But certain State departments are particularly bad for various reasons, often due to poor financial and administrative support for executive and legislative authorities. (So the employees are probably right.) When the Governor or the top Legislators, or some Department Head or Agency Chief want something done (like a pay raise or a very specific bill passed) it happens likity-split. But when it is something just to benefit the regular folk outside of Sacramento, prepare to wait, and wait, and wait,... (like at the start of the movie, "Casablanca").

Waiting.jpg
 
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I am still debating if and how to apply the stickers--e.g., (a) directly to help prevent theft, (b) with paint-protection film to safeguard the delicate Tesla paint, or (c) not at all. An acquaintance suggested just carrying the stickers in the glove-box, as few people are stopped in the HOV lanes, he claims. But why tempt fate, I am thinking.
For Clean Air stickers. I used a strip of PPF:
Llumar 10 Mil Clear Paint Protection Bulk Film Roll 4 inches X 60 inches $10.95

They do sell pre-cut ones, but its more expensive, and good luck aligning that weird shaped sticker evenly in the cut out. Also, I suspect they must make the cut out excessively large to accommodate imperfect alignment.

Put sticker on PPF, trim around it leaving a 1/8 inch margin.
Apply PPF-sticker to car. I put 2 out of the 4 stickers, One large on the right side - rear, one on small the front side - left.
There is an instruction sheet showing which size sticker goes where..
The other two PPF-stickers, I keep in a drawer as spares.

After a few weeks, they are doing very well with no peeling.
If the sticker begins peeling , or if you want a more secure installation, you can cut a PPF strip to place over the PPF-sticker to lock the whole thing in.




IMG_0508.jpg
 

Sacramento

2021 Tesla Model Y LR AWD
Mar 13, 2021
62
101
Sacramento, CA
I wish I had tried that trick. But in reality you are probably lucky DMV did not return your application for correction and re-submittal. (Must have been handled by a clerk in a rare forgiving mood that day.)

I picked up my new Tesla March 17th. Received permanent license plates (w/different license number than temporary paper plates) and registration, together, in the mail on April 17th (a Saturday). Mailed HOV sticker application (w/$22) to DMV that Monday (04/19/21). As of tonight (05/12/20) my check has (no surprise) not yet been cashed. By the sounds of it I have many more weeks of waiting yet to go. Once I get the stickers I do plan to apply for the FasTrak CAV toll tag (if that program is still in existence by the time the stickers arrive).

I am still debating if and how to apply the stickers--e.g., (a) directly to help prevent theft, (b) with paint-protection film to safeguard the delicate Tesla paint, or (c) not at all. An acquaintance suggested just carrying the stickers in the glove-box, as few people are stopped in the HOV lanes, he claims. But why tempt fate, I am thinking.

Regardless, this chronic delivery delay is ridiculous and fundamentally unnecessary. DMV employees will, I'm sure, blame a lack of computers, adequate program funding, and/or adequate staffing. Thanks to the Legislature the stickers are only good for limited numbers of years. Yet we drivers loose months at each application and renewal waiting for their arrival. And god forbid your first set is defaced or stolen; more delay.

I worked for 25 years for the State, and am familiar with its bureaucracy. But certain State departments are particularly bad for various reasons, often due to poor financial and administrative support for executive and legislative authorities. (So the employees are probably right.) When the Governor or the top Legislators, or some Department Head or Agency Chief want something done (like a pay raise or a very specific bill passed) it happens likity-split. But when it is something just to benefit the regular folk outside of Sacramento, prepare to wait, and wait, and wait,... (like at the start of the movie, "Casablanca").

View attachment 662138
I, too, worried about applying the HOV stickers directly to the paint. I've seen what the adhesive can do when the sticker needs to come off (2025?).

I thought about carrying the decals in the glove box but I'm less concerned about law enforcement than I am about being seen by other motorists as an entitled a**hole driving alone in the diamond lane.

I found this pre-cut PPF product on Amazon and it worked great.

 

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tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
...chronic delivery delay is ridiculous and fundamentally unnecessary...

My post was wrong to criticize without suggesting solutions.

if I were heading the unit of staff that manages this DMV program in Sacramento, I would immediately read (if one exists) or assign (if one does not) a report outlining numbers of CAV sticker applications received, by month, for each year the CAV sticker program was in existence. Included should references to the budget assigned (if any) by the legislation that created the program and the staff numbers currently available to handle applications, along with valid estimates of man-hours actually required per week.

One remedy that would eventually help alleviate at least some of the consumer anxiety would be an honest tracking program. Each application would require a valid email address. Applications would be triaged--i.e., initially and rapidly categorized based on a quick assessment--then acted on accordingly. Incomplete or inadequate applications would be returned post-haste with brief explanations of the reasons for return. Regular and timely form-notifications would then be emailed to applicants for at least some of the following:
  1. Date of official (time-stamped) application receipt.
  2. Date of initial categorization of applications; e.g.,...
    1. Form and $22 check complete and present.
      -or-
    2. Form inadequate (e.g., missing or incomplete information).
    3. Payment missing or otherwise inadequate.
    4. Other problem(s).
  3. Date of final approval (or rejection).
  4. Date payment check is cashed.
  5. Date sticker number assigned.
  6. Date stickers are mailed to return address.
If applicants need to start including postage-paid return-addressed envelopes or application-received notification post-cards--fine; no problem. Anything that will communicate to the applicant would be an improvement.

Something like this does not guarantee that applications will necessarily be acted on more quickly. If staffing is truly inadequate and unavailable, then yes DMV can only get so much done in a period of time. And yes, tracking requires extra work. But it communicates a sense of accountability to consumers (and to DMV staff) and encourages a more reasonable expectation of progress for the process. If DMV staff are truly over-whelmed--and just not sandbagging because they don't like or respect the program--it helps educate DMV management, administrators, and elected officials as to where there may be actual logistic and inadequate resource problems.

Right now, if a person sends in an inadequate or incomplete application, the delay is lengthy, paperwork is increased, and the applicant has no idea that something is wrong for weeks or even months. To be blunt, that is just stupid. It punishes both the applicant and DMV.

I have been around long enough to know that when you have a program like this, that is not being adequately managed and implemented in a timely fashion, an investigation would likely uncover the fact that either (a) the Program is woefully underfunded or (b) someone--often at a mid- or high- Department level--does not care for or respect the program, even though it was part of a law passed by the Legislature. And by the way, the Legislature is obviously not following up on its own legislation.

Until enough powerful consumers (where are all the lawyers driving Teslas and other "green" cars) or the Lobbyists that thought up the program to begin with raise a stink, this is just going to continue and, indeed, get worse.
 
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tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
I, too, worried about applying the HOV stickers directly to the paint. I've seen what the adhesive can do when the sticker needs to come off (2025?).

I thought about carrying the decals in the glove box but I'm less concerned about law enforcement than I am about being seen by other motorists as an entitled a**hole driving alone in the diamond lane.

I found this pre-cut PPF product on Amazon and it worked great.


Thank you, I already ordered (and received) some 3M PPF from Amazon. I got a cheap squeegee, also, though I'm told an old credit card will work fine. So I'll obviously have plenty of time to study how to apply the PPF and decide whether I truly want to use it.
 
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Has anyone found any tricks to speed up the process of applying for a CAV decal?

I just got off the phone with a DMV rep who checked with a senior tech and advised me that the application I sent in last week - with just the VIN number - would be accepted. I now have my plates, but relying on his advice and @Sacramento 's success, I'll abandon the idea of sending in a second application and sit tight. Hopefully my only regret will be that I didn't send in the REG 1000 the day I bought the car.

The tech advised that they are now processing applications from mid-May - so about 2 months behind, plus the time from "processing" until it shows up in your mailbox.
 
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I just got off the phone with a DMV rep who checked with a senior tech and advised me that the application I sent in last week - with just the VIN number - would be accepted. I now have my plates, but relying on his advice and @Sacramento 's success, I'll abandon the idea of sending in a second application and sit tight. Hopefully my only regret will be that I didn't send in the REG 1000 the day I bought the car.

The tech advised that they are now processing applications from mid-May - so about 2 months behind, plus the time from "processing" until it shows up in your mailbox.
I’ve decided to hold off and apply in Jan 2022 and get the extra months in 2025. Fortunately I don’t have to commute to the office until October at the earliest.

Hope next year’s stickers aren’t a terrible color…I like the current blue ones.
 

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