How to Install CA Carpool Clean Air Stickers on Your Electric Vehicle

Here in California, there’s a huge perk to buying a qualifying electric vehicle: you can apply for and receive a Clean Air decal, which lets you drive in the carpool lane, even if you’re a single driver.

It can take months to get the stickers, so once they arrive, you definitely want to make sure you put them on your car properly! Here’s my advice for how to apply these time (and planet) saving stickers:

The Basics: Size Matters

Foremost, it’s important to note that your decal pack will contain a total of four stickers: two large ones and two small ones.

The placement of these decals is key for visibility and adherence to regulations. The larger ones should be placed on the rear of your vehicle, more specifically on the rear quarter panel. The smaller decals are intended to go on the front, below the headlights.

Note that this advice is current as I’m writing this, but the placements have changed over the years. Your sticker pack should include a paper showing the current correct placement locations. Make sure the locations are still current before applying stickers!

An important point to remember – once the decals are on, they are there to stay indefinitely. So, as nerve-wracking it might feel, it’s crucial to take your time and place the sticker correctly the first time around.

Preparing your Vehicle for Decal Application

A crucial tip I discovered is to thoroughly clean your vehicle before application. I took my car to the car wash to make sure any dust or particles wouldn’t come under the decals or affect their adhesion.

Attaching the Decals the Right Way

Now, let’s get down to business. Upon my initial trial, I found that holding the decal with the state seal in the upright position is crucial. This common-sense step ensures that the words on your stickers aren’t upside down.

Approaching my vehicle, I began with the rear quarter panel. Carefully peel off the large decal from the backing and gently place it on the appropriate area.

Using a little pressure, press down the decal smoothly to avoid any bumps or bubbles.

Final Steps in the Process

Now, on to the front of the vehicle. Using the same process, attach the two small decals just below the headlights, mirroring the placement on both sides. Voila! Your vehicle is now officially a clean air vehicle.

Don’t forget about the registration paper that comes with these decals. Safely stash it in your glove box as this verifies your eligibility to drive through carpool lanes.

Installing clean air vehicle decals can feel like a daunting task due to their permanency. But with these steps in mind, the process can be a breeze. So, let’s flaunt those clean air decals and enjoy the privileges they confer, all the while doing our bit for a better and cleaner environment.

Join the free DIY Life Tech newsletter for hands-on reviews of the latest gadgets, insights on generative AI, exclusive discounts on creator tools, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • There are two large decals and two small decals.
  • The large decals go on the rear quarter panel, and the small ones go on the front of the car.
  • Make sure to attach the decals the right way around, with the state seal in the up position.
  • Clean the car before attaching the decals to avoid getting dust or debris stuck underneath.
  • Keep the registration paper that comes with the decals in the glove box in case of emergencies.