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This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!

Published on Thu, Aug 18, 2005

By: The LACar Editorial Staff


LA Car's Project Prius

HYBRID OWNERS, GO GET YOUR CARPOOL STICKERS! Suddenly, the Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Insight, and Toyota Prius have become the fastest cars on freeways of California.  The reason? The Federal legislation that allows the state's hybrid single-occupant carpool access law to go into effect was signed by the President. Now, not even an SRT-8 HEMI in the fast lane will be able to keep up with these hybrids in the carpool lane. California was ready.  Overnight, the state's DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and the California Air Resources Board revamped their websites to reflect the change in the law. Even the form used to apply for single-occupant access to the carpool lanes (Form REG1000) changed overnight, with a box added for hybrid vehicles that meet the state's stringent 45-mpg and ATPZEV emissions standards (only the three aforementioned hybrids meet the standards). I took LA Car's Project Prius to the State's Department of Motor Vehicle office in Santa Ana to turn in the form and the $8 needed for the special decals needed for single-occupant access.  The DMV office didn't open until 8:00 a.m., but I was there at 7:30. Coincidentally, so was the DMV staff, who were there to help the people in line get started. Santa Ana just may have the best DMV office ever, IMHO. The last time I was here was for a license renewal, which only took twenty minutes - without an appointment(!). "You're our first hybrid  applicant," said the DMV's Kathy Grivanos. Ordinarily, you don't need to go to a DMV office to apply for the carpool access sticker (you can mail it in). However, DMV records had Project Prius classified as a gas vehicle, so it went in for re-certification. After a quick once over and a peek under the hood, DMV issued a certificate, designating the car as a hybrid ("Q") and assuring there will be no hiccup in acquiring the stickers.  Assuming all goes as planned, it'll be around 30 days before the stickers arrive in the mail. One wonders what will happen after the cadre of 75,000 Prius, Insight and HCH owners climb on board the carpool lane (75,000 is the maximum number of stickers that will be issued to hybrids in California) . For more information about acquiring California's single-occupant carpool sticker, go to Application for Clean Air Vehicle Stickers.     - Roy Nakano

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