The Utah Department of Transportation is enacting big changes to the “C” license plate for clean fuel vehicles. Beginning this month, UDOT will be issuing an official “Clean Vehicle” decal to clean fuel vehicle owners who apply and qualify instead of using the “C” plates as the official clean vehicle designation.
The new clean vehicle stickers will allow electric car and hybrid vehicle drivers who qualify free access to the Express Lanes even when driving solo. The electronic decal will be detectable by the Express Lane system so these drivers won’t have to sweat traffic tickets when there’s not a physical person there to check their official designation – as long as it’s placed in the correct spot on the car.
Although this program was created by the Utah Legislature under House Bill 24, the federal government actually regulates who qualifies. Why might you ask? Well, when you’re driving your nifty electric car or hybrid vehicle on a federal highway (1-15 in this case), Uncle Sam gets to decide eligibility of single-occupant vehicles in the HOV lanes.
If you live in Utah and already have a “C” Plate, you will need to get the new permit and decal ASAP. Apparently, your “C” plate isn’t going to be recognized by the new system and will not allow you access to the express lanes as of, well, now.
For more information on the new Clean Fuel Permit and Decal program, visit www.udot.utah.gov/cdecals. For the EPA draft list of qualifying vehicles, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/ld-hwy/hov/420d10002.pdf.
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